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  • Author: Andrea Szymkowiak x
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Abstract

The research aims to examine the perceptions of relative novice users of self-service checkouts (SSCOs) and if these perceptions change before, during and following use. Employing a diary approach with 31 respondents relatively unfamiliar with SSCOs, the research will document their experiences with this technology across stationary, hardware and grocery stores in two Scottish cities (Glasgow and Dundee). Findings suggest that the majority of respondents were motivated to use the technology because of time saving and convenience. However, the actual experience of using SSCOs was not always considered quicker when compared to staffed checkouts because of technical issues, lack of staff assistance and the impersonal, sometimes stressful and controlled nature of the cramped SSCO environment. Following post-use reflections, the majority of respondents’ opinions did not change from their initial perceptions and indicated that they would prefer not to use the technology in the future. Based on the findings, this study makes some practical suggestions centring on the design and usability of SSCOs, which may go some way to reducing customer dissatisfaction and frustration with the technology, especially from the perspective of new users of the technology.