The HybridCheckout commercialization process has been underway for more than two years. We’ve completed concept development and design, prototype testing, performance evaluation by retail experts and process refinements. Proof of concept testing is an important intermediate step in the process of making the counter a bona fide product.
We engaged in PoC testing In Oslo, Norway this last June. The test setup, resources and process were designed to closely mimic a standard retail grocery environment.
Test ResultsThe PoC test results confirm the design advantages and benefits to retailers and customers described in an earlier series of HybridCheckout white papers. Test results include test and survey data.
Throughput data: Throughout the PoC tests, HybridCheckout throughput was measured at 1,700 to 1,900 items registered per hour. These results reflected a test volunteer working in the role of a customer working side by side with an experienced retail cashier.
A test subject working with an experienced cashier registered 62 to 82-percent more items per hour than a cashier would working alone.
Other test findings
In addition to two test passes to measure throughput, test organizers used additional passes to observe cashier and customer behavior. Results from these passes showed that:
- First-time customers had no difficulty using the counter. Simple hand gestures from the cashier and watching others ahead of them in line gave first-timers enough guidance to get through the checkout process with little or no delay.
- Testers quickly learned how to deal with hard-to-scan items. After the first pass, customers learned some scanning tricks and were able to improve their performance and scan more items without the initial delays from the occasional hard-to-read barcodes.
- Situations requiring cashier assistance posed no lengthy delays. Adding fruit or other items that required cashier assistance to customer baskets posed only minor delays. In these situations, customers intuitively understood and requested help from the cashiers. By the end of the second test pass, all testers went through the process with no difficulty.
- Testers and cashiers quickly learned how to co-operate. Throughput test results show that the cashier could pay attention to the test customers’ needs and scan items at a close-to-standard rate. Only about 2 percent of the items scanned by the testers required cashier attention. And, it appeared to be easy for the cashier to shift attention to the tester when it was needed.
Post-test QuestionnaireAfter the testing passes, participants responded to a questionnaire written in Norwegian (the test participants’ native language). Survey results included:
- Testers “got it.” Behavior during testing indicated that customers generally understood the checkout process and what they were supposed to do.
- The checkout process is very customer-friendly. Testers indicated a solid preference to use HybridCheckout over cashier-only and self-service checkout options.
- Counters were easy to use. Survey responses strongly show that the customers found HybridCheckout very easy to use and given the choice, participants would like to use it again.
- Mixed opinion on weighing tasks. About half of the customers surveyed thought it acceptable to do this task themselves. The other half wanted the cashier to process these items.
- Customer choice and cashier presence are important. About 70 per cent of the customers surveyed indicate that it’s important for them to be able to choose to scan items. And, all customers strongly agreed that the cashier presence is very important for any assistance during checkout.
- HybridCheckout is #1 option. When asked to give their preferred checkout method (cashier-only, HybridCheckout and self-service) in priority order, customers chose the HybridCheckout option for both small and large purchases.