“Do you want cashback?” It’s a ritual question asked millions of times a week at supermarket checkouts. Now though, new technology means customers may soon be offered a flashback with their cashback.
“It sounds like a gimmick, but actually it makes absolute sense in marketing and customer service terms,” says Mark Stockman from Point of Sale Technologies, a company specialising in checkout experience development opportunity processing. “More and more of us are benefitting from self-service retail technology, so we’re engaging autonomously with on-screen choices around our shopping styles. “
What’s planned is an auto-suggestive experience in which an onscreen artist like Derren Brown engages with the customer and offers a choice of flashback. “Retailers want to remind customers of a time way back when a tin of old-fashioned luxury chocolate biscuits was an affordable option for Christmas.” Says Stockman. “A time when Mr Kipling genuinely touched the lives of many, and when hand cut cheese and whirring bacon slicers were part of the normal wisdom of trusted shopkeepers.”
However industry insiders have reported early teething problems. Maria Wagstaff of online trade magazine Check this Out says “The market-objective is to prompt impulse buying of heritage seasonal premium products, followed by a rush of physical satisfaction. But in early trials, volunteer customers have experienced “unidentified memory in the bagging area” which has led in some cases to hygiene emergencies and in one case, prosecution for indecency involving a packet of ladies’ fingers. “