Self-Service Checkouts and Their Increasing Popularity

Highly productive machines often replace animals or ordinary workers due to a wide range of reasons. For example, self-checkouts have been becoming more and more popular throughout the last decade. However, they were invented in 1967 in London, and then David R. Humble designed the first self-service till in 1984, being inspired by standing in a long grocery checkout line (Hamacher, 2017). The machine has been gaining popularity since then, and engineers constantly improve it nowadays. Nevertheless, Montgomery (2019) emphasizes that “unlike ATMs or self-serve gas stations, they are still not widely accepted by clients” (para. 1). The reason for it is that people perceive self-service checkouts in different ways, and it depends on a number of factors. For example, according to Harris (2019), shoppers’ age and view of the process of technological process influence what checkout option they choose. Young individuals who enjoy and praise modern technologies are more likely to prefer self-checkouts over traditional cashiers.

Furthermore, the increasing popularity of self-service checkouts has its benefits, as well as costs. Steppe (2020) states, “Retailers across the country, including those that previously were reluctant to embrace the relatively new technology, have been adding thousands of self-checkouts” (par. 4). It means that thousands of cashiers lose their job at the same time, and it becomes more difficult for low-skilled workers to find employment in general, as machines can easily fulfill their duties. Simultaneously, shop owners can largely benefit from the replacement both financially and managerially. Cashiers may make mistakes and be unproductive, but these problems cannot be related to self-service checkouts. In general, shoppers still have a choice, though the devices or any other machines may entirely replace cashiers in the near future.

References

Hamacher, A. (2017). It’s a machine that many people love to hate. What will it take to improve the experience of the self-checkout? BBC. Web.

Harris, S. (2019). Machines vs. cashiers: Why shoppers are so divided over self-checkout. CBC. Web.

Montgomery, M. (2019). Disappearing cashiers: Self check-out replacing people. RCI. Web.

Steppe, J. (2020). Self service checkouts replace cashiers at many Iowa stores. The Washington Times. Web.

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