With almost 500 stores across the UK; every week, 11 million customers pass through this large UK supermarket chain’s doors and its checkouts. In 2018 the supermarket launched a mobile app for its loyalty scheme, that allows customers to load their cash rewards straight onto their card, view their points balance and transaction history, as well as receive personalised offers. With new functionality and features being added to the loyalty app on a regular basis, the supermarket needed to ensure that barcodes and coupons presented within the app could be reliably scanned from mobile phone screens at the point of sale. This was a catalyst that led to the supermarket reviewing all aspects of scanning at the point of sale.
The IT Manager explains, “Previous iterations of the loyalty scheme were facilitated through the use of a plastic card. The customer ID could be captured from the card either by swiping the magnetic stripe or by scanning a linear 1D barcode on the card using scanner scales installed at each checkout. If the customer had coupons these would usually be paper based and would be scanned separately. The new mobile app allows customers to have their loyalty card and associated coupons stored in one convenient app on their phone, the final piece of the puzzle was to ensure those barcodes could be consistently read at the checkout.”
The vast majority of laser-based 1D barcode scanners are not able to decode from a mobile phone screen. The main cause of this inconsistency is glare that come from the screen itself which interferes with the laser, especially in artificial lighting conditions found in many supermarkets and other high street stores. Another drawback of using the supermarket’s existing POS technology was that customers would need hand over their phone to a checkout assistant in order to try and scan it via the embedded scanner, a process that is believed to cause genuine anxiety for consumers.
Ideally suited for applications at the point of sale, the QuickScan QD2400 handheld imager which is attached to the existing POS infrastructure and can be used as required. Not only does the scanner enable accurate capture of codes from a mobile phone screen, it also removes the need for customers to hand over their phone to the checkout assistant. Another added benefit of the handheld scanner is that it can be used to scan bulky items directly from the trolley.
The QuickScan imagers are connected directly to the point of sale at the kiosk, pharmacy, petrol station and customer service desks within each store. At the main bank checkouts, each handheld scanner is connected via the Magellan 9800i scanner-scale embedded into each checkout position and utilizes the existing POS interface, eliminating the need for additional software development.
The 4th generation Magellan scanner-scale was the first in the industry to use imaging technology exclusively for six-sided omnidirectional bar code reading. This large, intuitive scan area makes it easier for users to quickly read items regardless of where the bar code is located on each item. Further customer benefits are delivered from some innovative technology built into the weigh scales ensuring customers are charged exactly the correct amount for variable weight produce. Infrared beams (ScaleSentry) monitor the scale platter side edges to ensure that there is no overhang and provide alerts to colleagues to move the produce to the correct weighing area. Meanwhile, the All Weighs platter allows the vertical scan window to move as part of the scale platter. Produce can lean against the vertical window and the scale will still weigh accurately.
Both scanners are equipped with Datalogic’s patented “Green Spot” technology. When a bar code is read, a green spot is projected on the code informing the user of a good read, an advantageous feature for busy supermarkets operating multiple checkout lanes in close proximity to one another.
“We have six key priorities that shape our strategy, these include; to serve our customers better, develop popular and useful services and to simplify and speed up the shopping experience. The implementation of both Datalogic scanning solutions has made an immediate difference at the point of sale, helping us to deliver these values, drive improved efficiency and most importantly, improve the checkout experience for our customers,” added the IT Manager.
Jamie Dickinson, Country Manager, UK&I at Datalogic concludes, “Datalogic’s range of scanners are carefully developed to provide barcode scanning solutions that help customers tackle the challenges of modern retailing and improve experiences for their customers. We are extremely honoured to have been chosen by the client for this project and are delighted to hear about the positive results they are already witnessing in store.”