Monday, November 20, 2006

The case for self-service checkout lanes

Parlance tracking site Double-Tongue has flagged a new buzzword from a recent Self-Service world article on self-checkout systems. The culprit: wait-warping, as in:
“We’ve seen the results of studies where people have taken the time to measure how long it takes at a cashier versus how long it takes for a layperson scanning the items in self-checkout, and it takes longer for the layperson,” he said. “But because they’re actively involved, it seems like it takes less time.” This concept is well-known to advocates of in-store digital signage, some of whom refer to it as “wait warping,” the idea that giving the shopper something to do and/or think about gives the illusion that things are moving faster than they are.
I don't actually think that's too bad of a term, though you could certainly explain the phenomenon without having to coin a new phrase. Head over to the Double-Tongue site to leave your thoughts on the word.

Past articles on self-checkout systems include:

Self-service, for better or for worse
Storefront Backtalk: Reports differ on self-checkout value
Self-checkout impacting impulse purchases?
Consumers expected to spend $475 Billion at self-service kiosks
Thieves steal using Tesco self-checkout systems
Self-service picking up in the UK

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