If you could replace all of your cashiers with modified credit card machines, would you do it? Big retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco have tried self-checkout, and their results are mixed. Some consumers love the idea; others think that taking the human interaction factor out of shopping is a recipe for a totally antisocial society. …

Self-checkout: Friend or Foe to Retailers?

If you could replace all of your cashiers with modified credit card machines, would you do it? Big retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco have tried self-checkout, and their results are mixed. Some consumers love the idea; others think that taking the human interaction factor out of shopping is a recipe for a totally antisocial society. Then there’s the real bottom line: is self-checkout good for business? The idea is still new enough that there is no definitive answer – only an ongoing dialogue.

The Pros

Proponents of self-service checkouts argue that it’s not only more efficient in the front, it frees up valuable employee time for other tasks. Retail mega-giant Wal-Mart already offers the service in about 1,800 of their stores, with plans to expand to 2,500 of their 4,000 locations. Their spokespeople have emphasized that the addition of self-checkout will not do away with jobs or hours for their employees; their rationale also focuses on what they perceive to be the benefit to customers, by giving them more choices and, hopefully, more convenience.

Their arguments are not unfounded, either. A recent Cisco Customer Service report indicates that 21st century shoppers are more open than ever to the idea of an automated retail experience, with 61 percent in favor. Fifty-two percent of shoppers surveyed also reported preferring self-service checkout.

The Cons

As compelling as the argument for may be, self-service checkout is not without its detractors, nor evidence to support those concerns. Wal-Mart’s main rival, Costco, recently decided to pull self-service checkout from their stores, stating that its human cashiers were more efficient, a move which emphasizes Costco’s ongoing investment in employee contentment (along with excellent wages and benefits).

Further, a Google search with the phrase “self-checkout” will turn up an alarming number of theft reports, and safety measures taken to quell these crimes – such as additional surveillance cameras – could end up costing retailers more in the long run.

It will be very interesting to see in the coming years where self-checkout will go, how it will impact both sales and customer satisfaction and whether it will become a permanent fixture on the retail scene or an abandoned relic.

Subscribe To Newsletter

Subscribe to my mailing list and gain access to the secrets that helped me earn over $81,000 with this blog working only a few hours a week.

Invalid email address

I promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time

About Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, music lover, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.

Check Also

Spellcaster Maxim Offers a Professional and Powerful Service

No matter how much we will try the reality is that life never goes according to plan the large majority of the time. Problems continue to bombard us as we go along and some of them cant be solved as easily as others. Some people will eventually overcome these problems by a variety of methods, …