Speed of payment and lengthy queues have been long standing pain-points within our sites, mainly due to the different journeys our customers make. With digital developments at the forefront of our business and a key part of our strategy, we have been working on a new concept for our customers to help them on their journey quicker - introducing the self-checkout (SCO).
Although SCO tills are a regular feature in other aspects of daily life – in the supermarket, at the cinema and fast-food outlets, they aren’t common within the fuel sector, and predominantly, traditional tills are still the main offer. Some independent dealers are implementing self-serve checkouts – but only for shop goods. At bp, we’ve developed a World-first *: a self-checkout that can be used to buy both food and fuel. We see this as a huge opportunity to differentiate bp from our competitors in the UK.
After just four months of development and testing, in partnership with NCR, we began our first pilot of SCO tills in the UK, opening initially in three sites: Bedford, Nodeway and Orsett South. For the time being the introduction of SCO tills will remain as a pilot but we are delighted to start testing options to help support our customer’s needs.
It’s an exciting time for bp. We're allowing customers to choose how they want to interact with us. Our new app, BPme, lets customers pay for fuel without even entering the store, while the SCO tills allows customers to pay for both food and fuel using a bank or fuel card, with minimal interaction and at high speed. Customers can still collect loyalty points through their Nectar or Sparks loyalty cards and our traditional tills will still give customers direct access to our front-line team, as we know some people do prefer this.
Store Manager, Mark Glanville says: ‘It’s technology that has been around for years but it’s the fuel aspect which surprises people. The feedback so far has been very positive. We will definitely see the benefit in the future for the teams, so the operation will be more fluid and hopefully, the additional hours saved by the introduction of the tills means we can become more customer-focused on the shop floor.’
This is something which is also seen as a huge positive by the teams too. Team member Sameem Safi adds: ‘Personally I feel privileged to be the first store in the country to have these tills. It’s saving customer time and allows us to have more time on the shop floor and I can take more pride and make it look good.’
And it seems as though our customers are also well on the way to becoming advocates for the tills also.
The SCO tills are much smaller than conventional tills so more tills can be put into action, which will really help speed up waiting times. It also means that our teams can focus on other aspects of the customer journey, such as stock display, helping customers with queries and keeping the store clean, to really ensure we continue to “delivering those brighter moments”.