How should self-checkout be incentivized?
In the U.K., Asda’s customers, at least in some situations, have to use the self-service checkout lane if their purchases amount to less than £100 ($130).
The revelation came in a Daily Mail article about a customer vowing to boycott the grocer after she was forced to scan 60 items worth over £120 at one of the Walmart-owned chain’s stores.
In the U.S., it has been suggested that retailers could offer a discount for using self-service, similar to incentives often provided by banks and airlines. But having ample terminals and trained personal nearby to handle any problems to support a hassle-free self-checkout experience appears to be the current way to provide some motivation.
The best example I’ve seen of encouraging self-checkout use is at a CVS on 1st. Ave and 15th St. in Manhattan. Four self-checkout terminals are lined against the front to the store. Two associates are stationed to greet customers as they enter, inquire if they need help finding anything and also assist with any issue using the self-checkout terminals. While there are two manned registers on the side, usually only one is being used. Only one of self-scanners could handle cash.
While preferred for speed, self-checkouts work best for small baskets of items. Some customers are frustrated by the technology and the occasional glitch.
While Albertsons Cos. last year earned press for getting rid of its self-checkout lanes in order to give better one-on-one service to shoppers, self-checkout is expected to continue to slowly expand as the technology improves and retailers seek to reduce costs. Zara and Rebecca Minkoff surprised many last year for adding self-checkout options to some of their stores.
Rebecca Minkoff CEO Uri Minkoff told WWD last December, “More and more we are seeing Millennials want to be in complete control of any and all of their shopping, and that includes payment.”
- Customer vows to boycott Asda after staff forced her to self-scan her entire weekly shop of more than 60 items – Daily Mail
- New Survey Reveals Key Retail Technology Trends – Digimarc
- Digimarc Survey: 88 Percent of U.S. Adults Want Their Retail Checkout Experience to be Faster – Digimarc
- Half of the younger generation still prefer a traditional checkout – Computer Weekly
- The pros and cons of supermarket self-checkout – Consumer Reports
- Why Shoppers Won’t Do Supermarket’s Work – The Robin Report
- Zara introduces self-checkout in-store: How will it impact the customer experience? – Econsultancy
- Minkoff to Offer Self-Checkout Option at SoHo Store – Women’s Wear Daily
- Albertsons pleased as it bucks self-checkout trend – Supermarket News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should shoppers be encouraged or incentivized to use self-checkouts? What is the biggest inhibitor to using self-checkouts?