Overcoming Pain Points Blog

Blog: Overcoming Pain Points in Self-Service Implementation

June 04, 2024  |  MATT MILES

The adoption of self-service technology in retail has exploded in popularity -- and for good reason. Have you also noticed this upward trend reflected in your store’s daily operations? A well-implemented, end-to-end solution can reduce queue times, minimize cart abandonment and increase sales per square foot, while also offering the potential to decrease labor costs.

It's not just the retailers who are all for it. Most customers favor self-service technology because it simplifies their shopping journey, accelerates checkout time and enables seamless contactless transactions. However, even a promising technology like self-service can become a minefield and may end up costing more money to serve the customer than traditional methods if not executed correctly. 
During my time working with retail technology, I have seen the primary challenges retailers face when implementing self-service. Here are four key insights to help overcome these obstacles:
1. Integration with Legacy Systems

The biggest challenge raised by our retail partners surrounds the complexity of integration, especially when dealing with a mix of legacy and modern systems. This process requires a careful balance of maintaining existing operations while adding new functionalities and systems.

Here's where the concept of open retailing makes a world of difference. It refers to a flexible, integrable, and vendor-agnostic approach to retail technology. By leveraging a flexible platform, open APIs and modular hardware setup, open retailing transforms complex integration tasks into efficient, streamlined processes. This ease of integration results in a better, more unified customer experience.

Open retailing also introduces a significant advantage: it breaks the chains of dependency on a single vendor. Traditional practices often tie retailers to one vendor to resolve all their issues—a typically slow and costly process lacking agility. Open retailing enables a shift to a multi-vendor format, putting retailers back in the driver’s seat of their innovation roadmap.

With the power to choose between different vendors, retailers can implement innovations faster and more cost-effectively. It reduces complexity, speeds up deployment, and, most importantly, allows for a more customized approach that aligns perfectly with the retailer's unique needs and goals.

Consider the example of an international discounter who wanted to introduce self-service technology while preserving their existing investment in a Linux-based POS environment. With Diebold Nixdorf’s open-API solutions, they seamlessly ran the self-service solution on the Linux build managed by the retailer’s in-house IT team. This shows that an open retailing strategy can effectively bridge the gap even while using legacy systems, resulting in successful and cost-effective innovation implementations.

2. User Experience

A great User Experience (UX) is the key to every successful customer journey. Self-service is not an exception. If customers don’t see the value in using self-service or find it complicated, they won’t use it.

That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. A user-centric design that's intuitive, accessible, ADA-compliant and built with each unique retail journey in mind is essential.

Store Team training is another critical pillar in building a successful self-service experience. A well-trained team that can assist customers when issues arise is essential for a frictionless experience. Proper training will not only empower your staff to provide better customer service, but it will also boost their confidence and ability to manage new technologies.

The customer journey is at the center of everything Diebold Nixdorf does, from hardware to software. The modularity of our systems gives us the flexibility to adapt. This could mean minimizing sidesteps during the self-checkout experience to save time and increase throughput. It could mean improving the on-screen design to streamline workflows. 

We continuously observe customer behavior and trends to anticipate needs and preferences, which enables our retail partners to optimize their checkout mix on a store-specific basis.  

Our Storevolution Advisory Services specialize in improving operations for your specific needs based on data. By configuring our systems, modifications can be done without rebuilding from scratch, we can swiftly respond to changes, leveraging the power of data to find the client’s perfect mix by collating customer data on the store level via our Storevolution Advisory Service.

3. Uptime

We’ve all been there. There’s nothing worse than stepping up to a self-checkout and noticing that it's down or requires service. It’s just as stressful and time-consuming for employees who must spend time troubleshooting as it is for customers who want to get in and get out. In fact, 69% of shoppers say long lines are the most irritating part of in-store shopping. Too much friction causes consumers to switch brands if they think another company could provide a more convenient shopping experience.


of shoppers

"say long lines are the most irritating part of in-store shopping"

Source: Retail One

That’s why we prioritize availability from the moment we begin developing a new solution. We’re able to deliver up to 99.8% uptime. We achieve this via the ‘3Ps’ of our service: proactive, prescriptive and preventative; we retain a strategic posture of readiness, provide specific guidance, and prevent problems before they drag down your sales. 

4. ROI

The final piece that ties this together is the return on investment (ROI). As today’s customers evolve, they’re becoming much more tech-savvy than they were 10, 15, or even five years ago. 

Ensuring customers have access to the necessary touchpoints is critical. At the same time, we have to balance that with whether or not the ROI is being met.

So, for instance, if we’re offering mobile POS, mobile scanning, or mobile self-service, we need to ensure that those journeys are actually feeding back into the overall ecosystem of the store and proving that there’s an ROI that makes it worthwhile for the organization.


In the whirlwind of technological evolution, self-service solutions are not a mere luxury but an undeniable necessity. Overcoming integration, UX, uptime, and ROI challenges is crucial for retailers who want to stay ahead. Remember, these obstacles are steppingstones towards a superior shopping experience, not roadblocks.

Feeling overwhelmed? Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Our team of experts are ready to guide you through these transformative strides in retail.

Download the guide

DN Series™ EASY is a revolutionary self-service platform built to transform the shopping and checkout experience. Powered by DN AllConnect Services for Retail, DN Series™ EASY ensures up to 99.8% availability by providing retailers with an integrated remote servicing model that leverages machine learning to predict and fix issues before they happen for maximum reliability.


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