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Self-serve options growing beyond checkouts

Click to play video: 'Unmanned services becoming more popular' Unmanned services becoming more popular
WATCH ABOVE: You have seen self checkout and you're probably familiar with drones that deliver mail. Unmanned services are becoming more popular. Sarah Komadina has the details – Dec 27, 2019

Work, kids, and a million other things — people are just always busy and that means a lot of us are looking for convenience.

Many of us have seen self-serve checkouts, but now automation is going beyond that.

NextLevel Drycleaning in Edmonton offers drop-off lockers to speed up on small tasks.

“We wanted to come up with an idea to make more efficient [what is] really a mundane and tedious process, which is dropping off dry cleaning,” business co-owner Elijah Hassan said.
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It’s easy, and the lockers are open 24/7. You can even get packages dropped off there.

“You don’t have to interact with a human being whatsoever, you can just come in, drop, click and go,” Hassan said.

NextLevel is hoping to expand their platform across Canada, and beyond.

It’s not the only business taking advantage of self-serve technology.

READ MORE: Canadian Tire introduces 16-foot self-serve ‘vending style’ towers in select stores

Canada Post has three concept stores, and one is in Edmonton. They each have self-serve shipping stations and parcel drop boxes and they allow customers to prepare and send parcels whenever it’s convenient.

“If you have your package and you have your labels on them, and you’re ready to induct it, it’s a super easy, and super convenient way to get out the door,” said Canada Post retail manager Jason Papadopoulos.

“We have to be competitive and we have to be innovative… new technology and automation is part of that. It’s just adding options for customers.”

Some retail experts question how this affects consumers.

“Despite the fact that we are connected, we [still] have limited face-to-face interaction,” said Craig Patterson, the director of the University of Alberta’s School of Retail.
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“We may be on our mobile phones, we may be on Facebook. Losing that human interaction is one less person, in a person’s life who is actually there physically.”

Still, convenience is king, and self-serve options are expanding.

 

 

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