Are you seeing more and more self-service checkouts? From Wal-Mart to McDonald’s, self checking is growing at an accelerated rate. McDonald’s says they are giving customers more “control over their orders.”
You may think the shift is to reduce employees, but there is a more important reason. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review by Gretchen Gavett, companies are finding when customers use self-service apps and kiosks, they spend more money. Taco Bell says that their new digital app finds people are spending 20% more than orders taken by a human.
Some studies believe that the self-service option removes the social friction at the checkout—people not able to pronounce item names or if the person feels they appear unsophisticated in front of store clerks they will avoid the situation. There is also the problem of negative judgment on eating habits at restaurants that a kiosk eliminates. Not surprising, people who order from kiosks tend to order higher caloric options.
The best news for companies is that kiosks, unlike humans, never forget to up-sell. That is a huge advantage to the bottom line. The problem is that it becomes increasingly hard to establish relationships and show how your organization adds value.
It didn’t seem that hard for me to order at a kiosk at the McDonald’s in Galena, Illinois, but my connection with the organization was also reduced—yet my Egg McMuffin was just as tasty.
The other thing I noticed at my McDonald’s stop was how important video is now to the experience. The order wall was full of movement and video, the kiosk had video and there were TVs in the dining area. Video all around.