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The Major Change Coming To Aussie Supermarkets

It’s become one of the biggest problems for supermarkets… customers stealing by lying on the self-serve checkouts.

Now, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are hoping to see if there are subtle ways in which supermarkets can improve, so we stop swiping avocados through as unwashed potatoes.

They are hoping that 'moral triggers' and 'extreme personalisation' will nudge us to being honest shoppers.

By looking at the behaviour of hotel guests when it comes to towels, they hope to see if the behaviour of products is the same for loose produce.

Retail theft in Australia costs $4.5bn a year and in October last year, police launched a high-profile campaign at a Coles supermarket to remind customers that self-serve theft was still theft.

Coles spokeswoman Martine Alpins said at the time that there had been a “normalisation of theft at self-service checkouts”.

Paula Dootson of QUT said “People struggle to understand who the victim is when committing deviance to a seemingly faceless organisation. But with smaller organisations, like mom and pop stores, they can see who they are harming.”

In an experiment carried out by QUT, they gave customers too much money by an ATM, human-like robots and actual human teller.

People were far more likely to pocket the cash from the ATM than if handed to them by a human.“The human component brings in this empathy which isn’t there with an inanimate object like an ATM and that’s why we’re seeing more theft out of self-serve checkout from people who would never normally steal,’’ Dootson said.



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