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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

The Impact of Checkout Congestion on Purchasing Behavior

Published: May 25, 2021


Takanobu Nakahara, Senshu University; Yutaka Sakuma, National Defense Academy; Katsutoshi Yada, Kansai University; Michel Wedel, The University of Maryland


In this study, we analyze how customers’ in-store purchasing behavior is affected by checkout congestion. Customers’ in-store purchasing behavior varies depending on the time they can spend shopping. Although previous studies have shown that checkout congestion reduces customer satisfaction, our hypotheses are that if the checkout area is congested, customers will spend less time shopping and reduce the total amount of money spent. We use customer purchase history data and a hidden Markov model to define checkout congestion. Then, we show how purchasing behavior differs between crowded and uncrowded cash registers. The results provide support for our two hypotheses, namely, checkout congestion reduces shopping time and the total amount of money spend.


This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP22243033.