Come visit us at NRF2023 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center | New York City

Read More

Empowering Unattended Retail with Smart Technology

By Shekel

May 10, 2024

7 min read

In today’s dynamic retail environment, the integration of smart technology is sparking a transformative shift, turning traditional shopping experiences into smooth, autonomous interactions. This move toward unattended retail systems places technology at the core of consumer transactions, going beyond mere convenience to fundamentally alter how purchases are made. 

As consumer expectations increasingly lean towards convenience, speed, and efficiency, unattended retail has risen as a powerful force, delivering seamless shopping experiences and enhancing operational efficiency across diverse sectors. With this context, let’s explore the innovative technologies driving the growth of unattended retail and enhancing customer empowerment.

Self Checkout Stations

potential checkout problems and solutions tech Issues

As one of the pillars of modern unattended retail, self-checkout stations have become a staple in the evolution of the shopping experience. These stations, designed to let customers take full control over their purchasing process, have transitioned from novel to necessary in many retail environments. At these kiosks, customers can scan, bag, and pay for their items without waiting for cashier assistance, which not only speeds up the transaction process but also enhances customer satisfaction by reducing wait times.

The functionality of self-checkout stations extends beyond just convenience. For retailers, they represent a significant opportunity to streamline operations and reduce the need for extensive staff to manage checkout lines. This setup allows employees to focus on more valuable tasks, like customer service and store maintenance, which can improve the overall shopping environment. Furthermore, the technology integrated into these systems, including barcode scanners and touchscreen interfaces, continuously improves, making the process more intuitive and faster with each iteration.

Smart Shopping Carts

Smart shopping carts are revolutionizing the shopping experience by combining convenience with state-of-the-art functionality. These advanced carts are designed not only to assist shoppers in transporting their purchases but also to streamline the shopping process with built-in weighing scales.

These carts feature high-precision scales that allow shoppers to weigh and scan items directly as they add them to the retail store cart. This capability is especially useful in grocery stores for items like produce, which typically require weighing. By integrating this function into the cart, the process is simplified, allowing shoppers to manage their purchases without the need to queue at traditional weighing stations, thus speeding up the overall shopping experience.

From a retailer’s perspective, these smart carts are a valuable tool for gathering data on shopping behaviors and preferences. This information can be leveraged to refine store layouts, enhance inventory management, and craft more effective marketing strategies. The ability for shoppers to handle weighing and scanning on their own also helps disperse the checkout load, facilitating a smoother exit process and reducing the common congestion at checkout lanes.

Smart Vending Machines

smart vending machine in office

Vending machines are perhaps the original form of unattended retail. They have long been able to provide customers with a quick and easy way to buy an item, anytime, anywhere. However, the modern smart vending machines available today do a lot more than sell soda and chips. They offer a much larger selection of products and aren’t focused exclusively on snacks.

These intelligent machines boast an array of features designed to enhance both customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Any item that’s small enough to fit into a vending machine can be sold from one, allowing retailers to increase the number of items that consumers can purchase this way. The touchscreens that are a part of modern vending machines can also display helpful information about each product, more or less serving as a salesperson. This helps to increase the number of unattended sales a retailer can produce while also empowering customers to take care of themselves akin to a self-checkout station.

Through AI algorithms, smart vending machines analyze consumer preferences and purchasing patterns, dynamically adjusting their product offerings to align with evolving demands. This personalized approach not only delights customers with tailored recommendations but also maximizes revenue potential for retailers by optimizing product selection.

Smart Shelves

Smart shelves are another emerging technology revolutionizing the retail landscape, offering a seamless blend of convenience and efficiency. The biggest advantage of smart shelves lies in their ability to monitor stock levels and manage inventory autonomously, alleviating the burden on employees to manually track inventory. 

Rather than relying solely on human oversight, smart shelves leverage IoT to maintain real-time visibility of product movement. This capability not only streamlines inventory management processes but also empowers employees to focus on restocking items before they run out.

While the primary beneficiaries of smart shelves are retailers, who benefit from enhanced operational efficiency and improved inventory management, customers also reap significant rewards. By ensuring that products are consistently available and easy to locate, smart shelves enhance the overall shopping experience, instilling confidence in consumers that they will always find the items they need. In an era where customer satisfaction and personalized service are paramount, smart shelves play a crucial role in meeting and exceeding consumer expectations.

Smart Technology’s Promise for All

self-checkout Kiosk

As the retail sector evolves, embracing smart technology in retail environments becomes essential, not just an option. From self-checkout stations to smart vending machines, these technologies pave the way for more engaging, efficient, and sustainable shopping experiences. 

As consumers prioritize convenience and autonomy in their shopping journeys, embracing these innovations can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, ensuring businesses remain competitive and relevant in today’s dynamic retail landscape. 

Moreover, smart technology doesn’t just improve efficiency and convenience but also fosters accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that all customers, regardless of their abilities or preferences, can enjoy a seamless shopping experience. 

For retailers ready to take the next step in transforming their operations, Shekel Scales offers advanced solutions that integrate seamlessly into your existing systems, ensuring you remain at the forefront of retail innovation. 

Contact Shekel Scales today to learn more about how our smart scales and comprehensive unattended retail technologies can elevate your business.


Determining precise weights has always been an essential part of commerce, from ancient marketplaces to the silk road – that’s why our company name is Shekel, from the ancient Hebrew word for “to weigh.” Shekel has been at the forefront of the digital weighing industry for the past five decades, and we continue to lead through innovation.

More like this