What is more profitable: Smartix self-checkouts or staff?

When evaluating the implementation of self-service checkouts, one of the most important questions for a retailer is the potential for reducing personnel costs. Hiring, training and maintaining employees is fraught with complexities, which automatic checkouts don’t have at all.

At the same time, equipping the checkout with functional software allows devices to provide serious competition for a person and retailer to provide a better shopping experience and reduce costs in the long term. An additional advantage is the reduction in contacts and ease of decontamination of cash registers in the COVID situation.

Cashier expenses

Based on the open data of job sites, the average monthly salary of a cashier in Moscow is 41 000 rubles, in Novosibirsk 30 000 rubles. If we take Moscow prices as a basis:

  • Cashier’s salary 492 000 rubles per year.
  • 47% employee tax (pension fund, health insurance, personal income tax, etc.) — 231 240 rubles per year.
  • Total 723 240 rubles per cashier every year.

    For a human employee, according to the law, it is necessary to provide vacation, sick leave. There are personal circumstances and external factors that affect performance. Household expenses are also added.

    There are various methodologies for estimating the costs described above. They are approximately equal to 20% of the salary level. In total, such costs will amount to 98 400 rubles and the total costs of one cashier per year are equal to:

    ~ 820 000 rubles

    Self-service checkout cost

    As a model for comparison there is self-service cash checkout with 15.6″ screen, equipped with an online cash register, 1D/2D code reader, POS terminal (issued by most popular banks for free and requires only payment for acquiring services).

    The bright screen is suitable for deploying a web-based interface, displaying any graphical content.

    The one-time cost of such cash desk with all the equipment is:

    ~ 139 000 rubles

    Other cash checkout costs

    Any technical device requires periodic maintenance. If the retailer has an engineering specialist or uses outsourcing services, self-checkout counters will be serviced within the framework of the concluded agreement, as well as cash registers with cashiers, they will also use the receipt paper and will not require additional funds.

    Smartix launch costs and self-service checkout software

    The approximate cost of one-time commissioning is 100 000 rubles, regardless of the number of connected self-checkouts. The cost of cloud software for the Smartix Premium tariff that includes the maximum functionality is 4 000 rubles per month or 40 000 rubles per year.

    Accordingly, the total cost of software when launching one self-checkout is 140 000 rubles. when choosing an annual subscription. If the network consists of five self-service checkouts, 100 000 rubles will be required for all cash registers at once, regardless of their number for a one-time integration and 40 000 rubles for each self-service checkout per year.

    Smartix specialists also provide a progressive discount based on the customer’s network size:

    • From 5 checkouts — 20%
    • From 10 checkouts — 35%
    • From 25 checkouts — 50%
    • From 50 checkouts — individual calculation

    Accordingly, for 5 checkouts taking into account a 20% discount on software in the first year, 260 000 rubles will be required (32 000 * 5 for annual software + 100 000 for one-time commissioning) and then 160 000 rubles every year for cloud software.

    Payback periods of self-checkouts in comparison with an employee

    At a cost of ~820 000 rubles per cashier every year and the cost of one self-service checkout + Smartix software with Premium tariff ~279 000 rubles, the payback period will take:

    ~ 4 months for one self-checkout

    The more devices, the higher the discount on cloud software, so the period will be shorter for large self-checkout networks.


    In less than six months the cash desks will pass the payback point in comparison with the same number of human cashiers and then begin to significantly save costs, which in the long term will be more and more considerable for retailer. From the second year, only cloud software will be paid for each checkout — 10 000 – 40 000 rubles. per year, depending on the selected tariff, the network size and the applied progressive discount.

    The annual 5% indexation of employee’s salaries is taken into account. The total cost of the checkout grows only due to the cost of cloud software and operation cost

    Presented comparative data clearly confirms the advantages and financial prospects of self-service checkouts for retailers. The range of Smartix hardware partners equipment includes a wide range of self-service checkouts and even the most expensive and functional model will not be more expensive than half the annual maintenance of one human cashier.


    It should be noted that the installation of self-service checkouts is a gradual process that does not mean an instant transformation of sales bypassing employees. It will take some time to reorient and draw the attention of buyers to the devices. At this stage temporary interaction of the kiosk with the staff will be necessary.

    If the retailer’s products contain goods of the 18+ category, at least one consultant will also be required in the hall, who, according to the law, must personally check the documents of each buyer of specified category goods. Smartix effectively solves this problem by confirming the shopping cart with a barcode on a badge or an employee’s RFID card.

    All Smartix self-checkouts are combined in a single back office, technical monitoring, sales statistics, notifications for responsible personnel are provided and a remote cash register software update system is used.

    The devices support integration with the retailer’s accounting systems, various self-checkout scenarios, weighing equipment, bill payment, interactive showcases, cross-selling, loyalty systems. Smartix software allows to launch any new functionality following the increase in the level of automation of the retailer and requirements of the retail sector.