The first self-service machine we had to become familiar with was the ATM. Later, at some petrol stations we were able to fill the tank by ourselves. Now we are able to avoid some of the queuing and swipe our own groceries through the supermarket checkout.
At Tesco Lotus Talad Store at Chamchuri Square, the country's first self-service checkout machines let you process the payment of your groceries by yourself. Just scan the products' barcodes, put them in bags and make the payment by either card or cash. The machine gives change automatically for cash payments. Clubcard members will continue to receive their points by scanning their cards. The scanning is reversible until the "confirm" button is pressed, meaning any item accidentally scanned twice, or you decide to leave behind, can be taken off the bill.
Tesco Lotus Talad director Piyapong Thanyasrisung said self-service checkouts will be a new trend in Thai retail stores in an attempt to respond to customers' needs, especially urban professionals who look for convenience and speed and who are open to new technology.
So far, two self-service checkout machines have been implemented early this month. However, Piyapong said about 25% of customers are likely to use the self-service machines, especially when only buying a few items. The three-week trial run found that transactions took an average of 64 seconds.
"This service is an alternative to improve convenience for customers," Piyapong said.
The format of Tesco Lotus Talad, which has 10,000 items in the 1,000m2 space, made it appropriate for self-service. Chamchuri Square was the first place Tesco tried the self-checkout system because its customers, primarily office workers and Chulalongkorn University students, are the kind of groups who opt for new kinds of service that comes with technology.
Tesco is watching the reaction from customers, but expects to roll out the service in major cities such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Samui. By the end of the year, there are expected to be 10 Tesco Lotus locations with self-service checkout facilities.
Piyapong said the system had been developed by NCR and had proven its effectiveness in many countries such as the UK, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and South Korea. The system that has been implemented in Thailand is the same one used in the UK and Czech Republic. The service is popular in many countries around the world, and especially the UK where more than 10 million people pay at the easy-to-use machines every week to save queuing times and to check prices for themselves.
About the author
- Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Position: Life Writer