Are self-checkouts dooming impulse purchases?

Are self-checkouts dooming impulse purchases?

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.

Fifty percent of Millennials are using self-checkout every time they shop in grocery stores and that presents a challenge for impulse purchases.

“Self-checkout is the small-basket checkout method of choice,” said Ron Hughes, senior manager of shopper strategy and innovation for Coca-Cola. “It is a method of choice for a growing cohort, which is the Millennials. So it’s important that we start thinking about innovation in this space and understanding impulse merchandising at self-checkout.”

He spoke about these challenges in a presentation at the recent FMI Connect event in Chicago hosted by the Food Marketing Institute. Signage at the large Coca-Cola exhibit at the event showed beverages represent 45 percent of front-end checkout sales.

“Self-checkout is continuing to evolve,” Mr. Hughes said. “It’s entered into an era of efficiency and productivity. It’s provided an opportunity for shoppers to be in control. Shoppers want speed; they want control; they want to get out of the store as quickly as possible.”

But it is that behavior, he said, that creates the challenge of impulse merchandising. At self-checkout, shoppers are focused on checking out. They go from the shopping mode to the transaction mode.

“What makes for good merchandising practices at the front end? I would argue that we want to create an experience for the shoppers. We want to make it more engaging. We want to frame our categories so they pop and shoppers see them,” he said.

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