Was Our Store Free Of Clutter?

This is truly great.

I was at the checkout at the Co-Op in Seven Dials in Brighton and noticed that the card reader was asking me a question. A question with a simple yes / no answer. The overhead of me answering was almost zero.

Just to be clear, this wasn’t part of the transaction process. I was paying by cash. It just sits there asking questions when it’s in idle mode.

A bloody brilliant way of using a bit of technology that’s already there to do something useful.

Has anyone seen this in action elsewhere?

BTW, there were cardboard boxes on the floor that shouldn’t have been there…

19 thoughts on “Was Our Store Free Of Clutter?”

  1. Yes, I saw it in Yorkshire. I think it was a Co-op too. The question was a little more dull, something like; were you offered a half price bar of chocolate today?

    It is indeed a very good idea.

  2. I saw this in a Co-op in Sheffield. I think the question was something like, “Did you have to wait long to be served today?”

  3. My local co-op in shoreditch asks these question too. I’ve had:
    “Were you queuing long?” Yes
    “Were you happy with the variety of fruit and vegetables?” No

  4. Ditto me – in a Co-op in Forest Hill. I was asked about the quality of the customer service. Felt quite sly me inputting my thoughts secretly as my change was handed over to me. Could be used for lots of other things too . . .

  5. They’re in all Co-ops I think.
    They always struck me as completely futile – the result of some ‘quick-win-intitiatives-blah-meeting)…
    The data must be absolutely useless – when you’re paying by card you either just press the first button that you can reach to get rid of the screen…or if you really care about the subject matter, the next time you’re there (the next day?) you respond again! Not terribly robust…
    Maybe it serves the objective of looking like they care? But anyone who overthinks it (like me!) knows that it’s no more than a gesture!

  6. I’m not sure I totally agree Ben.

    The overhead is so low that why would you press the ‘first button you can reach’ – they’re both the same distance away. And even if the results aren’t statistically valid the interaction is a nice / positive one…

  7. I think there may be some LA Story style mileage in this idea(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.A._Story) . If a roadsign can talk to a weather man why can’t a card reader offer some thoughts on life, love and the universe. I would prefer more philosophical thoughts or promptings from the little screen.

    Good polling potential I reckon. Could be retailer specific too “did you rate the new James Bond film”, “salted or sweet” in cinemas for example. Although “did people answering questions on this card reader create a big queue?” might be more realistic.

  8. I was thinking we could use it to answer more interesting questions too, stuff like: Do you believe in god?

  9. I do agree with Ben. I think the data will be completely useless.

    I shop at Co-Op every day (It’s between the Tube and my flat) and the question becomes a pointless pain in the arse after the first couple of time’s you’ve seen it. “Should Netball be an Olympic Sport?” is nowhere near my mindset when I’m waiting to enter my pin code. I’ve also starting always answering “no” to questions like “Were you served quickly” and “Did our veg look fresh”. Not because it was true, just because the questions are really annoying me.

    That should be the question it serves.

    “Would you like us to stop asking these stupid questions?”


  10. Good spot. Shit I like this. Whether it collects useful data or not, it at least makes me think they care

  11. That’s from my local Co-op in Brighton… I love it, and regularly answer, but probably skew the sample the other way from Chris who answers no more than he really thinks… I answer ‘yes’ more than I should because I like the guys who work in the shop, they’re very friendly, and I don’t want them to get into trouble.

    Reading that back, I might take myself outside and slap myself about a bit… I’ve clearly been in Brighton too long…

    Imagine what stores could do with passive data collection stuff instead of active; for instance, if the CCTV cameras could capture smiles on the faces of customers, you could have a store happiness index.

  12. Gold star. Purely because it asks about your experience instead of trying to sell you something irrelevant. It says “we care”. And it’s about real time. Much less interesting if they emailed you a follow up survey. Real in the moment data. Even if you can’t answer objectively because you don’t want to get the nice bloke in the apron in trouble

  13. It looks like I’m in the minority here.
    Even if it’s a nice touch from a perception point of view, doesn’t it fall apart when for example the shelves are still untidy a week / month later? (“I thought you cared, but you’ve let me down!”)
    ie why ask the question if you’ve no intention of acting on the answer (or a robust reason to)….

  14. I saw a good one in a co-op in Southsea – it said: “Do you think we should only sell Ethically Sourced bottled water?” (For the record I answered yes).

    I think it’s a great idea especially when the questions asked are of this nature, however, I’d be less impressed if it asked me if I wanted to buy a cheap chocolate bar…

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