Self-service checkouts risk customer loyalty. Particularly among older shoppers.

Responding to increasing pressure for improved productivity and reduce costs, retailers, banks, airlines and others have moved to self checkout. But at what cost to customer loyalty?

Evidence suggests it could be costing them business.Self-service-checkout--007

Self checkouts are extending the queues, inconveniencing the customers, making them disenchanted. According to one consultant reported here, five out of six people would much rather be served by a human being than to actually administer their own automated checkout.

Research showed men were happy to use the self-checkout when they were just buying a few products, but women purchasing more items resented doing the stores’ work for them.

If the average consumer feels this way, imagine the impact on older shoppers? The ones with money!

German discount supermarket chain Aldi has captured 11 to 14 per cent market share in the eastern states of Australia and will soon enter Perth. Significantly, there are no automatic checkouts. What’s more, an independent monitor of customer satisfaction awarded Aldi ‘Supermarket of the Year’ in 2011, 2012 and again in 2014.

Even an improvement in just one touchpoint (the checkout) can make a huge difference to the customer experience translating into better business.