Big Y recently found out that self service checkout lanes are not really working effectively in decreasing the waiting time and the solution even harms the customer experience.
Big Y Foods Inc has announced that they have selected service over self checkouts in all of their stores. In the battle of Service vs. Self Checkouts, service won. By the end of the year, Big Y plans to eliminate all of the self checkout lanes within their 58 supermarkets. The company first implemented self checkout lanes in 2003.
This is what I experience all the time observing how customers try to deal with self service checkout in shops, they always have some kind of a problem.
The whole process does not run smoothly, something always happens: a problem with the barcode, machine does not accept the bankcard, customers get lost in the menu, …etc.
After extensive research, Big Y has concluded that these self checkout lanes not only do not save their customers time but usually take them even more time to check out than customers in standard checkout lanes.
It is fun to try out once in a while the self checkout, but most of the time I go for the normal checkout. You can never estimate how long the waiting time will be at the self checkout, something always goes wrong with you or with someone else standing front of you.