On stage with Mercaux & River Island: Game-Changing RFID Self Checkout

By Mercaux
April 28, 2023


How do you deliver game-changing, Next Gen, frictionless self-checkout via RFID? River Island's Director of Technology Operations, Paul Cooper, and Mercaux's VP EMEA, Shaun Britton, took the stage at this year’s Retail Technology Show to discuss the realities of making it happen. Here’s what they had to say.

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Project Objectives:

With the aim of passing 50% of transactions through RFID self-checkout, the retailer had the goal of redirecting staff from fixed POS desks to the shop floor to give staff more flexibility and enable an enhanced customer experience. By deploying Next Gen self-checkout, they wanted to be able to get a true omnichannel view of their products, ongoing promotions, as well as baskets and customers. Having already started their journey with RFID a few years earlier for managing stock, River Island wanted to leverage their investment further in-store – RFID self-checkout was “the next logical step” on their path.


Integration, timeline and adoption:

How was all of this made possible? River Island utilised multiple vendors in the MACH Alliance – Mercaux, commercetools, Cabiri, Stripe, and Talon.One. Approaching the project with an “ethos of getting the digital experience in-store”, the retailer’s choice to go with vendors that put composability at the forefront meant that integration and deployment was quicker than ever before, going live in just 2 months. As a result, River Island was able to break away from lengthy and expensive on-prem release cycles, and eliminated the maintenance costs associated with legacy.


The results - what do customers and staff love?

With an average transaction time of 1 minute 14 seconds, 70% of transactions in-store are now completed through RFID Self-Checkout. According to River Island, the remaining 30% of shoppers opt for service at the POS desk because they want to receive “personal service” such as styling advice, or need to process returns. Furthermore, being able to redirect staff from having to supervise fixed POS tills has had “multiple positive impacts” in terms of customer experience, “enriching the service the store can offer” at no additional cost.


Take a look at how it is being used in-store, and why sales associates are big advocates:


Traditionally, self-checkout has still faced some friction due to the need to scan barcodes. When asked about the uptake of this type of checkout for various demographics, Paul Cooper explained how the simplicity of the RFID checkout process has been “extremely welcome” for customers, who refer to it as a “magic box”. 


From the original business case of stock management, to self-checkout, all the way to future ambitions like RFID based digital fitting rooms, being able to bring multiple composable vendors with ease into the store has means that the possibilities with RFID in-store are limitless.


If you are interested in finding out more about the project or have your own ambitions of transforming checkout, simply fill in your details to access the case study below, or please get in touch.


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