IDG Contributor Network: Self-checkout: What shoppers want to do is rarely what they end up doing

One of the first things retail executives learn is that shopper surveys are horrible indicators of what shoppers will do in stores. Asked if they would make purchases at a breached retailer, they’ll routinely say no. But quarterly earnings betray the truth that being breached has just about zero influence on revenue. (Blame zero liability, but that’s a column for another day.)

The issue for today is self-checkout. Surveys show that shoppers love the idea. Retailer experience shows that shoppers don’t love self-checkout the reality nearly as much as they love self-checkout the concept. Reality messes things up, with fruits and vegetables that need weighing and age-restricted products and long lines and filled-to-the-brim shopping carts that were never supposed to be handled at self-checkout. Shoppers are quick to dismiss the value of an associate at a staffed checkout lane, ignoring the fact that their experience of scanning millions of SKUs makes them awfully good at it and impressively fast.

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Apple’s iPad gains drag-&-drop and a Finder-like file system

Apple leads the mobile enterprise and consumers, prosumers, and enterprise users all have high hopes for its iPads, but one thing we haven’t yet had is support for drag-&-drop between apps on the tablet.

Things have changed

Independent developer, Readdle, has updated its suite of productivity products to support drag-&-drop between themselves. This means users of Scanner ProPDF ExpertSpark and Documents can shift items between these apps using drag, drop, and touch – what could be more intuitive? The developers see this as a highly logical next step when using iPad Split View mode. I imagine many iPad users would agree.

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Old is the new New

This pilot fish’s team is responsible for the latest round of PC upgrades, replacing the company’s oldest PCs with newer models.And, naturally, it’s not going to be as simple as that. “I get a call from a manager who found out about the new PCs, and…

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Meet ADP’s ‘business anthropologist,’ putting human thought behind chatbots

Martha Bird has one of the more unusual positions in the technology space: She’s a business anthropologist. Bird, who ran a family farm in New Hampshire before earning an anthropology Ph.D., has developed her craft over 15-plus years at a variety of organizations — a nonprofit, a telecommunications company and an e-commerce firm.

Her niche is helping global brands optimize their systems to meet the needs of users across multiple markets. She now works in the Innovation Labs at ADP, a provider of human resources management software and services headquartered in Roseland, N.J. “I was brought in to ensure that we are addressing real human needs in the tools we build,” she says. Here, she explains more about her work:

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