Consumers want a choice of service options with manned checkout (60 percent) and self-service (21 percent), according to a recent survey conducted by TNS on behalf of Wincor Nixdorf. The study, which surveyed 2,031 16-64 year olds in Great Britain, also found that 66 percent of the respondents shopped online after having negative customer experiences in a store.
While the majority of consumers prefer manned checkout, almost a third said they would abandon a purchase if they saw a long queue, and more than half would wait no longer than eight minutes. This again highlights the need to combine queue-busting services such as self-service with traditional point of sale, Ed Brindley, director of marketing at Wincor Nixdorf, said in a press release.
More than 20 percent of consumers believe retailers are getting this balance right and meeting the needs and expectations of shoppers. However, the majority do believe more work is needed.
"While online shopping is a growing force, it's interesting to see that the majority of shoppers still prefer manned desks," Brindley said. "In this sense, the high street is still very much king. Consumers want that personal service — the interaction between shopper and retailer. But similarly, they want to know that if there is a long queue, there will be options to speed up their experience. It's all about finding the right balance between retail channels — successfully combining the likes of mobile and self-service with traditional point of sale."
Exploring further the issue of multichannel innovation, the research also revealed that while younger shoppers are more comfortable with mobile payments, 77 percent of overall respondents admit they feel mobile payments put their money at risk.
"Technology such as mobile payments and self-service technology can address many of the service issues consumers are pointing to in this survey, but as retailers rightly look to embrace new technology, they should ensure they are getting the balance right. As mobile technology becomes more widely used, confidence will grow but we must consider that self-service has been in place for many years, yet 60 percent still prefer manned checkout. The 'death of the high street' is quite clearly not a reality. Bricks and mortar will always be vital. The key is to make such technology advances simply part of the shopping experience — and part of the retail boom coming in 2012," Brindley said.