Self-Checkouts Vs Manned Tills – Who is really benefiting?

A big grocery chain recently removed manned tills to replace them with new trolley self-service stations. A move that hasn’t been perceived very well by shoppers and staff. 

Some of these new areas remain empty while the queues at the tills grow.  

Let’s set the scene 

The challenge for most customers isn’t buying a small grocery shop, but a large trolley full of goods at a self-checkout. 

Scanning a whole weekly shop on your own and then having to do the extra step of putting all scanned items from the control scale back into the trolley is not something most consumers have time for.  

Movement-restricted shoppers will struggle even more with the physical aspects of standing for a prolonged time, awkward back movements and extended waiting time on store assistance due to lack of staffing in the self-checkout till areas. 

Why should a customer do all the work without getting a clear benefit for it!   

You can steal at a self-checkout?  

Indeed! People have found ways to save money at self-checkouts by scanning wrong codes or by weighing one pound of meat as apples. Some may take advantage of the low staffing in these areas to scan counterfeit barcodes attached to their wrists or scan everything and then walk out without paying. Lots of opportunities for theft! 

“If you had a retail store where 50% of transactions were through self-checkout, losses would be 77% higher than average”, according to Adrian Beck, an emeritus professor at the University of Leicester in the UK who studies retail losses. 

Do self-checkouts really save costs, or come with a price to pay? 

Stores might save on till staff. But it will cost them more in additional IT personnel and regular maintenance. Plus, the main risk factor is losing customers that might look for other places to shop instead. Self-checkouts aren’t failsafe to use and will always require supervision and can get clogged up as well. 

Self-checkouts are not going anywhere, but there is a balance that needs to be upheld to both serve the customer well and deliver a great shopping experience.  

Bigger chains can save in other ways than going wild on self-checkouts without a cost to their staff and customers. It’s all about time savings after all and putting the time where it’s needed most to create efficiency and tackle loss. 

Other options are smart tills and intelligent till check-outs. Manned by a person for an optimal customer journey. Because store staff are so much quicker scanning items through at the belt! 

Learn more about the LiveDrawer solution.  

Intelligent Cash Drawer

Related News
Back to top