Customer reactions to self-checkout discontinuance

Tapani Rinta-Kahila*, Esko Penttinen, Ashish Kumar, Ramkumar Janakiraman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Self-service technologies (SSTs) increasingly permeate retail space. Yet, sometimes retailers decide to revert to human-delivered service mode by discontinuing their incumbent SST. In this study, we examine how self-checkout (SCO) discontinuance affects customers’ perceptions of SCO technology and purchase behavior. We conduct a natural field experiment by surveying two groups of customers pre- and post- SCO discontinuance: treatment group (who experience discontinuance) and control group (who do not experience discontinuance). Leveraging difference-in-differences analyses, we find that SCO discontinuance results in decreases in customers’ satisfaction with technology, intentions to use technology, perceived simplicity of technology, and basket size. Our results inform managers of the potential downsides of discontinuing SST and provide corroborating evidence of the technology's benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102498
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Early online date2 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Natural field experiment
  • Retailing
  • Self-service technology
  • Signaling effect
  • Technology discontinuance


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