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Shoppers appreciate the speed and efficiency of self-checkout (SCO), recognize the choice of SCO as a customer-service differentiator for retailers, and are eager to have more SCO options at retail segments like convenience stores and mass merchants, according recent research by in-store technology vendor NCR.
“Shoppers recognize the speed and value self-checkout provides and are eager to see it expanded into other retail segments,” said Scott Kingsfield, SVP and general manager, NCR Retail. “Even among shoppers using assisted checkout, there’s strong appreciation for the benefits this technology provides. Retailers increasingly are finding their shoppers want choices in how they interact with stores at which they shop, and one of the biggest choices these shoppers say they want is self checkout.”
NCR randomly surveyed 400 U.S. grocery store shoppers, half using SCO and half using cashier-assisted checkout, and found a majority of both groups – 78 percent and 60 percent respectively – said “it’s usually faster than going through a cashier-assisted line,” when asked “What do you like about self-checkout?” (Full disclosure: NCR markets self-checkout technology solutions.)
Highlighting the importance of providing checkout choice as a customer service differentiator, 64 percent of self-checkout shoppers and 44 percent of cashier-assisted shoppers believe that retailers that offer SCO provide better customer service.”
Basket size appears to be a main factor shoppers consider when choosing between SCO or a cashier-assisted lane, although more than half (56 percent) of the 200 SCO shoppers surveyed said they use SCO lanes every time they shop, regardless of basket size. Thirty-five percent said they use SCO only when they have a few items in their basket and 7 percent said they use SCO when the cashier lines are too long.
Of the 200 shoppers using assisted checkout, 35% said they chose an assisted checkout lane vs. an SCO lane because they had a large number of items in their basket. Another 16% said they do not like SCO and 12% said an assisted checkout lane with no line was available, causing them to choose assisted checkout vs. SCO.
Interestingly -- considering SCO has been around since the late 1990s – 6 percent of shoppers using an assisted checkout lane said they chose that lane because they still don’t know how to use SCO.
The surveys were conducted by independent researchers between January and May at U.S. grocery stores in the Northeast and Midwest. The 400 respondents were intercepted and interviewed immediately after completing their purchases, with half having just used self checkout lanes and half having used assisted checkout lanes. For more information about this survey, please click here.