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Self Checkout Terminals In Stores

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Today I was at the supermarket and this location just happened to have these terminals that allow customers to process their own purchases. Must be a way for the business to save money while hopefully speeding up the checkout process. So, we thought why not as it seemed like a faster solution than lining up.

For items that simply had a barcode it wasn’t too bad as you simply scanned the barcode and it registered into the system. When it came to items like vegetables, it sure made me look silly. The way it scanned vegetables is that you have to first go through various screens that are broken down by category (It is a colored touch screen). For example, there is a category for green vegetables and inside there are items such as spinach. Once you find the item, you click on it and then place it on the scanner which weighs it to determine your cost.

It felt like a puzzle as you have to find the right category for the items and at the same time the color of the item could throw you off. For example, one of the items I had was some kale which was green. So while scanning through it I basically focused on all the pictures that were green. Instead, I found out the kale was purple colored on the screen.

Overall it was fairly simple process though. What this experience made me think of is how companies are trying to automate business operations as much as possible. Makes you wonder how much of a human touch a business like this needs to maintain a good experience for people.




2 Comments to Self Checkout Terminals In Stores

  • These have become fairly common recently in the United States. Many supermarkets have a small cluster of (usually) four or six, with one employee watching over them.

    More specifically, supermarkets in the broad middle price range have them. Discount supermarkets generally do not have them. I do not shop at high-end supermarkets so I don’t know whether they have them, but I suspect they remain loyal to personal service.

    They can be confusing for the first-time user, but once you;ve used them a few times, and especially once you’ve entered the codes a few times for your favorite produce items, it’s pretty quick and straightforward.

    Minimum Wage 9/15/2007 9:22 pm
  • I’m seeing these more and more…first in grocery stores, but also Home Depot has them in some of their locations as well.

    While these can’t totally replace cashiers, it can at least streamline some of the process by having about 25% of them on hand. I say this, because the sheer stupidity of many people using these things is amazing (and believe me, I’ve stood behind them in line). Multiply that over a full array of them and the lines would get longer, not shorter. That and you still need cashiers for over rings, certain voids, items not scanning, etc.

    Personally I love them…I can checkout faster with these then with a human cashier.

    Matt 9/16/2007 3:49 pm

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