Consumers Demand Speed of Service

Survey shows that almost 90% of consumers want their checkout experience to be faster, while expressing disappointment with customer service at the register.

July 22, 2015

BEAVERTON, Ore. – An overwhelming majority (88%) of U.S. adults want their store checkout experience to be faster, according to an online study conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by Digimarc Corporation. In particular, a combined 50% of those surveyed cited slow checkout speeds and long lines as their top grievances with this aspect of the retail experience.

“Checkout is the last opportunity a retailer has to make a positive impression on a shopper,” said Digimarc Chief Marketing Officer Larry Logan. “Asking customers to endure a lengthy wait to process and pay for their order can spoil what may have otherwise been an enjoyable shopping experience.”

Adding to a shopper’s disappointment upon checkout is a lack of quality human interaction and perceived gratitude. Many consumers (61%) agree that clerks focus most on scanning items and less on finding out if they’re satisfied. And almost a third of consumers (30%) say they feel like they’re burdening the clerk and other customers when they have a full basket.

The survey also suggests that self-checkout (which nearly three-quarters of respondents have avoided) could be more appealing if technical problems were reduced. Of those who avoid self-checkout, 43% cited technical or barcode scanning difficulties as the reasons why.

The survey also shows that many consumers would like to use smartphones to scan packaging to obtain additional product information. This is consistent with the findings from a recent Cisco Research Report showing that 73% of shoppers said they would scan products for special, customized offers and promotions in the store.