The majority of consumers (85%) think that self-service checkout stations are usually faster than waiting in line, but more than half (65%) are concerned about the cleanliness of the self-service checkout options, according to the 2021 "State of Self-Checkout Experiences" report from Raydiant.
According to Raydiant's survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 60% of respondents said they prefer self-checkouts over store associates if given an option. Nearly half of respondents (48.7%) of respondents said they use self-checkout kiosks almost all of the time.
However, poor self-checkout experiences can turn off customers. Per the report, a quarter (25.1%) of respondents said they're most likely to avoid self-checkout kiosks if it malfunctions, and more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents said a self-checkout kiosk has failed when using it.
Raydiant noted that while fully-automated stores like Amazon Go might not work for every retailer, companies must determine the right balance between self-checkout kiosks and human cashiers. However, self-checkout stations can lessen in-store crowding, serve customers faster and boost revenue, the report said.
Leading the way with cashierless stores, Amazon has been rolling out Amazon Go stores in Seattle, Chicago, and other cities and selling its cashierless technology to other companies. Meanwhile, Walmart announced last summer that it is experimenting at a Supercenter in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to find out if swapping traditional checkout lanes for a cluster of self-checkout stations staffed by a team of roaming associates can serve customers more effectively. The big-box retailer later unveiled plans to introduce a new digital-centric store concept to a number of Supercenters, which includes self-checkout kiosks and contactless payment systems, among other tech-based offerings.
But as Amazon Go expands its footprint and Walmart shifts toward digital offerings, a growing list of other startups and veteran tech firms are vying for a share of the cashierless tech market, including Microsoft, 7-Eleven, Trigo, Standard and Zippin.
With more companies releasing cashierless tech, Raydiant's report indicates a growing demand for self-checkout stations. If given a choice between two stores of equal quality, almost half (49.4%) of respondents said they would shop at a store with self-checkout kiosks instead of one that doesn't.
"Ensuring the functionality, speed, and cleanliness of self-service checkout kiosks may therefore be a top priority of managers who want to increase usage of their self-checkout options, not to mention the revenues that can come from more efficient checkouts," the company wrote in its report.