Cashier-less convenience stores (fully or partially) have been on the horizon for at least 15 years now. What first gained traction in big box retailers has increasingly moved into smaller retail footprints. It’s been announced that 7-Eleven is testing out a cashier-less stores at its corporate headquarters. Zynstra, a NCR company that  virtualizes back and front office store technology, with intelligent automation to deliver software defined stores, conducted a recent survey focused on consumer interest in cashier-less retail. Here are the results.

 

On-the-Go Shoppers’ Frustrations

When asked about their willingness to wait in line at a convenience store, shoppers were, unsurprisingly, less than enthused:

  • 15% of respondents said they will abandon a non-essential purchase after just one minute of waiting in line, with nearly half of these shoppers leaving after only 30 seconds.
  • When refilling their gas tank, 28% of shoppers said they do not go inside to buy goods twice per month or more when they see a line at checkout that is at least one minute long. A further 27% experience this once per month.

Shoppers’ frustrations go beyond long lines, with 31% of respondents saying that they have encountered a malfunctioning credit card system at the fuel pump that forced them to go inside and wait to pay for their gas once a month (16%) and in some cases more than twice a month (15%).

 

Demands for a Faster and More Efficient Store

In light of the frustrations shoppers face, there are ways for retailers to curb these disappointing experiences. According to respondents, upgraded technology could improve their in-store experiences:

  • 61% of shoppers said that the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout.
  • If presented with a faster checkout for card payment only, 80% of shoppers would use it, with 47% using it every time and 33% when the cash line is too long.

According to the report, these technology updates are important for the next generation of shoppers as well.

  • Respondents aged 18-34 are more likely to utilize online ordering, pick up in store and home delivery. 42% of this group stated that home delivery would make shopping at a c-store more convenient.
  • When asked if the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout, 79% of 18- to 24-year-old c-store shoppers answered yes, compared to 34% of those c-store shoppers over the age of 65.
  • 18- to 24-year-old shoppers shopped at c-stores more than any other age group, citing that they shop at convenience stores more than online, grocery and drug stores. These results make this age group an important customer for years to come that must be catered to for increased c-store success.

 

Methodology: The findings are the results from an online survey of 1,000 shoppers, ages ranging from 18 to 65+.