Olden presents at EEA
The Choice Lab and NOCET PhD student Olden presented his project "What Do You Buy When No One's Watching? The Effect of Self-Service Checkouts on the Composition of Sales in Retail" today in Lisbon
Olden is working on analysing whether the anonymity provided by self-service checkouts change customers’ shopping pattern in grocery stores. Using a triple difference estimator, he compares the sales of items that are unhealthy and have a private nature, which are likely to cause mild embarrassment, to the sales of more mundane items, and the sales in a group of control stores. The private and unhealthy items experience a 10-15 percent sales increase when introducing self-service checkouts. He attributes this to the reduced social interaction that reduces embarrassment. The estimated effect comes from an increase in the sales of candy, chips, soda, ready-made food, and alcohol. Further, the analysis suggests that the increase is caused by existing customers buying more, rather than from self-service checkouts changing the customer base. However, fully converting to self-service seems to scare away some customers, and decrease overall sales.