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What does self-checkout mean?

With self-checkout, customers check out the items in their shopping basket themselves at a stationary self-service checkout or with a mobile system (hand scanner or app on smartphone). Since 2015, the number of self-checkouts at the point of sale (POS) has increased by almost 80%. Most self-checkout systems are used in food retail, followed by DIY stores, drugstores, furniture and sports and clothing stores.

The checkout process in self-service works in such a way that the customer holds the barcode of an item to the scanner of the self-service checkout. The software identifies the item and adds it to the bill. At the end, the total amount is shown on the terminal display to the customer, who then pays via an EFT module. Some retailers offer payment with cash as an alternative or option.
The latest self-checkout technologies use artificial intelligence and machine vision. The customer holds the item under the image sensor and the terminal’s software recognises it by its shape and colour. This makes paying for items on your own even easier, more convenient and faster.

Our POLYTOUCH® Self-Checkout-Series

Self Checkout on the Rise!

Conventional cash registers are still in the majority in Germany. This will change quickly in the next few years as consumers have become much more open to the use of self-service technology. All age groups see self-service checkouts on the rise. According to the study The Future of Shopping presented by the market research company Kantar, 86% of the good 3,000 respondents (age 18-65) expect conventional checkouts to be largely replaced as early as 2030. When it comes to the digitalisation of the point of sale, it is important to know: not all self-service checkouts are the same. Which product is the right one and will ultimately be used depends on the specific use case.

To give just two examples: Where large baskets of goods are waiting to be self-scanned by the customer, different scanners need to be installed to recognise the barcode on the articles than in the self-checkout solution for the tea shop, where things are more relaxed and shopping is more a pleasure than a necessity.
And in the fashion store, the self-checkout will be a combination device with a very large touch display that allows the customer to browse the retailer’s online assortment. Such a system is thus both a self-checkout solution and an Endless Aisle.


Designed specifically for food retail, our Nano embodies sophisticated modularity to be always available both now and in future applications.

The design takes into account the needs of both shop operators and customers and allows for easy integration into any shop concept, while ensuring maximum ease of use for all.

Customisable and modular

Mix 'n' Match Concept

self checkout terminal nano explosion

Award-winning Design


Our FLEX21.5 SCO Kiosk finds its place in any shop concept, whether in large-scale food retailing or in micro markets.

The ergonomic arrangement of the modules reduces the interaction area of your customers during self-check-out to an absolute minimum. The high-resolution, frameless multi-touch screen conveys a familiar technical atmosphere by being based on the look and feel of tablets.

Various mounting options

 The FLEX21.5 kiosk solution cuts a fine figure as a stand-alone, wall-mounted or countertop variant.

Easy operation & maintenance

Intuitive Design for best User Experience


Scan & Go solution for small-sized or full-range Retailer

Benefits of Self Checkout Kiosks

Customer satisfaction

Surveys show that 70% of the customers surveyed have already abandoned their purchase and left the shop due to long waiting times. Self-checkouts provide a remedy here, because they reduce waiting times at both digital and conventional POS. Because every customer who checks out their items at a self-checkout system shortens the queues at conventional checkouts. Self-checkout is therefore a win-win situation for all customers. This leads to more customer experience and thus also to more turnover.

Process optimisation

Self-service checkouts improve the in-store processes of retailers. Self-service checkouts streamline the payment process, for example. As they can usually only be used for payment by EC or credit card, the retailer’s cash handling costs are considerably reduced.

Increasing productivity

In addition, the use of self-service checkouts relieves employees of the routine task of cashing up. Instead, they can devote themselves to tasks that have a more significant influence on the positive perception of the brand and loyalty to it. These include advising customers, shelf maintenance, empties management, controlling the bread baking machines and decorating the area.

Safe shopping

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, many consumers have developed a heightened awareness of hygiene. Retailers have to take this into account, e.g. by offering the possibility of social distancing. Self-checkout systems meet the desire for contactless shopping by reducing human-to-human interaction. The antibacterial coating of the touch display of a self-service checkout further increases the security of self-checkout.


Digitalisation of supermarkets & DIY stores

Grocery & DIY

The German food retail sector uses the most self-service checkout systems: in 24/7 stores, in convenience shops, in discounters and in supermarkets. Digitisation requires self-service checkouts that are precisely tailored to the specific requirements of the individual food retail formats. This starts with the size of the self-checkout solution, continues with its equipment with peripheral modules and ends with the way it is fixed or placed on the floor.
DIY stores (DYI, Do-it-Yourself stores) are the retail segment with the second largest share of self-checkout systems. The items in DIY stores have very different sizes, shapes and weights. Some are so heavy or unwieldy that they cannot be removed from the trolley for self-scanning. In these cases, a hand-held scanner connected to the self-service checkout via cable or Bluetooth can help. It allows the customer to move freely around the trolley for self-scanning.

Digitalisation of the retail


In 2019, 451 Research surveyed around 6,000 consumers worldwide, including in Germany, about their buying behaviour and expectations of retailers. The figures show: The time is ripe for a comprehensive digitalisation of the point of sale with self-checkout solutions! 41% of the study participants prefer retailers with better prospects for checkouts without queuing, 49% expect more digitalisation from retailers. The COVID19 pandemic has further increased the acceptance of self-checkout. The fact that many operators in Germany are now also aware of the advantages of self-scanning at the self-service checkout is evident from the EHI study Technology Trends in Retail 2021. 30% of the interviewees described the digitalisation of the point of sale, the last touchpoint of the customer with the brand, as one of the most important development steps in the next three years.


Most frequent questions and answers

Entering the world of self-service checkouts or expanding your existing infrastructure is a decisive step towards more customer experience, more turnover and lower costs.

As of August 2021, 1,319 stationary retail shops operated 7,240 self-checkout systems in Germany.
Compared to 2019, the number of stores increased by approx. 33%, the number of self-checkouts by 35%.

Like conventional cash registers, self-checkout solutions must also be connected to the POS or ERP system. If self-scanning is to take place via a barcode, one must be attached to the items. Self-scanning via machine vision requires a self-checkout system with an image sensor and AI software in the back office.



The price of a self-checkout solution depends on numerous factors, including the material consumption of the chassis, computing and video performance, the number and type of peripheral modules and any special equipment according to the specific use case. Furthermore, the purchase quantity and the global procurement situation for electronic components and raw materials influence the pricing for a self-service checkout.

The Polytouch® FLEX21.5 is available in a standard version from 1,000 EUR. We also offer an attractive financing model for this self-checkout solution. Our sales department will be happy to advise you on this and the other Polytouch® self-checkout systems.

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