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Millennials Want Self-Checkout With Mobile Payments

Millennials like self-checkout — but they’d like it even more if they could use mobile payments there, according to results from a new survey commissioned by location-based mobile marketing vendor Retale.

While 20 percent of the survey’s 1,000-plus U.S. adult respondents said they’d like to have a mobile payment option at self-service checkout kiosks, the number was 26 percent among those age 18 to 34, versus 16 percent for those over 34.

Millennials were also more likely to have used self-checkout (91 percent, versus 81 percent for age 35 and up) and more likely to say they liked self-checkout because they “don’t like interacting with cashiers” (20 percent, against 12 percent for all those surveyed). And fewer of those younger shoppers said they often need help from a store associate when using self-checkout (37 percent, versus 47 percent of 35-and-olders). Still, 53 percent of all those surveyed want at least one store employee around to make sure self-checkout goes smoothly.

Other common reasons for choosing self-checkout included “I have a limited number of items” (72 percent), “there was no line” (55 percent), and “I prefer to keep my transactions and financial information private” (13 percent).

“Almost a quarter of all millennials use self-service kiosks to avoid any sort of interaction with cashiers,” Retale president Pat Dermody said in a prepared statement. “As a result, there is a growing demand for more automation and innovation throughout the checkout experience, via integrations with smartphones, wearables and other mobile devices. This will add to the convenience factor that already appears to be key to the experience.”

That millennial preference for self-checkout — and a higher than usual aversion to dealing with store associates — lines up with a recent Forrester Research study, which concluded that retailers who cater to millennials are wasting their time because millennials don’t have much money to spend. That report recommended that retailers forget about chasing younger shoppers with beacons and push notifications to smartphones, and instead invest in equipment that helps stores stay open earlier and later without extra costs — such as self-checkout kiosks.

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