While many people who are tech savvy can navigate their way through self-checkouts with ease, it can be problematic for others. Sometimes bar codes and coupons don’t scan properly, products require age verification, or customers need assistance; in these types of instances, lines can become backed up. Even with a relatively intuitive navigation menu and audio instructions, this system can be frustrating to some shoppers. Besides this, many customers don’t feel comfortable with the process or simply don’t want to do the work of checking themselves out.
Although most systems are equipped with some form of anti-shoplifting technology, there is often a higher likelihood of theft occurring. Because employees are unable to monitor customer transactions as closely on self-checkouts, it’s easier for customers to steal. Some examples would be replacing bar codes of high priced items with lower priced items or just not scanning an item or two. When caught, it’s possible for customers to plead ignorance or blame it on an equipment malfunction.
Despite the efficiency of this system, many customers prefer to have a one-on-one interaction with cashiers.
Rather than dealing with a faceless machine, these customers enjoy a brief conversation with employees and the personal attention they receive. In some cases, this can result in some customers taking their business elsewhere if no traditional checkouts are provided.
While there are valid arguments both for and against self-checkouts, the statistics suggest the self-checkout system is here for the long haul. According to Statistic Brain, this type of checkout is more popular among the younger demographic (35 and under). The popularity gradually decreases with older generations, who are a bit more set in their ways. Perhaps the best way to appease customers is for businesses to offer a combination of self-checkouts and traditional ones with cashiers.