SINGAPORE, 6 February 2014 – NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today showcased a new retailing self-scanning technology called “SCAN2GO” at the FairPrice Finest outlet in Bukit Timah Plaza. The initiative brings greater convenience to shoppers, enhances the overall shopping experience and encourages customers to bring their own bags. SCAN2GO is part of FairPrice’s ongoing efforts to increase productivity and enhance service standards; it is the first retailer in Singapore to implement such a system, which has been widely used in major retailers in Europe for over 10 years.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore), NTUC FairPrice said, “FairPrice is committed to the pursuit of service excellence and constantly innovates to empower customers by introducing initiatives that offer greater convenience when shopping at our stores. For example, we have implemented Electronic Shelf Labeling systems, Self-Checkout systems, self-weighing machines in selected stores as well as contactless payment, to provide a more seamless shopping experience. With SCAN2GO, not only will it continue to further benefit customers, it will also enhance operational efficiency and generate higher productivity at our stores.”
The technology is simple to use. Registered SCAN2GO customers are each issued their own personal scanner, which can be attached to a trolley, enabling users to scan products they wish to purchase as they shop in the store. The scanner allows for easy addition and deletion of items and also reflects real-time details such as a product’s recommended retail price, promotional price, total number of items scanned, total spend and accumulated savings to help shoppers keep track of their shopping. Customers are also able to bag their items in their own reusable shopping bags as they shop, thus saving them time by eliminating the need to bag their items only during checkout. When they complete their shopping, shoppers need only to hand over the scanner to the cashier at a dedicated SCAN2GO checkout counter, who will be able to instantly process their entire shopping list and facilitate payment for their purchases seamlessly. There are 100 SCAN2GO scanners and two dedicated checkout counters for SCAN2GO payments at the FairPrice Finest store in Bukit Timah Plaza.
The pilot program, implemented in December 2013, has since been untilised by over 1,100 registered users where over half of these customers have used the system more than once. Shoppers who wish to register to use this system may do so at the customer service counter at the FairPrice Finest store in Bukit Timah Plaza, where they will receive their own personalized SCAN2GO card which will be used to activate the SCAN2GO scanners.
Productivity Brings Benefits for All
With the labour crunch as a constant challenge in the retail industry, FairPrice has looked to various ways to improved productivity to better cope with such challenges. In 2011, it introduced Self-Checkout systems (SCO) and Electronic Shelf-Labelling systems (ESL) – these systems are now present in 14 stores and more than 100 stores respectively. On average, stores with SCO have increased cashiering productivity by 20 per cent while stores with ESL have improved shelf price labeling efficiency by six times.
SCAN2GO enhances the existing initiatives to boost productivity as it enables queuing and check-out times to be shorter as items are scanned during the shopping process. This provides a swifter and more convenient checkout experience for customers, while at the same time, enables FairPrice cashiers to serve more customers in less time. FairPrice aims to achieve an increase of up to 50 percent in productivity for its cashiers and hopes to convert up to 20 percent of all transactions at the store to this new system by encouraging shoppers to use SCAN2GO.
Improved productivity also enables better deployment of resources and enhances service levels as manpower is optimised and staff can focus on serving customers and educating customers about SCAN2GO. This will help to further shift the focus from an operational-centric approach to one that is more service-oriented. FairPrice will evaluate based on feedback from customers and adoption rates to decide if the pilot system will be expanded to more stores.
This project is funded by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) under the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) which aims to enhance operational efficiency and boost productivity.
Reducing plastic bags
SCAN2GO is also aligned with FairPrice’s commitment to be environmentally friendly by reducing plastic bag usage. Users of the system will be required to bring their own bags (BYOB) to shop and are encouraged not to use plastic bags for their shopping. SCAN2GO customers will also enjoy rebates from the FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme.
“Beyond our ongoing green efforts like our Green Rewards Scheme and dedicated BYOB counters to encourage shoppers to use less plastic bags, SCAN2GO is another avenue for us to help inculcate in our customers the habit of bringing their own bags when they come and shop with us,” added Mr Seah.
Last year, FairPrice saved over 8 million plastic bags through the FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme, which rewards customers who BYOB with a 10 cent rebate when they spend at least $10. To further encourage shoppers to reduce plastic bag usage, dedicated BYOB checkout counters, which can only be used by customers who BYOB, were created in 4 FairPrice stores spread island-wide.