Report Does Self-Checkout Impact Grocery Store Loyalty?


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n an effort to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction, retailers have implemented self-checkouts in stores across the country. They have become increasingly popular, but some brands like Walmart are removing self-checkouts in some locations while adding more in others. There are many advantages and disadvantages of self-checkout for both the customer and the retailer, but little formal research has investigated the impact of self-checkout on customers’ shopping experience. This led researchers from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business to look at how self-checkout systems in grocery stores influence customer loyalty compared to regular checkout systems.

Yanliu Huang, PhD, an associate professor in LeBow, and a former Drexel graduate student, Farhana Nusrat, PhD, now an assistant professor at the University of San Diego, conducted five studies that showed customers are more likely to remain loyal to the grocery store when using regular checkout service. They found loyalty is demonstrated by an increased likelihood of returning to the store in the future. These findings and the full study were recently published in the Journal of Business Research.

Huang and Nusrat established that the perceived ease of checkout and a sense of entitlement played a role in explaining the effect of loyalty. They also noted the number of items purchased during the shopping trip also affects how the type of checkout influences customer loyalty.

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