How Does Technology Help Retail During Pandemic
The coronavirus continues to change the habits and needs of shoppers around the world. The WHO does not make strong recommendations on limiting cash, but contactless payments gain popularity. Supermarkets increase the number of self-checkouts to reduce direct contact between cashiers and customers.
Penkių kontinentų bankinės technologijos (BS/2), a company belonging to the Penki Kontinentai Group and specializing in banking and retail solutions, notes the demand for self-service systems in the South Caucasus region.
In the first two quarters of 2020, sales of BS/2 retail equipment have tripled compared to the same period last year, mainly due to the Azerbaijani market.
“The retail industry is transforming due to the pandemic. Malls compete for customer attention, but in a different form. Retail technologies will be a vital tool in helping stores find a balance between safe distancing and profitability. Our company analyzed the Azerbaijani market, made a proposal to partners and made adjustments following customers’ needs. Efforts have borne fruit. In June, we almost met our annual sales target,” says Emil Musayev, Head of Retail Equipment Sales at BS/2.
According to him, e-commerce in Azerbaijan is not sufficiently developed in comparison with other countries. Therefore, all the attention is focused on the development of a self-service channel. On the other hand, the increased interest is due to the desire to minimize contact between the seller and the buyer. Self-service checkout allows customers to scan goods without a cashier, use a loyalty card, pay with a bank card, and get a check. That means shoppers can make purchases in-store on their own.
Another trend characteristic of Transcaucasia is the dominance of cash. Considering the market specifics, BS/2 integrated into self-service checkouts the function of payment for goods by both payment cards and cash. In cooperation with the manufacturer of banking and trade equipment Diebold Nixdorf, the company’s specialists have adapted the currency file to work with banknotes and coins of this country.
Subsidiary BS/2 presents its Baku office Diebold Nixdorf demonstration self-checkout system, which accepts the local currency (manats and qepiks). Such systems can appear in the malls this year.
In Azerbaijan, BS/2 cooperates with the largest retail chains Bravo, Bazarstore, ARAZ, RAHAT, and supplies not only cash systems but also various equipment for weighing, cutting, marking, and operating. BS/2 solutions automate the work of retail chains, speed up staff’s work, reduce queues, and contribute to customer loyalty. BS/2 subsidiary in Azerbaijan also provides equipment maintenance and repair services.