Report: Self-Checkout Usage Soared 24 Percent Last Year

Written by Evan Schuman
September 6th, 2007

The IHL study found consumer spending more than $137 billion in retail self-checkout in 2006, with increased self-checkout use in do-it-yourself stores, superccenters and warehouse clubs mostly responsible.

Consumers spent more than $137 billion in retail self-checkout in 2006, with increased self-checkout use in do-it-yourself stores, superccenters and warehouse clubs mostly responsible, according to an IHL study released Thursday.

That’s 24 percent more than was self-checkouted in 2005, IHL said.

The study also reported consumer resistance to the machines starting to dilute, with 44 percent saying they “really like self-checkout” and “only nine percent say they will not use the technology,” IHL said, citing its 1,000-consumer survey conducted in the Spring/Summer of 2007.

The survey confirmed what most would expect, which is that acceptance of the device increases sharply as consumer use the machines more. Although some of that can be explained by consumers “getting used to” the interface, another fact is the self-selecting nature of that question. In other words, consumers who don’t like self-checkout are not likely to use it more than once or twice.

“The more retailers can provide an incentive for people to use self-checkout to get past this hump, the more of their checkouts can be converted to self-checkout,” the report said.

The survey broke consumers down into geographic and income categories, concluding that Southern consumers are slightly more inclined to embraced self-checkout, as are consumers earning more than $100,000 a year. The report theorizes that higher-income consumers travel more and are therefore exposed to self-ticketing kiosks at train stations and airports. In this case, the theory goes, familiarity breeds acceptance.


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