The Implementation Of Self Service Checkouts Business Essay


Retail evolved in many ways over the twentieth century. Self-service as a concept started in 1916, when Clarence Saunders started the first self-service store "Piggly Wiggly" in Memphis, Tennessee. The concept of self-service helped the retailer reduce costs, as fewer workers were required to service the customers. (The Economist, Sept 18th-24th 2004)

Since that time the concept of self-service involved even further, with development of IT technologies the creating of electronic device which allow to customer scan the price from a particular product, pack it and pay for it himself. Service has shifted from human interaction to machines substituting service employees and 'anywhere-anytime' electronic services have become commonplace (Dabholkar, P. A. 2003). These self-service technologies enable customers to perform entire services independently without the need for direct assistance from employees. The customer purchasing pattern is influenced by many ways to spend their time on the waiting lines at the self service checkout. The businessman and the retailers are searching different ways to improve their customer checkout systems. The overwhelming need for business to put the advanced checkout system to improve the efficiency of the waiting lines queues. We would like to investigate about this new innovative and advance technology to further improve customer services.


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The purpose of the research paper is to investigate the changes brought about by implementing an innovative SSC system in supermarket, and its effect on the competitiveness of the company.


The main objective of this research paper is to improve customers shopping experience and satisfaction and Investigating about the waiting times in checkout lines by the customers. Customers shopping experience in relation to physiological factors. Compare analysis in relation to others SSC systems by the competitor who are using the same SSC systems. Ease of Use and friendly machine of use of SSC systems by the customers. Assess and compare acquisition implementation and operation cost of self service systems. Management and customers support at self service systems to help and adopt customers to SSC system. Management decision making process about closing appropriate checkout systems is very vital. Health and safety and wheelchair access to these SSC systems are advisable as well. Supermarket SSC survey questionnaire and customers feed back. Investigating about the Management factor so how many items can be taken to the SSC systems. Innovation and competitiveness for future survival in retail industry is very essential and, efficient use of Services is directly related to gain market sale and retain customers and, Finally, Is it feasible to adopt SSC systems in the time of credit crunch.

The context:

"Self-service checkout" (SSC) is an automated process that enables shoppers to scan items and products, and pay for their purchases without human assistance. The shopper carries out the whole checkout process independently, by simply scanning items and paying for them at the end of the process without coming into contact with store personnel. ATMs (ATM = Automatic Teller Machine; for example, bank ATMs.) and grocery self-checkouts were introduced more than 20 years ago. Even though ATMs were not received with enthusiasm when initially introduced, today they are of major significance. The vital use of self checkouts by customers in grocery stores remains to be realized. Dabholkar ET. al. (2003) argues, "Self-scanning in retail stores represents a classic case of a technology-based self-service that failed on its first inception." This presents a problem to be dealt with. Nonetheless, supermarkets in the UK are rapidly expanding and transforming their businesses through the implementation of self-service checkouts. According to a survey done in the UK, a self-service kiosk can handle the workload of two-and-a-half employees at a fraction of the cost. (The Economist, Sept 18th-24th 2004) This implies that ultimately SSC systems can deliver services cheaply on an immense scale. As a result, companies can save money by replacing human workers with automated self-service systems and customers can concurrently gain more choice and control as well as a faster service. The implementation SSC in the UK supermarkets is a relatively new phenomenon. The first systems were adapted by ASDA six years ago (Thomas Daniel, 2002) and therefore studies conducted relating to the topic are few, but needed, since the number of supermarkets implementing self-service checkouts in the UK are on the rise. Since self-service checkouts in the UK supermarkets are a relatively new phenomenon, the topic of SSC in the UK grocery retailing is a highly interesting and relevant topic to conduct research on.

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Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A Research Methods for Business students. 2nd Edition, Prentice Hal, 2000, ISBN 0 273 63977 3

Dawkins, P. and Reichheld, F. (1990), "Customer retention as a competitive weapon", Directors and Boards, vol 14, no 4, 1990.

Carrol, P. and Reichheld, F. (1992), "The fallacy of customer retention", Journal of Retail Banking, vol 13, no 4, 1992.

Research Design:

In the research design of our supermarket self service checkout systems, a questionnaire/Interview allows of use multi-methods approach to collect information. It is necessary as research aims are focusing on customer satisfaction. The random sampling was chosen as method to gather information. The questionnaire based on nature of information mostly using opinion questions, however to extract history data was used factual question. The questionnaire is 2 pages long. The questionnaires consist of 35 question divided in 4 section.  The questioner adopt different types of question (check-off items, fill-in-the-blank, closed questions, list and rank questions,), however the main response is gathered by Likert-type 5-point scale from 'strongly agree" (5) to "strongly disagree" (1). The questionnaire designed to guide answering person through number of question from the easiest to the more complex. Were it was possible the response boxes were located as far as possible, in line, towards the right hand edge of the page.

Current research is 'pilot' project to identify more precise and accurate steps for further research so the number of sampling was limited. The 10 questioner was distributed to the people shopping in the supermarket. It was impossible to have access to the customer databases which is a key aspect of direct marketing and which would typically contain demographic, lifestyle and behavioural information to provide for detailed analysis (McCorkell, 1997). The data analysed in two phases. First determinate the group of customers whose overall satisfaction is high against needs for Self service checkout (favourite the idea or not), and the second determinate the group of customers whose overall satisfaction is low against needs for self service checkout (favourite the idea or not). The 'neutral' customers were withdraw from analyse and presented separately.

Ethical issues:

In this research dissertation, there are ethical issues such as Privacy, Confidentiality and Authenticity of the information and following the Data protection law when handling and using customer specific data about their trends and satisfaction. There should also be confidentiality about the responsible and strategic manager's views and opinions.

Special resources required:

There are many special resources and skills required such as Business Consulting Skills; Accounting/Finance Knowledge; SQL Server 2005 (2008); Other Data Sources; SQL Server Analysis Services; SQL Server Integration Services; SQL Reporting Services; SQL Scripting (T-SQL); MDX and by extension PEL; LAN engineering; Training skill; Communication skills; Presentation skills; Management skills; DB, Network design.

Time Required:

Figure: Pre-implementation/installation SCC to the supermarket.