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Customers Get Comfortable With Self-Scanning

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- As self-service shopping has gone mainstream in supermarkets, supercenters and home improvement centers, self-checkout systems will generate transactions worth $161 billion in 2005, according to a new study from Franklin, Tenn.-based retail technology consulting firm IHL Consulting Group.

The study also forecasts that the value of these transactions will increase to more than $450 billion by 2008, as new systems are deployed. "Consumers continue to use the systems in increasing numbers," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL. "Once a technology only found in supermarkets in the South and Midwest, self-checkout is now available in retailers like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Home Depot and Lowe's nationwide. This has not only expanded the number of lanes in the market but also increased the dollar amount of each transaction."

IHL's "2005 North American Retail Self-Checkout Study" examines consumer acceptance and the use of self-checkout nationwide. Key findings include:

-- Ninety-four percent of all respondents have tried self-checkout.

-- Men are 60 percent more likely than women to use self-checkout on nearly every trip to the store.

-- Experience with check-in kiosks at airports is highly correlated to self-checkout use in retail stores. Someone who has used a check-in kiosk at the airport is 45 percent more likely to say they "like self-checkout, it's a convenience." If they have not used a check-in kiosk, they are 266 percent more likely to say they "will not use self-checkout."

-- By far, the number one complaint about the systems is the need for employee intervention. Consumers in the study said they need assistance on 1 out of every 3 times they use the systems.

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