supermarket checkout system

I’m doin a research about supermarkets… is there any problem regarding the existing designs of the checkout system of supermarkets right now? are there any sites that i can use as my reference about this topic? thank you. :slight_smile:

Try to reach its Design team. Our school had visited the company, and we met and listened to their research/design processes. The company is very well known for the area that you are researching.

Ha I did this project for my senior thesis like 9 years ago! It was before self service exisited…

back then, NCR was doing a lot of stuff too:
and Accenture, then anderson consulting had a retailing division that looked into that.

but in general, the whole experience of checking out at stores can totally be improved in so many ways, esp. for people who totally hate shopping!
Good luck!

where in the Philppines are you at? and what design school?

then I will give you the treasure trove of golden research files.

Have you tried looking into Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID)? I know many supermarkets in Britain are looking into putting these tags on food products and on trolleys to enable them to be instantly scanned as they are passed through the checkout.

I think Walmart stores in the US may already use these too?

Good Luck with the project!


Thnks for this site… sorry for the late response. i wsnt able to check back… anyway, it really helps. thnks alot. IS there any way i can ask questions to them even though im not there? through emails i mean. thanks…


Hey. thanks a lot guys. im now having a user research in supermarkets… such as observing the flow of the customers in the checkout counters, and even interviewing heads of the supermarkets… trying to know their employees’ situations in the checkout… And im still looking for solutions to solve problems regarding such. thanks for the help… is there any way i can interview people who are involve with these kind of problems? who have a lot of ideas regarding this? or ways i can reach them? can they be contacted through emails? thanks alot…

hi. may i know you? yeah. thanks. im sure its gonna be a big help for me. hope you can help me… im from philippines. Studying in Mapua institute of technology(MIT)… Industrial design student… THanks.

I assigned a project similar to this a few years ago to some of my students. They were instructed to study the transaction - not the larger activity of shopping.

I suggest that part of what you look at is how long each task takes - for example, putting stuff from the cart onto the belt, scanning it, bagging it paying etc. I am assuming that you are using video. If you are not, you will have to do this in the field:

Break each task up into discreet components and then time each one. You should then be able to find out where the bottlenecks are in the process. You might be surprised at what you find.

If you can, compare transactions with new, self-service check-outs to those with traditional cash registers. Also compare how long cash, credit or debit transactions take. (It might not just be about speed though - but that is another question).

If you do this, post your results here and we can help you some more.

Good luck

i’ll try to do that and post the result. thanks Mr. Swope. :wink:

hi mr swope. i really find it hard to do the video stuff because they got restrictions regarding the said activity.

Then I would suggest observing the interactions, timing them as accurately as you can and taking notes. Take a few “spy” photos with a mobile phone if you can. Just concentrate on the quality and length of each interaction.

Two words-- Local context.

My guess is that the supermarkets in the Philippines are very different than in the US, England, etc. And that these supermarkets evolved in it’s own unique way. Some questions-

  1. What was buying food look like before supermarkets rolled in?

  2. What was the driving factors in bringing supermarkkets? Are they global chains or owned locally?

  3. Is there a reactionary force to supermarkets? What can these people tell you about how shopping has changed?

In my experience, this may give you more cultural insights that you can use as a basis for design than just looking to increase the efficiency of shopping (with RFID, etc.). Seems to me that there are plenty of people working on this and it will be hard to find a new viewpoint.

I agree to that. Supermarkets here in the phils are really different from other countries.

bout your question.
Before there were juz small stores, markets(like a public markets with open area, congestion of stores)
Supermarkets are usually owned locally. Then due to public demands and population growth they were able to put up a number of branches in different areas. Until other investors encouraged also to put up their on supermarkets.
They said that there are really lots of changes when it comes to shopping. Before there were juz simple stores you can buy your needs and other stuffs and less products as well.

Yes and yes.

You should look at the macroscopic - the cultural context - as well as the microscopic - the individual transaction. You should have insights and ideas about all of it.

Cultural differences are good for getting at what really matters in the design of something, and similarities between people’s behavior in different cultures is also powerful.

For this project, you should become an authority on this situation from all of these angles. It is up to you to decide what information that you discover is interesting and important.

We look forward to more questions, insights, hypotheses and results…

Yup. I think that will become a big factor in formulating solutions to this problem. That would really help in making different viewpoints.

Thanks. :smiley: :laughing: