So, the Save-On-Foods by my house has recently installed DIY checkouts. When I first encounted these devices in the States (because they get everything before us…), I was completely against the idea of paying someone for a service that required me to do most of the work. The more I think about it however, I’ve come to a different conclusion.
First, what on earth are these fantastical devices? Quite simply, it is an amazing piece of technology. When you scan your item, it prompts you to place your item in the bag. The bags sit on a scale – so as you scan items, not only does it determine how much you owe, it also fetches the approximate weight. The computer keeps a running total of your weights, as a control to prevent any errors (not scanning an item, for example). Anyway, its a pretty slick device.
So, what was my problem? When I go to a store, I pay for the goods and the service of someone to check me out. This eliminates that service. Not only does this seem contrary to customer loyalty principles (if you don’t interact with the staff, how can you prefer one store over another?), my purchase is generating a higher profit (since one person monitors 4-6 machines).
Personally, I think that if I’m going to use the DIY Checkout, I should get a discount to reflect the fact that I’m helping the company save money on manpower. I’m not thinking much – maybe 5% (or less, whatever the ‘typical’ cost savings might be). It would make me happy.
It would be nice. Doubt it will happen though.