Consumers take time to adapt to frictionless check-out technology

Published: 22 August 2023

Technologies like artificial intelligence are changing the way we shop. But change can be intimidating, and people can be reluctant to adopt it. The Bensadoun School of Retail Management’s Retail Innovation Lab provides such an example. At the highly automated Couche-Tard location on McGill campus, cameras in the store allow customers to make frictionless purchases that don’t require bar codes to be scanned. Still, many people don’t want to use them. “People prefer to use cashiers, if they have the choice,” says Charles de Brabant, the executive director of Bensadoun. But that doesn’t mean these technologies don’t have a place. In addition to helping busy stores handle customers more efficiently, they could benefit shops in rural areas or remote locations, where few employees are available to work or to relieve each other for breaks.

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