The concept of self-checkout is a good one in theory. It can benefit consumers who are wanting to get through the transaction process more quickly. And it can benefit retailers by providing more checkout stations with less labor costs. Unfortunately, the added convenience and labor savings come at a pretty hefty price tag.
A recent CPGmatters article, summarized by RetailWire, highlighted The Hersey Company’s reaction to the multi-billion dollar loss in impulse sales brought about by the growing popularity of self-checkout stations. Frank Jimenez, senior director of insights driven performance at Hersey calls it “an operational solution and a merchandising challenge.”
It’s a challenge that merchandising has to solve.
The source of the problem.
When you look at the structure of a typical multi-server, multi-queue setup you see customers who are kept occupied and engaged with organized in-queue merchandising displays that continue the shopping experience while driving impulse sales.
Contrast this to the self-checkout environment. Here you will typically find an unsystematic waiting line, if not a somewhat chaotic one. And because most self-checkout experiences lack defined queues, they also lack the impulse sales-building opportunities that come with in-queue merchandising.
The situation is a lose-lose for customers and businesses.Continue Reading