The Value of Self-Service Technology: A Customer’s Perspective

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Self-service technologies have become one of the hottest and most sought-after tools for retailers in a variety of industries, spurred by the advancement of personal technology and an increase in general tech-literacy. Today, businesses everywhere are switching to self-service options to give their customers a better, more customizable experience.

Some business owners are stuck believing that customers want one-on-one employee assistance at the checkout, but many customers prefer to control their own checkout process. The one-size-fits-all style of customer service from days past doesn’t fit today’s customers that value speed and efficiency over employee assistance.

Not sure whether self-service options are right for your business? Here’s what it could mean for your customers:

Time Saved

Life is hectic, which means that customers often consider time when choosing where to shop or look for services. With work, school, family and personal lives to take care of, customers don’t want to spend more time than necessary inside grocery or retail stores.

In many cases, customers learn to avoid stores that they know to take the longest to check out and will even compromise on price or quality for the sake of saving time.

Although self-service isn’t always faster than the traditional checkout, customers perceive it to be so and will oftentimes choose it over a traditional check lane if they’re in a hurry.

In a traditional employee-manned checkout, there are many things that can slow the line down: chatty cashiers, missing price tags, forgotten items, slow customers, etc. Providing self-checkouts is an easy way to give customers the control over checkout speed.

Frictionless Checkout

While some customers might want experienced employees to help them find the items they need, or give them recommendations on specific products, most customers are ready to be done with their customer service experience by the time they check out and prefer to scan their own items.

Interacting with an employee at the checkout can be tedious and frustrating for a number of reasons.

Misheard words, confusion over pricing, wrongly answered questions, and mis-keys are common occurrences of “friction” in the checkout process and can leave customers feeling stressed by the end of their transaction, even if they left with everything they came to purchase.

With self-checkout, customers have more control to create a smooth and pain-free checkout experience.

Increased Accuracy

Inventory is constantly changing in retail and grocery stores with items rotating in and out based on customer demand, product availability and new product launches. This makes it difficult for employees to keep up with product offerings, locations, availability and pricing.

Because of this, employees are more likely than customers to mis-scan items like produce that require manual PLU code entries. Another reason cashiers are more likely to mis-scan items is time: they often feel the need to rush through transactions in order to get customers through quickly.

Improving your inventory and transaction accuracy can be achieved with self-checkouts. Yes, it’s true: the customer is often more accurate than your cashiers in scanning items like fresh foods!

On-Demand Information

A customer’s number one concern for in-store shopping is time and convenience. One of the biggest wastes of valuable time for a customer? Not knowing where their desired items are located.

It’s a frustrating experience to know what you need but not know where it’s located. It’s even more frustrating when the employees don’t know where to look either.

Eliminating this pain point for your customers is simple with self-service kiosks. Stationing item information kiosks around your store will help your customers have a speedy shopping experience.

The great thing about kiosks is that you don’t have to limit them to one function. An item information kiosk can be used not only for aisle locations but also for price look ups, stock counts and online ordering.

No More Closed Lanes

One of a shopper’s biggest frustrations? Closed checkout lanes.

We’ve all experienced this as customers – standing in with a cart full of groceries and scanning through a line of 20 plus checkouts to look for the three or four that are open.

As a customer, we don’t often consider the reasons a lane may be shutdown: staffing shortages, labor price increases, among others. We’re focused on how this impact us, namely slower, longer checkout lines.

Imagine a situation in which as a store owner or operator you never had to turn your checkouts off. Now this is possible with our multi-modal Convertible Check Lane, a checkout that can be toggled between self-checkout mode and full-service mode as needed.

Keeping your entire front end of lanes open is a great way to step up your customer service and keep customers happy.

Want to discover custom self-service technology to enhance your customers’ experience? Visit Pan-Oston online today or reach us via our contact page and learn how we can help you find the right solution for your business.

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About Pan-Oston

Pan-Oston is an employee-owned company with over 50 years of experience in the retail fixture industry and 20 years of experience in the self-service industry. Our corporate headquarters is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but we work with companies throughout the United States to conceptualize, design and manufacture innovative front end solutions for their stores. Our specialty is technology-focused, self-service solutions. We can also provide hardware integration services.


Pan-Oston Company
6944 Louisville Rd Bowling Green, KY 42101