A millennial love letter to the self-checkout line

A millennial love letter to the self-checkout line

Image courtesy of iStock

By Travis Morin

Travis Morin is marketing
editor of Advanced Kiosks.

As I write this, I'm certain of only two things: I'm a millennial, and I'm head over heels in love with self-checkout lines. 

From our alleged fondness for killing casual dining restaurants to the theory that we can't get through the day without a participation trophy, us 90s babies are often written about — and it's rarely good.

Perhaps it's for this reason that I like to think of myself as outside the norm for my generation. I don't like avocado toast, I'd rather hold a book in my hands than read anything off a tablet, and I'll take plain old breakfast over an overpriced brunch any day of the week. I may be a millennial, but I'm certainly not one of "those millennials." 

Well, all of that changed the other night.

There I was: standing in a department store, juggling several items in my hands because I was too cool to grab a shopping cart. I make a beeline for the self-checkout kiosks that are currently all in use, when suddenly I hear a voice behind the cash register of the "10 items or less" checkout that's right next to the kiosks.

"Sir, I can take you over here."

I hesitate for a moment and look forward to scope out the status of the people at the automated kiosks. One of them had just swiped their debit card! "Yes!" I thought, "That was a close one."

"That's okay!" I say back to the clerk at the 10 items or less checkout. "It looks like that one is about to open up. Thanks!"

On the face of it, it makes zero sense. I was standing there, arms burning, squirming in place to hold on to about eight items with my two hands. But rather than take two steps to put them down and let someone else ring me up, I was willing to tough it out for the chance to not interact with a human being. Was I no better than the groan inducing millennial stereotype that I despised?

Just as I was about to tumble into a life changing identity crisis in the middle of the store, I turned around and noticed that the line for the self-checkout line was at least five people deep, composed of all ages, and not a single one had budged to take Mr.10 Items or Less up on his offer.

It all made sense now. It wasn't just my 20-something year-old self who had a soft spot for these electronic retail kiosks, they were a hit with everyone.

For the average person who's decompressing from spending far too long in their car coming home from work, fighting through the organized chaos that is any store after 5 p.m. and just wants to get home to have dinner and settle in for the night, the self-checkout lane is a godsend. It's quick, efficient, easy to use, and gives you the power to bag your items however you like.

If you own or operate any sort of retail store, you know that you're selling your customers more than just products: You're selling them the best shopping experience possible. The experience that makes them your return customer rather than your competitor's.

And whether your target customer is a 26-year-old marketing editor from New Hampshire or a middle-aged housewife from Ohio, a retail kiosk is the perfect asset to help your shopping experience stand out from the competition.

Topics: Customer Experience, Retail, Self-Checkout

Companies: Advanced Kiosks

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