KARO, the leading cinema chain in Russia, has chosen Smartix self-service checkouts to automate cinema bars operating in 36 locations. Self-checkouts are one of the key components of the exclusive u-choose cinema format and allow guests to independently choose and pay for products in a contactless way. The u-choose format is currently implemented in 20 out of 33 cinemas of the chain.
Within the framework of the project, a standard Smartix out-of-the-box solution for self-checkouts was used which was originally created for retail automation. The complex supports self-checkout scanning, selection of goods from the catalog in the interface, work with loyalty systems, payment by bank card, as well as the possibility of flexible modifications at request.
Checkout counters provide all the required functionality for cinemas: they are used to scan piece goods with a barcode that guest takes from the shelves or to confirm the selection and payment for goods without a barcode (for example, 3D glasses or napkins), which are added to the payment basket through interactive menu.
The cinema bar has several ticket offices and one consultant who helps guests with questions in the self-service process. In addition, there is another cashier who is ready to get goods through a regular checkout for guests.
As a result, checkouts effectively reduce operating costs, provide contactless service, which is especially important in the current epidemiological conditions. The throughput of the establishment is significantly increased due to the intuitive interface, simple and fast scanning and payment operations.
The checkouts are integrated with the KARONA loyalty program, support scanning of the customer cards to exchange information about bonus points or write them off to pay for tickets and an assortment of cinema bars.
The devices are equipped with toppers, which promptly draw the attention of the service personnel to errors in the operation of the devices (the end of the receipt paper, disconnections with the server, etc.), as well as when selling goods of 18+ category, when the participation of an employee is required to personally verify the age of the buyer.
The Smartix specialists carried out the integration with the cinema’s internal accounting system. In automatic mode, without the participation of employees, the product base is synchronized with prices, as well as the sending of sales data. Trades, information about goods, warehouse balances and any other data are tracked in real time.
Styled interfaces based on the standard Smartix UI were implemented for KARO. The checkout application is based on modern web technologies and adapts to any screen format.
KARO additionally offers its guests a contactless online-cinema bar — snacks and drinks from the menu can be pre-ordered on the website or through a mobile application. Smartix checkouts can become an additional tool for accepting payments within the customer’s omnichannel system. In this case, the visitor will be able to choose a payment method — remotely on the website or in the cinema through the self-service cashier at the process of receipt of the order.
Smartix software allows to use bright, dynamic, large-format cinema bar menu boards at self-checkout points, which display advertising banners, videos, as well as special offers from the cinema bar. Interactive content can be displayed in standby mode, as well as in the process of user interaction with the cashier.
According to industry participants, when visiting the cinema, cinema bar accounts for almost half of the audience’s expenses. Smartix ticket offices are one of the key components of the multiplex modernization program and the transformation of the customer’s cinema bars into a self-service format. The modern sales window increases the loyalty of visitors and increases the profit of the establishments.
In the largest cinemas of the KARO chain at times of peak workload one self-service checkout accounts for up to 1000 operations, including over 10000 goods — the solution is in great demand among visitors. Self-checkouts increase the speed of service, effectively optimize operating resources and infrastructure and bring cinema bars to a modern level of service.