I hate self-checkout lanes. First off, I feel like all this automation is really cost cutting methods on the behalf of big business trying to reduce costs by eliminating jobs. I refuse to use them even if it means my standing in a long line muttering to myself that there should be more cashiers available. It’s a matter of principal to me.
There’s a certain home improvement store (no names here but their brand does evoke images of Halloween) that is very aggressive in their campaign to force their customers to use their self-checkout lanes. This particular location rarely will have more than one cashier working regardless of how long the lines are. I suspect that it’s this particular store manager but I take no comfort in knowing that.
I go into that store reluctantly and always diligently fill out their online customer satisfaction survey and use the opportunity to express my dissatisfaction with their checkout process. I’ve been doing this for well over a year and while I don’t shop there very often, I suspect they really don’t care about this one-woman campaign to get some cashiers their jobs back.
Ecommerce Sites Need to Make It Easy to Buy
So, I got to thinking one day. When we make online purchases, aren’t we in fact standing in the self checkout line? We chose our items, put them in our carts and then we check ourselves out.
For the sake of this rant, I’m going to assume that if you’re selling something, you have a secure checkout process and your customers feel that they can trust you. Even small businesses can quickly and easily implement PayPal to handle their ecommerce needs.
Self-Checkout Lanes Don’t Answer Questions
What about your store/site itself? What if I’m “in line” at your “store” and I need a price check? Or have a question about your guarantee or return policy? Do you have a virtual sales associate in the form of online live help? Do you have a page of FAQs, contact information and an order form that I can print out and mail. (Yes, some people still are afraid to buy online.) Do you have an 800#? (Note: shameless self promoting link to Grasshopper, an 800# for $9.95 a month – a solution that I have personally and successfully used.)
What do you think? Do you use the self-checkout lanes in brick and mortar stores? Do you shop online? Do you know anyone who refuses to shop on the Internet? What are your best tips for having an online store?