By: Jesse Davis West September 03, 2019

What does the future store look like? That has been the primary question at ShopTalk, RetailX, the NRF Big Show and other major retail conferences so far this year. Retailers are turning to technology to offer customers the same level of convenience in person that they regularly experience when shopping online, and the primary focus is during the check-out process.

Face Recognition Checkout

Not surprisingly, the use of face recognition comes up again and again. Retailers around the world have been using face recognition to create a faster and more convenient checkout experience for some time, and American chains aren’t be far behind. 

Shorter Checkout Lines

Who likes waiting in long lines? Customers who into a facial recognition program can dramatically reduce the time it takes to make purchases. Retailers and shopping centers have already started using face recognition to bolster convenience. The transportation industry has been picking up on the idea as well. In fact, Royal Carribean is using facial recognition to help reduce the typical boarding time of 90 minutes to just 10 minutes. Once a customer’s face is tied to payment information they can simply walk into a store, be recognized and validate their purchase at a checkout kiosk. In fact, face recognition has the potential to get rid of lines altogether. If integrated with ancillary technologies (e.g. object recognition, object scanning, etc.), facial recognition has the power to enable customers to just walk out of a store with the goods they purchased.

Instant Age Verification

Today, individuals over the age of 21 are constantly asked to show their IDs when purchasing age-restricted products like alcohol. They also have to show ID when entering age-restricted venues. But facial recognition makes it possible for individuals to opt-into a program that pre-verifies their age. Then, when they’re recognized by the facial recognition system, they can freely enter age-restricted venues or buy age-restricted merchandise without taking the time to show ID. In fact, this kind of age verification is already being used to streamline access to social media platforms and dating apps. 

Streamlined Loyalty Programs 

Most major grocery chains offer loyalty programs that provide massive discounts during checkout. However, these programs almost always require individuals to provide their phone number or some other proof of membership to receive discounts. I mean, how many times have you given your phone number to a pharmacy or grocery store employee? While customers are usually willing to play ball in order to get the discount, this is intrusive and creates friction during checkout. But facial recognition can instantly recognize individuals who have opted into loyalty programs, completely streamlining loyalty programs. 

Faster Payments

When Apple introduced Apple Pay, the company provided a means to tie credit cards to a phone app. The goal was to give people a faster way to pay for products and services. In fact, several companies (such as Starbucks) offer a means to make fast purchases using a smartphone app. Facial recognition technology enables a faster and more secure way to make payments. By opting into a pay-by-face program, individuals can tie their face to traditional payment methods and make fast and convenient purchases using their faces as a payment method. 

These are just some of the ways that facial recognition is helping to make the retail checkout process faster and more convenient. 

Want to learn more about how facial recognition can help make checkout experiences more convenient? Schedule your demo today!