Retail Intelligence

Six in 10 Shoppers Prefer Self-Service Checkouts Over Cashier Checkouts

By Donna Ahern
Six in 10 Shoppers Prefer Self-Service Checkouts Over Cashier Checkouts

When it comes to shoppers’ paying preferences for a basket-sized grocery shop, six in 10 (61%) prefer to use self-service checkouts over cashier checkouts, in line with the 61% recorded in our 2017 research. Recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,023 adults aged 18+, sought to understand what is driving this preference for self-service checkouts and the opportunity for future growth of self-service checkouts in-store.

The preference for self-service checkouts continues to be primarily driven by those aged under 35, where over 8 in 10 (80%) would opt for this type of checkout, down marginally from previous levels recorded (83%). Dublin residents (67%) are most likely to prefer self-service checkouts, with those living in Leinster (outside of Dublin) least likely to prefer self-service checkouts (49%). Those more in favour of cashier checkouts continue to be more likely to be aged over 55 years of age (57%), unchanged year-on-year.

Time-Savings Experience

Key drivers for the preference of self-service checkouts include the time-savings experienced by shoppers, as well as their ease of use. Just over half (54%) of those who prefer self-service checkouts, do so because of the smaller queues experienced with half (50%) claiming they prefer self-service checkouts because the queue moves faster than cashier checkout queues, with a similar proportion (47%) claiming they are quicker to get all your purchases scanned through – highlighting their usefulness in the convenience category. Just over one in seven (16%) claim they prefer to use self-service checkouts because they prefer to not have to speak to members of staff, rising to 30% amongst those aged 18-34.

Almost half (45%) of all grocery shoppers claim they would like to see more self-service checkouts in grocery stores, with just over 4 in 10 (42%) shoppers believing the number of products permissible to scan at self-service checkouts should be increased, both of which are in line with 2018 figures.


For more information and in-depth analysis relating to this piece of research, including preferences for self-service checkout across different retailers, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.

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