Why Men Love Self

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2005-08-17 Print this article Print

-Checkout"> Buzek said that men’s basket size tends to be much smaller, which makes them more comfortable with self-checkout. In other words, all consumers with two, or four, or five items in a basket will find self-checkout more compelling than someone with an overflowing cart. But the bigger driver is that men tend to hate shopping and see a self-checkout aisle as a way to get out of the store faster, which is their primary goal.
On a sadder sign-of-the-times note, the survey found that 52 percent of those interviewed identified their greatest dislike about checkout comes from transactions that are halted in the middle, to make way for employee intervention.
Survey participants said such employee interruptions are happening in about one out of three shopping trips, greatly undermining the promise of speed that lured them to the self-checkout aisle in the first place. Although initial suspicions were that self-checkout would be a shoplifting haven, it’s actually turned out otherwise. To read how, click here. One, fairly positive, reason for those interventions is to check the sale of age-restricted items such as alcohol and cigarettes, or clear up glitches where the weight didn’t register properly or items were incorrectly moved from one bag to another. Buzek said those issues will soon be addressed by ID scanners and by tweaking machine-set tolerances. The sad part is that systems now have to monitor the sale of certain items due to concern about drug-abuse or terrorism.Among the otherwise-benign products being pulled off some counters, Buzek says, are Claritin D and Tylenol Sinus; both products, like many cold medicines containing Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, can be used in the production of methamphetamines. ”If someone tries to buy 15 gallons of bleach, that will send an alert,” Buzek said. “In California, it’s spray paint.” So self-checkout systems are now placing cashiers in the role of surrogate law enforcement. The sad part is that’s probably not a horrible idea. Maybe Barbra was more right than I thought. Evan Schuman is retail editor for Ziff Davis Internets Enterprise Edit group. He has tracked high-tech issues since 1987, has been opinionated long before that and doesnt plan to stop anytime soon. He can be reached at Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on technologys impact on retail.

Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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