A recent SupermarketNews article reported that the number of Self Checkout lanes (SCOs) in the U.S. has increased 10% in the last five years, estimating that they now account for nearly 40% of lanes in grocery chains in the U.S.
Sharing data from shopper intelligence leader Catalina, the article also reported that more retailers are make shifts from manual to SCO lanes to offset “shrinking margins from inflation, respond to social distancing protocols triggered by the pandemic, and take advantage of automation technology.”
Based on a small local poll, we’ve concluded that shoppers most often prefer the self checkout option when:
- Processing smaller orders
- Processing orders without coupons
- Processing orders without alcohol
Some additional insights presented in the article based on the Catalina data included 39% of shoppers used both lane types in 2021, depending upon their shopping mission. 49% of shoppers preferred the personal attention offered in the manned-only lanes (MCO), while only 12% of shoppers were steadfast SCO-exclusive fans. Breaking down the behavior of the hybrid shopper, their transactions were split 50-50 between MCO and SCO, with MCO accounting for 68% of sales and SCO for 32%.
Similar to our local findings, the study said SCO-only shoppers had smaller baskets and bought less than hybrid and MCO fans.
Generally speaking, it strikes us that offering a healthy mix of MCO & SCO options enables shoppers to leverage the technology to enjoy greater flexibility and convenience.
What’s your take?