Despite Current Limitations, More than Half of U.S. Consumers Find Self-Service Kiosks Convenient
Consumers have long bemoaned long checkout lines at groceries stores and retail outlets. As technology continues to advance, some are welcoming the introduction of more self-service and checkout kiosks at retail outlets (though some question their safety and convenience).
Despite slow adoption rates among retailers, over time traditional cashier-manned checkouts will largely be replaced by in-store self-checkout machines and other options. As detailed in a new study commissioned by Retale (@Retale), the majority of shoppers (85%) have used self-service checkout kiosks versus a measly 15% who have never used self-service checkout kiosks.
Furthermore, 91% of Millennials (individuals aged 18-34) have used self-service kiosks at brick-and-mortar retailers, versus 81% of those aged 35 and older.
Of the respondents who’ve used self-service checkout, the most popular reasons for doing so were: they had a limited number of items (72%), there was no line (55%), they wished to keep their transaction and financial information private (13%), as well as the desire to avoid interaction with cashiers (12%). ‘Among millennials, “I don’t like interacting with cashiers” was eight percentage points higher than the average (20%),’ noted Retale.
The study also revealed that 67% of respondents considered self-service kiosks to be convenient versus 33% who found them inconvenient. Of the 67% who found self-service kiosks convenient, 41% felt the experience “could be a lot better.” In fact, many consumers find checkout and self-service kiosks disorienting: 43% of respondents said they often need help from associates when using self-service checkout. Millennials were less likely to require support (37%), versus 47% of those aged 34 and over.
The top challenges associated with using self-service kiosks include: scanning items (35%), entering coupons (24%), understanding the service screen (16%), and paying with cash (15%).
Despite Current Limitations, Almost Half of Respondents Want Self-Service Kiosks at Every Store
Forty-nine percent of respondents want self-service kiosks at every store to help streamline the checkout process. Meanwhile, 53% of respondents want at least one store employee to oversee kiosks to ensure that devices are being used appropriately. (However, the survey makes no mention of other concerns associated with self-service kiosks, such as shoplifting and breaches in cyber security.)
A Small Number of Consumers Want the Option to Pay with Mobile Devices
As smartphones, smartwatches, and wearable devices become more sophisticated, tech-oriented consumers have been increasingly vocal about wanting to use their gadgets to pay for purchases. Twenty percent of respondents want the option to pay via mobile phones or smartwatches at kiosks.
Millennials were also more likely to favor mobile device payments at self-service kiosks (26%), versus 16% for those aged 34 and over. “[There] is a growing demand for more automation and innovation throughout the checkout experience, via integrations with smartphones, wearables and other mobile devices,” observed Pat Dermody, President of Retale.
More than 1,000 adult men and women across the United States were polled for the study.
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