Report: Self-Checkout Usage Soared 24 Percent Last Year

The IHL study found consumers spent more than $137 billion in retail self-checkout in 2006.

Consumers spent more than $137 billion in retail self-checkout in 2006, with increased self-checkout use in do-it-yourself stores, supercenters and warehouse clubs mostly responsible, according to an IHL study released Sept. 6.

Thats 24 percent more than was checked out by consumers in 2005, IHL said.

The study also reported that consumer resistance to the machines is starting to dilute, with 44 percent saying they "really like self-checkout" and only 9 percent saying "they will not use the technology," IHL said, citing its 1,000-consumer survey conducted in the spring and summer this year.

The survey confirmed what most would expect, which is that acceptance of the device increases sharply as consumers 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 dont 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, finding 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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