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Consumers Agree: In-Store Checkout Needs to Be Quick and Easy

A simple and seamless checkout experience still tops shoppers’ list of in-store must-haves, because no one wants to stand in long lines.

More than four in five internet users worldwide said a quick and easy checkout was the most valued aspect of the shopping experience, making it the highest ranked response to a January 2019 survey from iVend Retail.

When location platform GroundTruth asked US consumers in June 2018 about what made in-store shopping better than digital, more pointed to a quick checkout experience than any other factor, at 81%.

But in-store shopping has its drawbacks—half of respondents to the GrouthTruth survey noted crowds and long lines as the biggest pain points. And these inconveniences can hinder consumers’ paths to purchase.

A September 2018 survey from Qualtrics found that 12% of consumers said they’d consider shopping elsewhere if a store's checkout lines were too long.

Nearly one-third of US grocery buyers said they’d quit a long line in search of a better checkout experience, while 11% would abandon a purchase entirely in the same situation, according to an April 2018 Digimarc survey conducted by Forrester Consulting.

Consumers may agree that they want a simple checkout experience, but that doesn’t mean they agree on what that looks like. More than half of internet users in the US polled by CivicScience in July 2018 said they preferred to check out with a cashier. And that group skews older—three-quarters of respondents ages 55 and older and 55% of those 35 to 54 preferred the traditional checkout experience.

But the CivicScience study also found that one in three respondents preferred using a self-service checkout method. That number increased to 46% among the 18-to-34 age group. Two-thirds of respondents to GroundTruth's survey said self-checkout made an in-store shopping experience better than shopping online.

According to our February 2019 ecommerce survey conducted by Bizrate Insights, US internet users ages 18 to 34 were 19% more likely to use self-service checkout regularly than 35- to 54-year-olds, and this figure increased to 76% when compared with respondents ages 55 and older.

"Younger shoppers tend to be a bit more comfortable with technology," said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman. "And they don't like waiting, so anything that streamlines the process is welcomed."

Above all, shoppers are looking for a quick and easy checkout experience, and they won't stand for (or in) long lines.