Self checkout (also called Express Checkout and Self-service Checkout) machines (SCO) provide a mechanism for shoppers to pay by themselves for their purchases from a retailer.

Self checkout happens without any intervention from the retailer’s staff or the sales teams. Thus it adds more convenience to customers and shoppers.

NCR  is one of the leading Self checkout machines manufacturers and retail hardware providers, among other giants like IBM, Fujitsu, ITAB, etc.

In 2012, NCR commissioned a survey showing that shoppers are appreciating the speed and efficiency of self checkout machines.

Shoppers recognized the choice of SCO as a customer-service differentiator. They expressed their eagerness to have more self checkout machines options at retail segments like convenience stores and mass merchants.

Self Checkout in IKEA Japan

Self Checkout in IKEA Japan

NCR randomly surveyed 400 U.S. grocery store shoppers, half using SCO and half using cashier-assisted checkout.

A majority of both groups (78% and 60% respectively) said: “It’s usually faster than going through a cashier-assisted line” when asked “What do you like about self-checkout?”

Self checkout is as a customer service differentiator

64% of self-checkout shoppers and 44% of cashier-assisted shoppers said they “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement “I believe retailers who offer SCO provide better customer service.”

Many shoppers in both groups were eager to see Self Checkout expanded to other segments.

About 70% of Self Checkout shoppers said they would like to see SCO offered at mass merchants and at drug stores, followed by do-it-yourself stores (61%), convenience stores (50%) and department stores (43%).

Express Checkout is a success in Safeway chain.

Express Checkout is a success in Safeway chain.

About 50% of cashier-assisted shoppers want Self Checkout expanded to mass merchants, do-it-yourself stores and drug stores, followed by convenience stores (44%) and department stores (27%)

For these questions, shoppers in both groups picked multiple retail segments into which they would like to see SCO expanded.

Basket size matters in Self Checkout implementation

Basket size appears to be a main factor shoppers consider when choosing between SCO or a cashier-assisted lane.

Although 56% of the 200 Self Checkout shoppers surveyed said they use SCO lanes every time they shop, regardless of basket size.

35% said they use Self Checkout only when they have a few items in their basket.

7% said they use Self Checkout when the cashier lines are too long.

Self Service Checkout Statistics

Of the 200 shoppers using assisted checkout, 35% said they chose an assisted checkout lane vs. an SCO lane. They said the reason is because they had a large number of items in their basket.

Another 16% said they do not like SCO.

12% said an assisted checkout lane with no line was available, causing them to choose assisted checkout vs. SCO.

Self checkout implemented more in book libraries

Self Checkout is not only for shops, seen here being implemented in book libraries.

Remarkably, considering SCO has been around since the late 1990s, 6% of shoppers using an assisted checkout lane said they chose that lane because they still don’t know how to use SCO.

Independent researchers conducted the surveys between January and May at U.S. grocery stories in the Northeast and Midwest.

The 400 respondents were intercepted and interviewed immediately after completing their purchases.

Half of them have just used self checkout lanes and half used assisted checkout lanes.

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