February 1st, 2020
By Jeff Adair, Editor

Self-service technology has enabled a wealth of new customer experiences that are allowing retailers to better meet today’s customer’s expectations.

A panel of experts during the Hi-Tech Retailing Summit during the recent CES show in Las Vegas gave insight into these diverse experiences and discussed why self-service is important for retailers looking to meet today’s customer expectations.

One reason self-service is important to retailers is that customers are comparing all retail experiences to those provided by self-service pioneers such as Starbucks, said Brendan Wichter, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, who moderated the panel, titled “New Paradigms for Retailers.”

Luckin Coffee Inc ., which operates 4,507 stores in China, is installing self-operated EXPRESS coffee machines made by Switzerland based Schaerer , serving IIAC Gold Award coffee.

The coffee machines leverage IoT, big data, facial recognition and other advanced technologies and will be placed in office buildings, gasoline stations, bus terminals, highway service stations, campuses, airports and residential communities.

The self-service machines remove payroll costs, reduces rental expenses and provide a more economical cost structure than traditional small-format stores.

LUXX Light Technology , a manufacturer of LED lighting solutions, announced its new, small form factor, flexible linear LED strip which it calls “the world’s thinnest linear LED neon rope.” The first applications will include decorative lighting for coffee and vending machines in Italy.

Due to its bendability, the Long Island Linear LED Neon Rope can be easily used and mounted around display fixtures, frames, edges, sleekly inserted inside of walls, and more. The strip is dot/spot-free, like a fluorescent tube. 

Long Island Linear Strip comes at only 3mm wide by 9mm high, and is designed to provide flexible illumination towards decorative environments, highlighting products and appliances and creating unique ceiling lighting arrangements, like cove lighting.

The "Smart Micro Market" from China-based SNBC is part of the company's retail product family, an automated terminal that offers remote management via a cloud platform that enables maintenance status monitoring, real time notification of operating data and operation maintenance data.

The software supports pre-kitting, inventory management, schedule management, intelligent merchandising and breakdown alerts.

Payment options include cash (banknote and coins), credit cards (magnetic stripe, chip and contactless), NFC payment (Apple Pay and Android Pay) and QR code payment.

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