The FINANCIAL — At this year’s retail technology awards europe, two of the coveted prizes were awarded to a retail company and a hospitality company that realized outstanding projects with Wincor Nixdorf as their IT partner.
The retail technology awards europe are presented by Cologne’s EHI Retail Institute for innovative, groundbreaking IT solutions in the retail sector. Winners are selected from among numerous entries by a prominent jury of representatives from industry, universities and research institutes. Prizes are awarded in the categories “Best Instore Solution,” “Best Enterprise Solution,” “Best Customer Experience” and since last year also “Best Multichannel Solution.” The retail technology awards europe were presented on February 23, 2016, at a gala evening as part of the EuroCIS trade fair in Düsseldorf.
In the category “Best Instore Solution,” the award went to Coop, a Swiss retail. wholesale and production cooperative headquartered in Basel. The group operates around 2,000 retail stores in Switzerland and 115 cash & carry stores both in Switzerland and other European countries. It has some 77,000 employees, with about 53,000 of those working in its home country.
As part of its service, Coop offers customers various scanning and checkout options. In many supermarkets and megastores, for instance, customers can scan articles using either the hand-held scanners provided at the entrance or their own smart phones. Coop has developed its own smart phone app, which customers can download free of charge. The system, passabene, was installed in some stores beginning in 2005, according to Wincor Nixdorf.
Since 2015, customers also have the choice between attended checkouts and self-service terminals. At the self-service stations, they can choose between cash and cashless payments, with the cashless option using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. In 2014, following a pilot phase and a thorough examination of customer flows, purchase volumes and checkout processes, Coop decided to introduce self-checkout systems from Wincor Nixdorf. By the end of 2015, over 900 self-service terminals were installed at 120 Coop stores. The service has been well received by customers. In some supermarkets, more than half choose the convenient self-checkout facility. Overall usage is at 35 percent.
Another award in the “Best Instore Solution” category went to McDonald’s subsidiary in Poland, where the company has around 360 restaurants, with about 40 percent operated as franchises. In nearly 300 of these restaurants, customers can select items from the menu at interactive order terminals from Wincor Nixdorf, pay by card and have the food delivered directly to their tables. McDonald’s Poland subsidiary is the first in European to introduce the service nationwide.
Depending on the restaurant’s size and available space, two to six of these order kiosks are installed. Called NextGen, they are designed to serve as stand-alone terminals, space-saving back-to-back double stations, or wall-mounted units. Their touchscreens are easy to operate, and the program leads users intuitively through the menu and order process.
Thanks to the terminals, one to three counter and cash-register positions can be replaced, depending on the layout and size of the particular restaurant. Employees are freed up to provide other services. Many customers use this alternative ordering option, and McDonald’s has noticed that their average receipts are 10 to 15 percent higher than those of counter customers. According to the company, this is the result of the simple, intuitive order process at the terminals that encourages some customers to order more than they would at the counter.