How Self Checkout Can Balance Service with Customer Demands

According to a report published in Food Dive earlier this year, 95 percent of shoppers just want to be left alone in stores. What does that mean for customer service-oriented grocers? Turns out self checkout meets the needs of customers—in more ways than one. 

One obvious way to give shoppers their “space” is to offer multiple point-of-sale options, such as self checkout kiosks and mobile pay. While attractive to customers, these systems can be costly, so retailers need to ensure a certain level of ROI before upgrading checkout lanes. And if front-end square footage is limited, how can grocers accommodate the changing demands of customers?

Porter’s Thriftway faced this same dilemma and worked with TRUNO on a solution that yielded some unexpected results.

When Porter’s business started to grow, the lines were growing, too. But one of the things retail shoppers dread most is waiting in line to pay for their groceries. The company knew it needed to add lanes quickly, yet it had limited space for expansion.

Working with TRUNO, Porter’s was able to replace one traditional point of sale lane with four self-service lanes. Enthusiasm for the self checkout kiosks was higher than anticipated, with more than a quarter of customers—on some days as much as to 35 percent—consistently using the new lanes. The result? The long lines dwindled, and Porter’s was able to reduce the average time customers spent waiting in traditional lanes by 25 seconds.

At first, Trae Porter, owner of Porter’s Thriftway, was skeptical about the impact self-service on customer experience, but after seeing it in action, he’s a believer. 

“Put your ambassador on self-service,” Trae says. “It is an opportunity for them to reach out to 4x as many customers." 

The TRUNO solution did more than relieve the long lines. It gave grocery shoppers more of what they want most: minimal interaction with store personnel while shopping. And it accomplished this while improving overall customer service.

Curious if self checkout is worth implementing at your stores? Read the case study for more details about the benefits Porter’s Thriftway experienced.

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