The Benefits of Introducing Self Service Kiosks to Retail

When they were first introduced to our supermarkets, self checkout areas were something of a phenomenon, with opinions on them being split over the years. Now, they are the popular and convenient go to for when you only have a handful of items to purchase and don’t wish to wait in the queue behind people with a trolley full of their weekly grocery shop. They have even evolved to the point that many leading supermarkets have dedicated self service areas for both smaller basket shops and larger trolley shops, as well as scan as you go services.

While this is a common sight that no longer phases us, seeing self service kiosks in other retail stores is still somewhat of a rarity (at least outside of the larger, more populated cities) and ongoing emergence – particularly in fashion retail.

In this article, we will explore the ways in which such companies could benefit from implementing self service systems in their stores.

The Benefits

Faster Transactions

By this, we do not mean that self service kiosks complete transactions faster than a traditional till system would, but their usage ultimately results in faster transactions overall due to the increased opportunity they offer for the number of transactions to be made at one time.

When relying solely on traditional tills operated by staff, queues tend to be common, especially on busy days such as the weekends. These queues grow even longer when even one or two customers have a lot of shopping they wish to pay for. By having self service checkouts, there are more opportunities for customers to simultaneously scan and pay for their items, reducing the backup of people queuing.

In addition to this, it offers customers choice. If people only have a couple of items and wish to checkout quickly without having to exchange any niceties/formalities with an employee, then they can pay using a self service kiosk, whilst someone who may have a question about one of their items may wish to go to the normal till instead.

Customer Satisfaction

Having the option for self service checkout is a great way to upkeep customer satisfaction. As a country, we are notoriously known amongst ourselves for politely avoiding interaction where possible when shopping, unless we’re specifically in need of assistance. This explains, then, why a significant percentage of shoppers prefer to use self service checkouts.

Simply put: people like it. They like the convenience of being able to pay without having to speak to someone; they like the convenience of being able to pay without having to wait for an employee to be free if there is no one actually at the till; they like the convenience of being able to pay without waiting in queues.


In comparison to traditional till areas, self service kiosks take up far less space. Whilst you may be able to see only two to four customers at one time at traditional employee-manned tills, self service areas can typically handle double this amount within the same or similar spatial capacity. This makes them extremely efficient, as more customers are able to complete their transactions at one time, reducing the likelihood of queues.

Not only this, but one employee can effectively oversee approximately six self service kiosks at a time, should any customers require assistance and to check that people are scanning everything and paying for their goods. This then frees up other employees to complete jobs elsewhere in the store, rather than needing them to operate a till each, which increases overall productivity and efficiency of the running of the store.

For example, they will be able to handle any deliveries, manage the upkeep of the store throughout the day, be available to offer customer service and complete (and possibly exceed) all daily tasks. This also reduces your labour costs, as you will not need to hire new employees to do these jobs, instead.


Thanks to modern technology, we are now able to translate languages very easily online. Similarly, many self service till systems are operable in various languages, meaning your customers can choose to have their language shown on the screen should English not be their first language.

This increases your store’s opportunity to satisfy and encourage non-native customers to shop with you over competitors – especially if your store is located in a particularly cosmopolitan area. This is something which you are less likely to achieve through employee operated tills alone.

Social Distancing

Over the past two years, we have all become familiar with the practice of social distancing, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though there are no longer strict rules in place regarding how people must conduct themselves in public in relation to the pandemic, however many people still remain vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus. As such, a number of the population still feel more comfortable keeping their social distance as much as possible, to avoid contracting the virus or passing it on to someone else.

Having an area where self service systems are in place allows customers at your shop to more easily do this. They will not be in such close proximity to the person next to them as they would at a regular till. Furthermore, because there is no human interaction involved, they will not need to worry about being in close proximity with an employee, either, that they otherwise would be.

Though it is not a legal requirement anymore, it is still good courtesy to offer customers the option for social distancing in your store where possible by providing self service kiosks. This also means that you will have the necessary means in place in the event that social distancing is required again for any reason in the future, allowing customers to still access and purchase items in your shop.

Self Service and EPOS

Most traditional tills that you see being used in retail stores are what’s known as EPOS (electronic point of sales) tills. An EPOS till system allows companies to gather data on their sales, inventory and customers in order to gather information on what areas in your company are doing well and others that aren’t so much, such as what products sell the most or average weekly/monthly transactions and profits.

For example, if your company offers a membership loyalty scheme to customers, an EPOS till system allows you to keep track of how many of your in-store customers are part of this scheme, how many customers sign up and how many customers do not wish to sign up with each transaction. This allows you to identify which geographical areas this is proving a success in and which you could invest more advertising in for said scheme.

EPOS till systems are extremely helpful for retail businesses in this sense, especially considering that many will make seasonal changes to their products and want to keep track of their seasonal inventory and how well their stores are performing in comparison to online retailers/their own online platform. This is why it is a good idea to use self service tills that also operate using an EPOS system.

Using EPOS self service kiosks allows you to keep track of all your sales and inventory while reaping the benefits self service checkouts have to offer. The two together make for a resourceful, reliable, efficient and successful process of sales transactions in your retail store(s).

However, we still recommend that you have at least one or two employee operated tills. Customers appreciate being given a choice, and in the unlikely event that all your self service kiosks were to be down, you would still have a way to serve your customers rather than risk losing them before they make a transaction. Having an employee behind a till also allows for any returns to be made, as well as making someone available to answer any customers’ queries during a transaction.


If you are in the retail sector and are considering installing self service systems in your stores across the UK and Ireland, you can guarantee that iOResource has the right kiosk for you.

Working in partnership with some of the world’s leading EPOS and AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) vendors, we have an extensive range of self service solutions to suit your needs and fit seamlessly into your store. We also provide stand alone kiosks, regular and mobile POS solutions and peripherals (including cash drawers, scanners and receipt printers).

To learn more about the products and POS solutions we offer, please contact us with your query and a member of our expert team will be happy to assist you.

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