Why Walmart Is Giving Up On Replacing Cashiers With Machines

Have you ever gone shopping and get in line to check out—only to find a machine instead of a human being? When you’re the one responsible for scanning all your items and swiping your credit card, things go a bit faster and makes life a little bit easier, especially when you’re just picking up a few items.

However, not everyone likes the responsibility of scanning all their items and checking themselves out. Plus, lines can still build up with these self checkout lanes.

Walmart had a solution for a way to still make customers able to check themselves out, but eliminate lines altogether. Not too long ago, several stores began to implement their “Scan and Go” technology in which customers are able to scan items as they walk through the store and then pay on their phones when they’re finished. Then they walk through a Mobile Express lane will at the front of Walmart’s stores for security purposes.

The idea behind using this type of technology was noble—that consumers today want a speedy, easy shopping experience, and an easy way to get in and get out of the store without any fuss or muss. Sounds like a win-win for all—Walmart cuts costs, we slash all the long lines, and everyone gets to have a seamless shopping experience, right?

“We’re always looking for new ways to help our customers save time, and these innovations are just the latest examples of how we continue to invest in our stores and bring greater convenience to customers,” said Ray Korsch, a Walmart market manager, in a statement.

Not necessarily. It seems that replacing cashiers with this type of new technology didn’t go over with customers well. It actually may have done them a disservice and added fuel to the fire for Walmart’s reputation for already not having the best customer service.

Walmart has been super low on the list for customer satisfaction, but now they’re sinking even lower, and it might be due to the self-use machines. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score (which measures how good or bad the products and services that American consumers receive by certain major department and discount retailers are) for Walmart experienced a drop from 2016 to 2017—from 72 to 71. This puts them way at the bottom of the list, just a bit below Sears.

“It took Walmart almost a year to figure out what the rest of us already know: you can’t convince customers to do the job of a cashier just because you don’t want to pay for the work, especially when eliminating cashiers doesn’t result in more convenient shopping,” says Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) director, Randy Parraz.

After seeing these numbers, Walmart has since decided to bring back cashiers to check out their customers—which hopefully will help get their ACSI ratings a bit higher.

We’ve certainly come a long way when it comes to checkout lanes. However, sometimes I think if we keep going on like this, there will no longer be any form of human communication!

For more on why Walmart is giving up on this technology, check out this video below!

What do you think of having machines instead of cashiers? Did you ever shop in Walmart when they implemented this type of technology? How do you feel about them going back to cashiers? In general, what your thoughts on Walmart’s customer satisfaction?