Automation of commerce manifests itself in, among other things, an increase in the installation of self-service checkouts.

Demand for self-service checkouts is growing at a rapid pace. In 2020 alone we installed and set up 899 self-checkouts (SCOs), which means an increase of 168 per cent in comparison to 2019. We also conducted a project to redevelop 149 traditional SCO checkout zones for hypermarket chains.

At the end of February this year, we started another comprehensive project, aimed at the installation of approximately 290 self-service cash registers in 80 facilities of our retail customer. By July, a total of 352 SCO checkouts will be installed in 114 of our customers’ facilities. We are also planning to redevelop 76 existing cash registers of a hypermarket chain into SCO checkouts.

Our contractors choose this solution more and more often; they need process automation and want to respond to the changes caused by the pandemic, e.g., an increasing need for safety and a stronger unwillingness of customers to stand in queues at traditional checkouts – especially those with a small basket, aimed at quick shopping”, explains Sławomir Halbryt, Sescom’s CEO.

Installing self-service cash registers is, on the one hand, a way to fight the pandemic, and on the other, an element of progressive automation of commerce. These broad changes require a comprehensive approach – both in terms of construction processes needed for the adaptation of the space for the installation of new equipment, and of project management, logistics, installation of IT infrastructure and the current maintenance and servicing of all devices. What is needed, then, is comprehensive facility management.

We see automation in all areas of commerce. Over the last two years, we have intensified the implementation of pilot projects for our technology-based services: Sescom Digital’s RFID solutions for inventory and stock management. Apart from automation, we also see a growing interest in energy efficiency”, says Marek Kwiatkowski, Sescom’s Chief Commercial Officer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has speeded up the development of the global SCO market. In 2020-2024, the value of the market for self-checkouts will increase to around $2.5 billion, an average annual increase of approximately 17 percent. In 2019, worldwide sales of self-checkouts was approximately 123 thousand items. According to Global Market Insights data, over the next five years the number will rise to approximately 150 thousand devices per year.