Naturally, if you’re an independent grocery store owner or operator, you might ask, “Why should I invest in self-checkout when my differentiator from the big box stores is my attention to customer service?” It's a fair question. But it begs another: Do you ever use self-checkout?
Over 90 percent of the time, the answer from other independents is yes, they do use self-checkout at other stores. The reasons vary, from being in a hurry and only having a few items to not wanting to wait in line or didn’t want to closely interact with a store cashier—which are all of the same reasons consumers use them, too.
And that’s why the reason to invest in self-checkout have never changed. It’s about customer service and that’s about giving shoppers choices. From the variety of products you offer and the number of departments you have to whether you provide curbside, pick-up and delivery service and many other factors, choices are important to your customers. As you provide more of them, you’re improving the customer experience—and the checkout is no different.
Did you know the number one complaint for shoppers is waiting in line? So, if shoppers are sensitive to the time it takes to get through a traditional checkout out line, giving them choices—especially when it means a speedier checkout—is an obvious improvement in customer service.
And during the pandemic, shoppers are hyper-focused on reducing the time they spend in your store. They’re not browsing the aisles anymore. Instead, they’re grabbing the items they need and finding the shortest line to check out and leave. If that means using self-checkout, you can bet they will.
In fact, according to a consumer survey conducted by NCR, 49 percent of consumers say they will use self-checkout more often than they already do, because of COVID-19.