Insights

Automation in Retail Isn’t a Four-Letter Word

By Alex Goodwin

May 3, 2017

While automation may sound scary to some, most businesses have realized that innovative technologies can streamline many critical-but-mundane functions, helping them run more efficiently. These new tools also have great potential to improve the customer experience. In fact, in many cases automation and self-service tools are transforming entire industries. Take, for example, ID verification.

While automation may sound scary to some, most businesses have realized that innovative technologies can streamline many critical-but-mundane functions, helping them run more efficiently. These new tools also have great potential to improve the customer experience. In fact, in many cases automation and self-service tools are transforming entire industries. Take, for example, ID verification.

The need to accurately and quickly verify identity crops up in nearly every industry. It may conjure an image of a burly bouncer outside of a nightclub, who, with one hand on a velvet rope, gruffly demands, “ID?” If you’re checking into a hotel, you’re likely to be greeted with a more cordial, “Hi, checking in? Can I see your license, please?” Want to rent or test drive a car? Buy a bottle of wine? Pick up tickets for a concert? Visit an access-controlled high-rise building? In some instances, you even need to present an ID if you want to pay for groceries with a credit card.

Using self-service kiosks to improve customer experience—and more

There are myriad ways in which innovation enabling self-service has the potential to streamline the ID verification process. Consider the banking industry: how often do people need to visit tellers now that we have the ubiquitous self-service kiosk known as the ATM? While customers benefit from the convenience of self-service withdrawals, deposits, and balance inquiries, banking institutions appreciate how ATMs free up staff to focus on more complex customer interactions.

The benefits of are clear, even when the new tools simply augment the duties performed by personnel rather than automating processes entirely.

In airports, self-service kiosks and ID scanners both enhance the customer experience and contribute to a more secure environment. While some travelers must still wait in long check-in lines to speak to ticketing agents, for many that inconvenience is bypassed with a quick trip to a self-service kiosk, where scanning a credit card or ID will result in a boarding pass being printed in seconds. And at security checkpoints, FAA security personnel utilize scanning kiosks to verify IDs, a tool they use in tandem with their own visual inspection to ensure that IDs are both valid and being used by the right people.

A New World of Kiosk Possibilities and Functions

The broad applicability of this sort of innovation has sparked a boom in kiosk types and capabilities. This is great for retailers and others across virtually all verticals that have customer or public-facing interactions. Many of the big names in technology and industrial manufacturing have gotten involved, presenting an array of powerful, specialized kiosk solutions. However, as the technology has matured, new solutions have come to market that are powerful, sleek, and surprisingly cost-effective.

Aila’s Interactive Kiosk with TrueScan™ Technology is one such option that has been chosen by grocers, department stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, bars and restaurants, and many others who prefer its smaller form factor and the impressive feature set of an iOS-based kiosk. It features a powerful integrated scanning engine that is perfect for reading IDs, 1d/2d barcodes, QR codes, and other symbologies.

For companies looking to enhance the experience they deliver to their customers, the Interactive Kiosk presents a versatile solution capable of everything from scanning loyalty cards and ID verification to augmented reality, price checking, payment processing, and a wide array of other functions.

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