Study on Self Checkout
Shrink is not an issue!
When properly managed
Article submitted by Derek Rodner,
VP, Marketing & Product Strategy
While recent news has focused on growing
losses arising from the use of self checkout lanes, a 12
month sample of data across 26 customers and nearly 1000
self checkout lanes shows that properly managed
self-checkout lanes are a benefit to both consumers and
Agilence, the leader in POS Video Auditing, has
been advising retailers on the best practices for self
checkout for many years and helping develop solutions to
counter any issues as they occur.
The evidence from our auditing across multiple chains shows
that self-checkout can actually have far less shrink than
the manned checkout lanes. In addition to providing
incidents to our customers, we perform a root cause analysis
to determine what factors lead to losses. At the
self-checkout, our analysis proves it all comes down to the
SCO podium clerk.
Consider these actual results for one Agilence customer who
was experiencing high transaction cancels at self-checkout.
Over the course of a single month, our auditing found that
their SCO podiums were unmanned 70% of the time. When a
transaction was cancelled, 75% of the time the customer left
without purchasing anything (a serious customer service
issue), the other 25% of the time, the customer walked out
with the product!
Another example demonstrating the importance of a properly
manned podium to the success of SCO is found in the table
• Grocer A had 22% podium coverage resulting in a weekly SCO
loss of $1,340.
• Grocer B had 81% coverage and a weekly SCO loss of only
|Number of SCO Transactions
|Average Transaction Value
|Weekly Walkout Loss
|Weekly Abandoned Orders
|Per Store Total SCO Loss
We found that too many times, the store was understaffed and
the self-checkout podium clerk was pulled away to do other
tasks. But, its more than just putting a body at the
self-checkout. The person working the self-checkout must be
a senior person. They must be able to multi-task and they
must engage the customers coming through self-checkout.
Majority of the time frustration leads to customers walking
away when SCO lanes are not properly staffed. We have found
that if the podium clerk simply says hello to the customer
and engages them for even a few seconds, the customer is far
less likely to steal. In fact, in our analysis, engaging a
customer directly and making eye contact reduces theft even
more than a public view monitor.
Next, the podium clerks too often never look at the alarms
and simply clear them. They need to question the alarm
quickly. Do a very quick analysis and then clear the alarm.
In fact, our best practices show that podium clerks should
even go over to the customer and help them scan if they are
having an issue and pay attention to what is happening.
When a podium clerk understands the importance of their
role, when they are able to multi-task and when they engage
the customer the self-checkout becomes a profit center for
the retailer and a pleasant experience for the customer.
Don't get rid of your self-checkout. Staff them properly.
For more information contact:
Pedro Ramos, VP
Sales at 856-366-1200