Are cashier-less stores actually easier? | The Tylt

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Are cashier-less stores actually easier?
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From the self-checkout lines at your local grocery store to Amazon's new cashier-less Amazon Go stores, the overwhelming trend in retail seems to be toward fewer interactions between humans. Some customers favor cashier-less stores and self-checkout lines, opting for speed rather than waiting for an available register. Others say cashier-less options are actually more stressful, as the technology behind them is fallible. Would you actually prefer to shop at a cashier-less store? 

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Are cashier-less stores actually easier?
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One of the worst parts of going to the grocery store is waiting in line. You spend 45 minutes weaving between aisles, going back and forth from the dairy section to the canned foods looking for evaporated milk to no avail, only to then wait behind five full carts at checkout before you're able to leave. 

Waiting to checkout creates a horrible customer experience. People are nothing if not impatient, and retailers understand this. AdWeek explains one cashier-less startup's perspective on the conundrum:

Per Zippin’s figures, U.S. consumers spend nearly 37 billion hours a year standing in line. That’s about 113 hours a year based on a population of 325.7 million, or a little over two hours per person per week, which is maybe a little high. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to say consumers generally don’t like waiting.

According to Zippin chief executive Krishna Motukuri, the whole point of going cashier-less is to create a "frictionless" customer experience. 

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When it comes to purely cashier-less stores—meaning no human cashiers available whatsoever—people are a bit wary. According to some critics, not only does the cashier-less trend put people out of jobs, but it also enables huge companies like Amazon to track your buying habits. In a world where privacy is already scarce, few people are jumping at the opportunity to make this their reality. 

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One Amazon Go customer, Meiling Du, reviewed their first cashier-less attempt at the flagship Seattle store. 

After picking up a smoothie and a bag of cookies, Du offered a number of suggestions to Amazon to improve its customer experience, but felt pleased with the shopping experience overall. Du writes on Medium

I was pretty amazed by the Amazon Go shopping experience. It was fast and mostly accurate. However, there was also uncertainty and anxiety felt in the process. 

Some degree of anxiety is to be expected when asking customers to change their behavior, such as walking out of a store without stopping by any kind of cash register. To solve this, Du recommends Amazon provide customers with a digital shopping cart and a quick receipt. These small changes can help customers adjust to the future of retail, which could very well leave cashiers and cash registers behind. 

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Malfunctioning technology is sure to frustrate customers as much as standing in a long line, if not more. Most customers recognize that although long lines might be a sign of poor management or efficiency, the cashier on the other end is trying their best to get people out the door. The same cannot be said for a computer or app that malfunctions during a transaction.

As Lawrence Aylward puts it for StoreBrands.com:

A retailer’s intangible store brand is its customer experience. It can be argued that this is the most important store brand of all. Who wants to set foot in a store that provides a lousy customer experience, be it from humans or automation?

At the end of the day, a human will always be more forgivable than a machine. The cashier-less trend is sure to not only push people out of their jobs, but also increase customer frustration.

FINAL RESULTS
Are cashier-less stores actually easier?
#TeamCashierless
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepCashiers
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