Shopper age and the use of self‐service technologies

Shopper age and the use of self‐service technologies Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of shopper age on attitudes toward and use of retail self‐service technology (SST). The age variable has received relatively little attention in the literature. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaire responses from three age groups are compared. Also, cluster analysis is used to group subjects based on similarity in attitudes toward and use of SST. Findings – Compared to younger consumers, older consumers had experience with fewer types of SSTs, less confidence in using SST, reported missing human interaction to a greater degree, used self‐checkout less often when the option was available, were less willing to pay a premium for express checkout, and were more likely to attribute a corporate self‐interest for the introduction of SST. For the total sample of 718 subjects, 40 percent reported using store self‐checkout 15 percent of the time or less when the option was available. Only 25 percent of subjects reported using automated store checkout on more than half of their shopping occasions. Research limitations/implications – Only eight types of SST were studied and only one technology was investigated in depth. Practical implications – Based on the findings of this study, four managerial actions are recommended that may potentially increase traffic throughput at automated retail checkout. Originality/value – This is believed to be the first study to find significant differences among age groups on multiple dependent variables associated with SST. Also, the identification of consumer clusters based on attitudes toward and use of SST may be novel. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managing Service Quality Emerald Publishing

Shopper age and the use of self‐service technologies

Managing Service Quality, Volume 18 (3): 14 – May 16, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0960-4529
DOI
10.1108/09604520810871856
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of shopper age on attitudes toward and use of retail self‐service technology (SST). The age variable has received relatively little attention in the literature. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaire responses from three age groups are compared. Also, cluster analysis is used to group subjects based on similarity in attitudes toward and use of SST. Findings – Compared to younger consumers, older consumers had experience with fewer types of SSTs, less confidence in using SST, reported missing human interaction to a greater degree, used self‐checkout less often when the option was available, were less willing to pay a premium for express checkout, and were more likely to attribute a corporate self‐interest for the introduction of SST. For the total sample of 718 subjects, 40 percent reported using store self‐checkout 15 percent of the time or less when the option was available. Only 25 percent of subjects reported using automated store checkout on more than half of their shopping occasions. Research limitations/implications – Only eight types of SST were studied and only one technology was investigated in depth. Practical implications – Based on the findings of this study, four managerial actions are recommended that may potentially increase traffic throughput at automated retail checkout. Originality/value – This is believed to be the first study to find significant differences among age groups on multiple dependent variables associated with SST. Also, the identification of consumer clusters based on attitudes toward and use of SST may be novel.

Journal

Managing Service QualityEmerald Publishing

Published: May 16, 2008

Keywords: Self‐service; Shopping; Age groups; Consumer behaviour

References

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