One of the largest passenger and cargo shipping companies in the Baltic Sea region, Tallink operates the fast ferry Star, connecting Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia).
Shuttle-class Megastar and Star ferries make up to 6 departures per day between Helsinki and Tallinn. The extensive supermarket on board offers a large variety of food products and beverages, souvenirs and toys, for those who have forgotten any holiday essentials or would like to make gifts from the countries visited.
As the trip from Helsinki to Tallinn is a very short one, Tallink wanted to make the shopping experience as quick and enjoyable as possible, without deterring passengers from purchasing due to long queues.
Tallink first developed a solution to this problem together with Nixor (a business partner of Datalogic in Estonia that specialises in IT-business products for the retail and ferry lines industries) to install a self-shopping solution which included the Datalogic Joya X2 in the onboard supermarket. Tallink named the new system Q-Shopping: "The goal of the project was to provide customers with a comfortable and fast shopping experience", commented the shipping company, "The user friendliness and customer feedback of this solution in the supermarket on Megastar and Star will be the platform for the company to decide upon the further extension of the service on other vessels and shops after that."
The solution was familiar to several supermarkets on mainland Sweden and Estonia, where customers can perform the product scanning using a special mobile device and can perform payment at special payment kiosks themselves without using the standard service counter. Where self-shopping solutions are quite well-known in mainland shopping branch, this was the first known project in the world where the self-service purchasing method was deployed at sea, on board a ship.
Given the good return obtained from pilot on vessel Star, since February 2017, Tallink has decided to supply itself with the most advanced Datalogic products and has equipped the second fleet, LNG-powered Megastar with the latest Joya™ Touch and Shopevolution 7.
The Q-Shopping solution requires the usage of the boarding card, also containing the information about the existence of the loyalty card Club One. After registering the purchases, the payment can be carried out with all credit and debit cards accepted on board Tallink's ferries. As the Club One account is tied with the passengers booking and therefore also the boarding card, the bonus points from the purchases are transferred to the customers Club One account automatically.
Using the system is easy, customers just pick up the Datalogic Joya Touch device, and independently scan their chosen food, beverages and other products. Then, they may place the products scanned with the Datalogic Joya-mobile scanner directly into the shopping bag positioned in the basket or in the shopping cart. There is no need to lift the items on to the belt at the cash register lane and from the belt back to the shopping bag. Payment is also quick and convenient. The multilingual and interactively guided Self-Payment station is the fastest way to finish the shopping. If customer wishes to pay with cash, it's always possible to finish the shopping in regular service counter.
During the shopping customers can see the products in their shopping basket, value and other necessary information. Customers can also redeem coupons, either printed on paper or displayed on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
The self-shopping solution now provides easier and quicker purchasing, especially when there is no need for additional information or sales support. It also decreases potential queues on the standard counters, as people can perform the purchase registering and payment process themselves.
Another key benefit of Self Check Out is that it has helped to free up store associates to provide additional service elsewhere in the store, such as stocking shelves and providing in-aisle assistance.
Francesco Montanari, Chief Marketing Officer, Datalogic, explained: "With only two hours of travel time between Helsinki and Tallinn, shoppers do not want to spend their time in checkout lines. This is true throughout grocery retailing around the globe. The Joya X2 mobile device and Shopevolution middleware deliver exactly what shoppers and retailers want, a fun and fast shopping experience using an ergonomic solution that maximizes basket value."