Please wait while the search results are loading...

Retail Technologies Advance for Store Checkout and Restaurant Orders/Apps and Location-Based Ads Drive Sales, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Retailers, especially grocery retailers, are investing heavily in new technology that will simplify transactions and increase customer service.  Many shoppers have become used to the abundance of product information and the ease of finding it online.  Brick and mortar retailers are having to find ways to offer similar information and convenience in stores.  A host of advances, such as touch-screen information monitors, hand-held scanners, RFID tagging and fingerprint identification, are now in place at many stores worldwide.
Checkout Technologies:  Hand-held or shopping-cart mounted scanners can provide a “checkout-as-you-go” service.  Shoppers pick up a scanning device and small computer monitor from a rack near the entrance (or grab a shopping cart with the device attached) and scan their store customer loyalty cards with a detachable barcode reader.  Information about past purchases appears on the monitor as well as special offers dictated by personal preferences.  As the shopper walks the aisles and scans items for purchase, the system keeps a running tally and suggests complementary items.  Scan a jar of peanut butter, and the computer suggests buying jelly or offers an instant coupon on the brand of jelly purchased by that customer in the past.  The system also beams signals to the store's central computer network regarding shoppers’ locations in the store.  The monitor displays information and special offers about nearby items based on which aisle the customer happens to be in at a given time.  An additional feature is the ability for shoppers to create online shopping lists at store web sites and have those lists beamed into the device and displayed on the monitor, complete with a map of the store indicating where each item can be found.
Paperless receipts are catching on as growing numbers of retailers offer digital transaction receipts that can be e-mailed to customers or posted to password-protected web sites.  Participating retailers include Whole Foods Market, Gap, Inc., Sears and Kmart.  Apple was a pioneer of the practice at its wildly popular stores.  It also was among the first to offer checkout service from roving staff members with touch pad devices such as the iPod Touch, eliminating the need to wait in check-out lines.
Panasonic offers a checkout technology in Japan in which shopping baskets are equipped with sensors that detect merchandise and calculate bill totals.  Shoppers place filled baskets in a specially designed slot which slides the bottom of the basket aside and drops the merchandise into a plastic bag.  Payment is made with cash or credit cards using self-service registers.
By early 2023, Amazon had more than 20 Amazon Go stores offering drinks, snacks and prepared meals with no check-out lines.  Shoppers use apps on their phones that communicate with in-store sensors to automatically pay for the items.  Stores are equipped with cameras and machine-learning software that track customers as they pluck items off shelves.  Several technology startups are attempting to compete, including Vcognition Technologies’ Zippin ( ) and Standard Cognition (  Traditional retailers are beginning to test the no check-out concept, including Sam’s Club, Inc., Giant Eagle, Inc. and Tesco PLC.
Smart Carts with Tablets:  A new concept includes shopping carts with tablet computers attached that enable shoppers to view recipes featuring items placed in the cart or in close proximity, see suggested routes through grocery stores to find necessary items and check off shopping lists as they go.  In addition, relevant coupons are beamed to customers’ smartphones.  Technology firm inMarket has developed beacons to transmit data to the tablets and customer smartphones.  The technology has been tested in China and is under development in the U.S.
Caper, Inc. ( offers a smart shopping cart with a scanner mounted on the handlebar.  Shoppers scan items as they proceed through a store and pay through the same scanning unit using credit or debit cards or mobile payment.  The scanning unit also displays store maps, has an item locator and offers promotions and coupons.  The carts were in use in a handful of U.S. stores by 2021, including Kroger and Wakefern.  In October 2021, Caper AI was acquired by Instacart.
Video Restaurant Menus and Ordering Kiosks:  A number of restaurant chains, including Sonic Drive-Ins, are installing video menus that have point-of-purchase (POP) dynamic content.  Customers place their orders using a touch screen, which are displayed complete with the total check amounts.  Suggested additional items appear, some including special discount offers or promotions.  The system is provided by MICROS Systems, a subsidiary of Oracle.  The technology raises average check amounts, and also increases inventory efficiency, since it is connected with the restaurants’ overall networks.  If the POP is pushing a particular flavor of milkshake, for example, and customers respond, the system alerts owners to buy more ingredients.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and CKE Restaurants, Inc. (which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.) rolled out self-order kiosks.  Using Dell All-in-One devices, customers place their own orders and pay using credit cards or smartphone payment apps.  Kiosks relay orders directly to kitchens, increasing speed and accuracy, and staff can easily update menus with seasonal offerings or promotions.  The system also enables management to run sales and administrative reports, while employees can use the kiosks to clock in and out.  
TGI Fridays locations are equipping staff with rugged Windows tablets, loaded with MICROS software, to use in collecting orders from customers and transmitting the orders to the kitchen.  Leading restaurant chain Chili’s has installed tabletop self-order devices made by Ziosk that can also receive orders, transmit them to the kitchen and handle credit card checkouts.  In addition, the devices offer games and news feeds for a small additional fee.  Chili’s reported reliable increases in average checks, and the machines automatically suggest a 20% top for servers who deliver food and beverages.  With U.S. restaurants under considerable pressure to raise employees’ wages, many firms are keen to utilize advanced technologies that enable customers to enter and pay for their own orders, thus cutting down on the total number of staff members required to serve customers.
Mobile Apps for Malls: Shopping mall owners including Simon Property Group, Westfield Group and Glimcher Realty Trust are experimenting with smartphone apps that do everything from helping shoppers remember where they parked, to providing mall maps, to alerting them to sales and promotions in nearby stores, tailored to personal preferences based on social media activity.  Mall owners may also track time spent in stores by consumers and learn which displays attract the most attention.  Apps include Shopkick (which was acquired by SK Planet for $200 million), a rewards-based app that offers user points for visiting participating stores.  The points can be converted into gift certificates or Facebook Credits.
Apple offers its iBeacon software on the iOS mobile operating system that uses small signaling devices and works with apps such as Shopkick to alert customers to coupons or ads relating to nearby merchandise.  For example, Hillshire Brands tested the software in 10 U.S. cities, finding that grocery shoppers were 20 times more likely to buy its brand of sausage when they received coupons and ads through the Epicurious recipe app.  Major League Baseball placed beacons in dozens of ballparks that transmit merchandise coupons and promote seat upgrades in addition to airing short location-specific videos about stadium history.  Apple hopes the software will catch on as usability becomes easier and cheaper.

A Representative List of Organizations that Have Used our Research and Products:


I’m amazed at how much information is available and the various ways to access it. This will be a major resource for our serious job seekers.

Career Services, Penn State University

Plunkett Research Online provides a great ‘one stop shop’ for us to quickly come up to speed on major industries. It provides us with an overall analysis of the market, key statistics, and overviews of the major players in the industry in an online service that is fast, easy to navigate, and reliable.

Wendy Stotts, Manager, Carlson Companies

I really appreciate the depth you were able to get to so quickly (for our project). The team has looked through the material and are very happy with the data you pulled together.

Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Manager

We are especially trying to push Plunkett since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Library Services, St. John’s College

We are especially trying to push Plunkett’s since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Gary White, Business Materials Selector, Penn State University

Your tool is very comprehensive and immensely useful. The vertical marketing tool is very helpful, for it assists us in that venue, as well as targeting customers’ competition for new sales…The comprehensive material is absolutely fabulous. I am very impressed, I have to say!

Tammy Dalton, National Account Manager, MCI

The more I get into the database, the happier I am that we’ll have it–REALLY happy!!! Between the quality and affordability of your product, its appeal to and value for our users, and the inestimably ethical and loyalty-guaranteeing conduct of your business, I will always have more than sufficient praises to sing for Plunkett Research.

Michael Oppenheim, Collections & Reference Services, UCLA

Plunkett Research Online is an excellent resource…the database contains a wealth of useful data on sectors and companies, which is easy to search and well presented. Help and advice on how to conduct, export and save searches is available at all stages.

Penny Crossland, Editor, VIP Magazine
Real Time Web Analytics