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Friday, December 11, 2009

Problems With Self Serve Checkouts

We tested some of the earliest supermarket self-checkouts in the innovation centers. Shoppers like the idea, but were confused by their operation and were afraid they would be accused of theft. I have seen them evolve in local Krogers to the point that they now have their own lines forming behind them. I do see consumers balking at their use when they have to do lookups, say for produce types, but even that is becoming less common. IBM has tested cameras and image analysis systems that identify produce, but they are not in broad use. We still await RFID tags that make this all easier yet. Richard James sends me a BBC article link that suggests that shoppers believe among other issues, they are doing the store's work, but I observe they will do that readily if they see it making the process quicker.

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