How can retailers prevent retail losses with Mobile Scan and Go self-checkouts?

While there is much more research required to understand how SCO supervisors can impact upon the levels of loss generated by SCO, the ECR research considered the following factors to be important:

Customer Engagement: making not only eye contact but also verbally interacting with the SCO users was considered important, but doing this in a way that was non-confrontational and service-focussed

Delivering Customer Training: using non-accusatorial techniques was considered an important skill for SCO supervisors to develop, to enable an errant shopper to not lose face yet at the same time recognise that they had been identified.

Customer Prioritisation: when SCO spaces get busy then the supervisory role becomes even more critical in managing customer expectations and keeping friction to a minimum.

Occupying the SCO Space: ensuring that supervisors occupied a central and visible location within the SCO environment was considered important in amplifying risk and improving their capacity to deal with alerts more quickly.

Having Awareness of Risk: because of the unique risk characteristics of SCO spaces, it was also deemed important to ensure that SCO supervisors were given sufficient training to understand what they should be specifically looking for and how to react accordingly.

Protecting the Brand: In some Fixed SCO environments, audits of customers using Scan and Go/Mobile SCO systems can also be carried out, and these events can often be viewed as an explicit personification of a retailer’s overt distrust of the user – this as a moment of tension for both the consumer and the SCO supervisor, particularly when un-scanned product is identified. It was felt that a well-trained SCO supervisor was critical at this moment.

Experience Counts: there was clear and unambiguous support for the notion that only experienced staff should be employed in SCO environments. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that SCO supervisors should be selected who are able to multi-task well and make good decisions when prioritising activities.

Keeping Customers Honest and Accurate: the SCO environment is potentially rich with opportunities for both malicious and non-malicious losses to occur, and so the role of the SCO supervisor is fundamentally about keeping the customer honest and accurate – to gently guide them away, through good customer service and vigilance, from the opportunities that they may be presented with to makes errors and/or abuse the system.