Give us shopkeepers, not self-service checkouts!

British shoppers would rather have a real human being to talk to at the check-out, than the robotic, pre-recorded "unexpected item in bagging area" at the self-service check-out.

Published 18 December 2013  |  
(PA)

A new study has revealed that although 95 per cent of shoppers have used self-service checkouts, over half say they would rather interact with a real member of staff.

Market Force Information conducted the research, interviewing 2,500 respondents across the UK.

It found that two thirds of us appreciate the speed with which self-service technology allows us to pay for our shopping, but 57 per cent would still rather use staffed checkouts.

Forty-one per cent of us value the interaction that being served by a member of staff offers, while 23 per cent prefer the simplicity of buying age-restricted products from a check-out manned by a real person, as opposed to having to wait for authorisation at a self-service kiosk.

Courteous staff are named as one of the key factors in providing overall customer satisfaction. The report commends Waitrose in particular as a mark of this trend, with 71 per cent of shoppers indicating that helpful staff is the main reason they choose to shop there.

Despite the growing use of self-service technology to cut down on wages, Simon Boydell, Global Marketing Manager at Market Force, believes stores would be wise to hang on to real members of staff.

"While technology can sometimes enhance the in-store experience, courteous and well-informed staff are still essential in delivering a great experience," he said.

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