During these difficult times when minimum contact is advised by the WHO (World Health Organization), people all over the world are trying to find ways to shop for their necessities without risking the infection. Consumers are following the advice, and thus, the demand for urgent change in the retail business model skyrocketed.

Retail businesses are completely revamping their stores and their entire business model, by making their environment safe zones. This completely changed the shopping experience, but it is mandatory and precautionary.

So, how do supermarkets achieve minimum contact within their premises exactly? Well, different retailers went for a different approach:

  • Minimizing the communication between the cashier and the customer
  • Completely eliminating the need for a cashier and encouraging consumers to use self-checkouts
  • Additionally, minimizing the communication between customers and self-checkout attendants as much as possible
  • Supporting physical distancing with proper signs put in the store and according to the law of the local government

While some retailers have taken the more expensive path of investing into the grab-and-go and delivery technologies, some are going for a less radical approach.

Others, however, have decided to give it a go with what they already own, only adjust it to the current epidemic. The good thing is that these changes are minor and somewhat easy to apply, therefore, the business model is not suffering too much.

As an example, here is how NCR is helping retailers who use their products deal with the new set of epidemic rules:

  1. Touching the self-checkout screen as little as possible.

A self-checkout will now start working the moment a customer scans the first item, this eliminates the need to touch the screen. The same model is used when it comes to paying – the customer can simply insert the money into the bill slot without having to touch the “pay” button.

Similarly to this, the self-checkout will process an electronic payment the same moment a customer enters their credit or debit card. This goes without having to touch the “credit card payment” on the screen.

  1. Advising consumers to use e-wallet whenever possible. Using e-wallet technologies eliminates the need to touch the screen. Sometimes, retailers develop their own e-wallet services which help speed up the process. However, more often, retailers will use the already established and safe services such as ApplePay or GooglePay.
  2. Recommending self-checkout attendants to touch the screen as little as possible. For this cause, NCR developed an attendant program which minimises the need for an attendant interference in the self-checkout lane.

How TaxCore helps?

Unfortunately, countries that have partnered with DTI for implementation of TaxCore also took a hit from the Covid-19 epidemic. As a result, shop owners are finding themselves in need of a touchless shopping solution. Luckily, TaxCore as a platform supports it.

Next to retailers in Samoa and Fiji advising that customers use cards whenever they can to eliminate the need for cash, according to legislation around e-invoicing the need for paper receipts is eliminated. Considering that cash and paper fiscal receipts have been proven to be one of the largest ways of the virus transition, it is important to find an alternative.

With TaxCore, receipts come with the capacity of being fully digital and instantly verifiable. If a retailer invests in the so-called “customer-facing screens,” they will still abide by the law while protecting the health of the local population. This screen can show the QR code which hides the Government URL to the digital version of the receipt in it. Once the customer scans this QR code, the receipt will be shown on their phone.

As for B2B transactions, the invoice can be forwarded via e-mail, also eliminating the need for physical, paper invoices.

By using digital versions of fiscal receipts, combined with motivating your customers to pay using cards or e-wallets, you are greatly eliminating the chance for infection when it comes to both your employees and consumers.

It is vital to mention that many retailers worldwide have secured their self-checkouts and cash registers with an anti-bacterial coating. This coating eliminates most bacteria and must be changed only once every 6 months. It is an advisable option to further minimize the effect of the pandemic. Stay safe!

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