/ 8 june 2023

How To Make The Most Of Self-Scanning: A Guide For Retailers

Self-scanning solutions have the potential to transform the checkout process for retailers. They empower customers to complete their shopping their way, which also results in an enhanced customer experience with shorter queues and a faster checkout process. As retailers continue to adopt self-scanning checkouts and kiosks at pace, there has never been a better time to take the first step towards adopting self-scanning or upgrading your existing self-scan checkouts.

Pan Oston has been serving international retailers across a range of different sectors since 1969. During this time, we have successfully guided retailers through technological innovation and development so they can provide a great service to their customers. Our passion for all things retail is well established and we love nothing more than helping retailers adopt new technology that increases sales and enhances the customer experience. In this article, we explore how to make the most of self-scanning solutions in the retail sector.


Self-scanning solutions are devices that are used to help customers scan, process, and pay for their shopping without help from a checkout assistant. They place the checkout process into the hands of each individual customer by empowering them to complete a process that was traditionally handled by retail staff themselves. Retailers with self-scan solutions allow customers to shop their own way and pay using the most convenient way including with a handheld scanner, smartphone, payment terminal or till.

The key benefits of adopting a self-scan solution for customers include shorter queues, an improved customer experience and a faster checkout process. Meanwhile, the benefits of adopting self-scanning for retailers are equally significant and include lower operating costs, increased sales, improved customer loyalty and a smaller store footprint, which frees up valuable retail space for product placement.

Customers now expect self-scanning solutions that can seamlessly deliver on-demand service. There is also a key trend towards smaller, more frequent shopping trips. Adopting a self-scan solution is the best way to meet customer expectations for fast and seamless service and secure customer loyalty for the long term.


While most retailers have adopted some form of self-scanning, few are making the most of the almost endless possibilities that they offer to increase sales and enhance the customer experience. When it is adopted successfully, self-scan technology often transforms a retail checkout zone and delights customers from all generations. The positive impact that it can have on a retailer's bottom line should not be underestimated.

Whether you have adopted self-scan checkouts in your shop/store and are looking to introduce further supporting technology, are ready to upgrade an older solution or are considering self-scanning for the first time, our expert advice will guide you towards self-scanning success.


Adopting or upgrading self-scan checkouts presents a prime opportunity to completely rework/refurbish your checkout zone. If your shop/store relies on a high number of traditional checkouts, adopting self-scanning solutions, which have a significantly smaller footprint, is likely to free up valuable retail space. This additional retail space can be used to significantly rework and refurbish your checkout zone and enhance the customer experience further.

Why not consider a new, more customer-friendly layout that improves the customer flow or throughput? Improving the layout of your checkout zone so it can serve your customers in the best and most efficient way can increase customer satisfaction and lead to long-term loyalty. It is easy for retailers to overlook the opportunity that self-scanning adoption presents and opt for an identical or near identical layout instead of pursuing a modern and efficient layout. If your checkout zone is crowded and cluttered with limited space, a new layout could be just what you need to rejuvenate the checkout zone.

Reworking the checkout zone does not just have to be about layout changes. You may find that your current layout is optimal and serves customers well. In which case, why not utilize the additional space to showcase additional products or a new product range that could not be accommodated previously? Product space in close proximity to the checkout zone provides additional up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, both of which are great ways to increase retail sales.


Modern self-scanning is about so much more than self-scan checkouts. While self-scan checkouts are an integral part of many retail checkout zones, there are further ways for forward-thinking retailers to improve the accessibility of self-scan solutions and make them suitable for an even greater range of customers and retail applications. Handheld scanners and the newer but ever-popular smartphone scanning apps perfectly complement self-scan checkouts and provide customers with even more ways to shop in their own way.

Handheld scanners are particularly well suited to larger retailers whose customers tend to complete bigger shopping trips that involve purchasing several items. Supermarkets, discount retailers and DIY stores all benefit significantly from providing handheld scanners. Customers can scan their products while they browse your shop/store. At the end of their shopping trip, they simply visit a payment checkout and pay for their shopping using their preferred payment method. Handheld scanners are a great way to reduce queues and increase the efficiency of the checkout process while also helping customers to stay in control of their spending, which is particularly important during challenging economic times.

Smartphone scanning apps deliver similar functionality to handheld scanners on a customer's device. They can be just as easy to use and provide even greater choice to modern customers that are adept at using mobile devices. Customers simply scan their shopping as they make their way through your shop/store and then either pay within the scanning app or visit a self-scan checkout to complete their shopping trip. App-based solutions are particularly effective at engaging with younger consumers and encouraging them to use self-scanning on a device that they are very much comfortable and familiar with.


Shrinkage is an issue that all retailers are aiming to counter, with theft being a persistent issue within retail, especially during a challenging economic environment. While some retailers consider shrinkage as a barrier to adopting self-service and self-scanning solutions, at Pan Oston we view it as a challenge to design and develop solutions that effectively tackle shrinkage.

Scale security is one of the enhanced security features that we are implementing within our self-scanning solutions. Intelligent scales can weigh customers’ shopping and are able to determine whether any scanned items are present. This helps customers who may have forgotten to scan an item to scan it and prevents those that seek to deliberately not scan all of their shopping. When used in conjunction with clear LED lights that communicate checkout issues to customers and retail assistants, overall shrinkage can be reduced while protecting the bottom line.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing many sectors and providing intelligent solutions to pressing issues within the retail sector. By adopting AI-powered computer vision that utilizes top-mounted cameras at a self-scan checkout, anti-theft solutions can detect when theft is taking place at a self-scanning checkout. Anti-theft technology is ever-evolving and as most forms of the technology are available as cloud-based solutions, retailers can update their systems with ease and benefit from the latest available technology at the checkout. AI is set to play an important role in reducing shrinkage in the future and it provides a helpfully intelligent additional line of defense against in-store theft.


Self-scanning technology is all about making the checkout process fast, easy, and as convenient as possible for customers. Machine vision technology further enhances the capabilities of self-scan checkouts by assisting with the scanning of products that do not have barcodes. This technology has been effectively used to intelligently identify fruits and vegetables, which removes the need to tediously select the items on-screen. Selecting items on-screen is a time-consuming process, which involves navigating through complicated menu structures and scrolling through multiple pages of products to find what you need. The technology has a clear application for food retailers including supermarkets, convenience stores and supermarkets who would all benefit from simplifying the scanning of barcode-less products.

Machine vision technology is always advancing, and further applications will be available to help retailers across all sectors. By choosing a self-scanning solution with the required hardware and configuration to support machine vision, retailers can benefit from the very latest technology as it becomes available. It is a great way to not only deliver an exceptional checkout experience to customers but to also stand out from competitors and win new customers.


Our self-scanning specialists are ready to help you make the most of self-scanning within your retail shop/stores. Whether you require a standard solution based on one of our existing product lines or a completely bespoke solution, we have an excellent range of self-scanning solutions for you. Our self-scan range includes the popular SLIM and ESSENCE families. If you are looking for an award-winning self-scanning solution, why not find out more about the SLIM Balance? The SLIM Balance is a Red Dot Design award winner and can meet all modern customer requirements within retail. We believe that the SLIM Balance is self-scanning reimagined.

For retailers with very specific requirements, we can create a bespoke self-scanning solution that will delight your customers. Our award-winning design department craft exceptional self-scan checkouts and self-service kiosks with smart and modular designs for every type of retailer.

Our client base includes M&S, SPAR, Subway, Starbucks and COOP to name but a few. Pan Oston's team of over 175 specialists have in-house design, manufacturing and project management capabilities and are ready to help you successfully adopt self-scanning solutions. We are an award-winning company that has won multiple Red Dot Design awards and is ISO 9001 accredited for quality management.

Why not find out how we can help you make the most of the potential offered by self-scanning? Contact us to discuss your requirements with one of our retail specialists. We are ready to help your business find the perfect self-scanning solution.

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