5 Misconceptions About Self-Checkout in Convenience Stores

c store self checkout myths

5 Misconceptions About Self-Checkout in Convenience Stores

From its inception, self-checkouts have stirred up opinions among consumers.

But times have changed, technology has developed, and self-checkout is here to stay.

Now that self-checkouts are rapidly moving into convenience stores, let’s take a closer look at a few myths for this new frontier.

1. CLAIM: People Don’t Want to Use Self-Checkout

False: 87% of respondents to a recent retail survey said they would prefer to shop in retail stores with touchless or robust self-checkout options.

In a separate survey, 73% of respondents were in favor of self-service checkout options.

The truth is people don’t want to stand in line.

Here are a few more stats from another recent survey from Forbes:

  • 60% consider long lines as a pain point in the shopping experience.
  • 6 out of 10 shoppers prefer self-checkout over cashier-assisted checkout, if given the option.
  • 85% of shoppers believe that self-checkout is typically faster than cashier-guided checkout

2. CLAIM: Can’t Sell Age Restricted Items

False: With Passport Express Lane, age-restricted items can be easily handled by the cashier without leaving the front counter.


3. CLAIM: Self-Checkout Increases Shrink

False: Express Lane Self-Checkout users have not reported increases in shoplifting. In fact, store owners with self-checkout are seeing no change in shrinkage.

“Obviously there’s always going to be theft,” said Skip Potter, IT Director for Maplefields brand c-stores on a recent CSP podcast. “But over the period that we have been [implementing self-checkouts], we have either seen a flat or decrease in our shrink. We’re not seeing a spike; we’re not seeing an increase.”

4. CLAIM: Customers Must Be Trained to Use Self-Checkout Systems

True: Customers need to be trained for a new routine and employees need to become self-checkout believers. This isn’t a challenge, however, it’s merely part of the implementation process.

Here are a few quick tips for customer and employee buy-in:

  • Visibility: Ensure customers can see Express Lane from the store’s entry and where lines form, usually near the existing front counter.
  • Signage: Brand continuity is important, but with a new self-checkout program, you need it to stand out in your store. Consider high-visibility signage that stands out from the rest of your store’s look and feel.
  • Employee Ambassadors: For the first two weeks, we recommend assigning a team member to the self-checkout area. Employee ambassadors help ensure waiting customers know they have Express Lane as an option and assist when necessary.
  • Buy-In: For employees, it’s important to show them why Express Lane is a tool that makes their lives easier. Emphasize self-checkout will free employees to focus on high-value tasks, rather than being stuck behind a register.

5. CLAIM: Express Lane Self-Checkout Pays for Itself

True: Depending on your store’s volume and set-up, Express Lane can pay for itself. Here’s a quick scenario:

And when you add on the new 0% financing program, ROI concerns are no more.

Ready to get started? Contact our Express Lane Self-Checkout team today!