Survey: Millennials Want In-Store Mobile Payments, Not Human Cashiers
Despite evidence it may take years for retailers to adapt to consumer desires.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the most common jobs in the country are “retail sales clerk” and “cashier.” The latter category employs roughly 3.4 million people.
Over time a large percentage of those cashiers will likely be replaced by in-store self-service checkout and mobile payments. Though it will take some time — most retailers are notoriously slow to adopt new technology — this development is inevitable.
A meaningful segment of Millennials (20 percent) would prefer not to interact with cashiers at all in retail environments. That’s according to a survey of 1,000 US adults by local shopping data aggregator Retale.
The survey found that 85 percent of respondents have used an in-store self-service kiosk to checkout. That number goes up for Millennials, to 91 percent.
According to the survey the following are the top reasons for using self-service checkout:
- “I have a limited number of items” (72 percent)
- “there was no line” (55 percent)
- “I prefer to keep my transactions and financial information private” (13 percent)
- “I don’t like interacting with cashiers” (12 percent)
As mentioned, for Millennials, “I don’t like interacting with cashiers” goes up to 20 percent. Yet, beyond this, other reasons on the list above (and several not mentioned) point to enabling in-store mobile payments.
Among all respondents, nearly half (49 percent) wanted more self-service kiosks and 20 percent wanted to be able to pay with mobile or a smartwatch. Once again, among Millennials, the figures were higher: “26 percent want to be able to pay at self-service kiosks using mobile devices . . .”
What this survey indicates is a pent-up desire to pay with mobile devices or at a minimum to streamline the in-store checkout process. When retailers start to realize the benefits implementing mobile payments (i.e., reduced costs, improved customer experience and loyalty, more data) they will embrace them.
It may take a few years but they eventually will. Accordingly, by 2022, we may see a 40 – 50 percent reduction in the number of “cashier” jobs in the US.