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'Self-Checkout Reflection' Altered Walmart Customers' Brain Chemistry In 2022
By GILLIAN KING
When they were first introduced, self-checkouts were meant to provide customers with faster experiences while saving companies labor expenses. However, the machines have been fraught with issues, the largest of which is increased shoplifting, but Walmart has introduced a new anti-shoplifting measure based on altering brain chemistry.
To curb shrink loss — or the loss of income from shoplifting — Walmart has added reflections to self-checkout machines. The addition may seem innocuous enough, but studies show the addition of a mirror heightens customers’ self-awareness and leads to less “antinormative behavior,” according to Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science. In short, the mirror deters shoplifting.
According to research done in Australia on self-checkout reflections, these reflections increase the perception that one is being watched and spur us to be on our best behavior. However, experts like Adrian Beck say that even with reflections, the machines might not be as efficient in tackling shoplifting as we may think.