Exploring the Impact of Self-Service Technologies on Retail Shoppers: A Multi-national Investigation in UK and Australia
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Prior research shows a mixed response from shoppers to the use of self-service technologies (SST) in the retail sector, which includes both machine assisted (on-site) and electronic (offsite) services. For example, SCMs were first introduced in both UK and Australia about a decade back by major supermarket chains aiming to make the customer checkout experience more efficient. However, recent surveys of shoppers in these two countries show contrasting results, with many UK shoppers claiming that they had never used self-checkout machines (SCM) that they need help when using these. In contrast, most Australian shoppers are quite satisfied with their experience of using SCM and they feel more confident in using these. Similar results are reported for online grocery shopping more than half of UK consumers (55%) not using online shopping for groceries and only 10% claiming that they always do their grocery shopping online, which is exactly the opposite of shoppers in Australia, majority of whom claim to regularly shop online. We aim to explore and understand these contrasting results in these two countries using two field-survey based studies. We find significant differences between the shoppers in the two countries in the extent to which perceived quality and customer satisfaction with each checkout method (staffed, self or online) affect customers’ overall perceived quality, satisfaction and loyalty towards the store. We discuss the theoretical contribution and managerial implications of these differences in the paper.
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