With labor shortages internally and increased consumer demand for convenience and speed externally, retailers are facing pressure to bump up efficiency in the in-store deli.

Technology company Diebold Nixdorf, based in Hudson, Ohio, offers retailers a variety of self-service kiosks to suit their needs. For prepared foods, a major game changer is the self-ordering kiosks.

Self-ordering technology allows consumers to avoid waiting in lines and pick up their orders when it is convenient for them. This can allow them more time to shop while their order is being prepared, potentially leading to increased sales.

On the labor side, employees who would normally be tied to a register taking orders are free to focus their efforts on preparing orders and thoroughly following the store’s food safety and quality procedures.

Diebold Nixdorf’s self-ordering kiosks are available in multiple styles from touch screens mounted on a wall to traditional touch screens on a stand. Retailers can also choose from several different screen sizes.

According to Diebold Nixdorf, self-ordering kiosks offer the following benefits and features:

  • Maximizes sales space with a compact physical footprint.
  • Meets the needs of on-the-go customers with fast, convenient card and NFC payment options.
  • Built for 24/7 operation to offer flexible configuration options for a wide range of market segments.
  • Use of latest BEETLE ePOS technology, which offers excellent scalability and can easily adapt to the constantly changing retail business environment.

Q&A: how self-service technology elevates in-store delis

Nino Hörttrich, head of global marketing retail at Diebold Nixdorf, explains the benefits that self-service kiosks provide to retail deli departments.

What do consumers care about the most when it comes to convenience in grab-and-go/foodservice?

From a customer journey and technology standpoint, it is very important for people to have all available choices in sight — and also the ability to place an order, pay and grab up their purchase without long queuing.

How does the technology you offer fulfill some of those priorities?

We enable retailers to streamline their processes and increase customer service, supported by our self-checkout and self-ordering technology.

Our in-store self-ordering kiosks provide a frictionless experience for the consumers by providing full view of the menu items, an integrated payment process and security that the order is transferred correctly to the fulfillment unit — whether this is the kitchen or a bakery for customized cake order, etc.

What consumer demographics benefit the most from this technology, or who is using it the most?

We observe that all demographics benefit from self-service technology, whether in a playful way, or in regards of having time to make a selection out of the menu without being pushed by a forming queue behind the individual ordering.

Certainly, self-service usually is very frequently utilized by customers who desire to get quickly in and out of the store, getting what they want right away.

How does this technology help your retail customers stand out from other supermarkets?

Our customers utilize in-store ordering technology in various ways. We see a high demand for food courts and cafés that are integrated into grocery stores in order to streamline their processes.

A great example is M&S. With the implementation of self-service, M&S was able to take a lot of weight off the shoulders of their employees and provide a great experience for their customers.

Are there other US stores that are also moving in this direction?

Especially in the US, we see high demand in the grocery space but also in the fuel and convenience segment with attached foodservice outlets looking into self-service technologies to improve the ordering and fulfillment process in the stores.

How does this kind of technology help your customers save on labor costs and increase efficiency?

Especially in times of labor shortage in a lot of retail environments, we see the great opportunity for retailers to repurpose their existing labor force to more value-creating tasks and not have them stuck behind the counter to take orders and process payment.

Again, M&S is a great example where employees are enabled to focus 100% on the fulfillment of the order and not get held up by jumping back and forth to the POS counter.

How long does it take employees and consumers to adapt to using the new technology and become comfortable with it? What can stores do to make the transition easier for everyone?

Our goal is always to build the technology in a way that is almost self-explanatory for both employees and customers. The easy reason for that is that when people have a good experience and see value in using the technology, they will do it again. If it is too complicated or not a good experience, people will not utilize the options again.

For retailers, it is very important to educate the store staff on the value self-service provides also for their daily business, to make sure people will feel comfortable with endorsing processes to customers. The adoption and satisfaction rates we see with current installations are very good, so we experience that people are getting very comfortable with those technologies and adapt in no time without extensive training effort.

In what ways does this technology connect e-commerce to in-store shopping?

The connection of online orders and in-store fulfillment are very important for the success of a solution. At the moment, we see a lot of retailers finding the best way of using different technologies to make the customer journey as seamless and pleasant for the consumers as possible.

A good example is the food ordering process in-store. For retailers, same as for consumers, it is beneficial if all orders — whether they come from the counter, a self-ordering device in the store, or an online or mobile order — can be handled via the same platform in the backend, which creates easier processes and a flawless consumer journey.

In what ways does this technology increase sales or customer loyalty?

Using self-ordering technology in foodservice environments can increase individual basket sizes up to 30%. Also, the seamless integration of loyalty programs provides a boost since a terminal never forgets to upsell and never forgets to ask for the loyalty card either.

This article is an excerpt from the November 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Deli-fficient feature and more in the digital edition here.

Case study: M&S enhances customer experience with Diebold Nixdorf self-checkout solutions