Today is a world of choices, the consumer is the king and rightly so. Shopping for them is now an experience. If your end goal is to earn customer loyalty then offering excellent customer experience should be your priority 1. If the entire experience of shopping makes a customer feel any kind of discomfort or displeasure, the loss of business is certain. Every aspect of a store is designed keeping the customer in mind but the checkout counter often remains overlooked. the consequence of this may be a serious negative impact on the business.
People shop for different reasons ranging from a fun activity to a necessity; it doesn’t take a long time for an experience to go sour especially at the checkout. The last stop of the process, the checkout determines whether or not a customer would be a returning one, thus making it imperative that the experience remains frictionless.
To help make sure that your store provides the smoothest experience in terms of a checkout here are some pointers to take care of.
1. Provide Multiple Checkout Counters
Nobody likes to stand in a line, much less a consumer who is spending their money on your product. The point of sale has a great impact on the productivity of the store. To maximize the returns sufficient staff needs to be trained to make sure the counters are functioning smoothly. With the advent of the digital era, the clunky checkout cash registers are being replaced by sleeker, easy to use machines that are directly connected to a payment cloud and can be activated at a push of a button. This ensures that during peak traffic times the counter lines are not being clogged. Negative impacts of long lines are known far and wide, from loss of revenue to dissatisfaction in the customer, in the long run, it hurts the store image.
2. Usage of Integrated Payment Systems
Once the line has been sorted, it is essential that the payment aspect is taken care of. The easiest way to do it? Try an integrated payments system. This basically means that sales flow directly from point of sales system to your card reader, making checkout more secure and much faster.
The absence of the requirement of manual entry and the ability to access data and accept payment all in one system makes this a profitable venture for both your company as well as the customers.
Companies like HSBC and Razorpay provide these integrated system options to a wide variety of stores irrespective of their size. Surya electronics integrated Infinia solutions with the Tally ERP to automate everything from the warehouse backend operations to customer order fulfilment.
3. Integration of Independent Payment Options
With over 340 million mobile users in India alone, it’s a no-brainer that the retail industry taps into the convenience of offering payment options beyond the conventional. Mobile payment systems have been steadily growing their footing in the country, also fueled by the Digital India movement there is a high amount of support that is generated from the government for integration of these payment systems.
PayTm alone claims to have 230 million registered users, other big players in the market include the government initiative BHIM, Bangalore based PhonePe, Google app Tez, and many more, each having multiple users in the country and making checkout much faster. Over 850,000 merchants in India have already adopted PayTM as a method of payment for easy transactions.
4. Implement a Scan and Go System
Though a fairly new concept in India, it is one that just might be the best your business. Via the integration of an app to upload your entire product catalogue online and then allowing your customers to pay online would eradicate the problem of checkout lines completely.
This would be beneficial to the business too as it would free up the staff to take care of the customers and the store merchandise.
US giant Walmart is known to have implemented a scan and go system, reducing checkout lines by almost 65%, leaving the staff to help out with the entire customer experience.
5. Encourage Impulse Purchases
There are drawbacks to every mode of selling goods, the lines at the checkout counter might be unavoidable, but we can still provide them with an engaging selection of products around the counter. 8 out of 10 shoppers waiting in a line claim to make an impulse purchase, making it a gold mine for revenue increment.
Optimization of the area around the Point of sales system is essential to maximize returns via impulse purchases. More often than not this purchase takes place without the customer even realizing the consequence of their actions. So identifying the needs of your ideal customer and then placing the right items at the counter is important. It helps if the items stocked are relatively low priced or available as a good deal. These counters need to be eye-catching and attractive, as you have 5 minutes before the customer decides to abandon the line and move out.
6. Attractive Signage
Seeing is buying, and one way to effectively make sure that your customer has seen something is the signage around it. Highlighting the impulse purchases in an attractive manner along with a reasonable price tag would create curiosity in the mind of the customer to at least check out the product.
Everyone loves a good deal and if the area around your point of sales displays information about your loyalty programs it would act as an anchor to retain customers for a longer period of time and ensure that they return.
7. Create a Welcoming Environment
After the customer has left the checkout counter, the guarantee of him returning still hasn’t been solidified. By creating a helping environment by something as small as training the staff to help the customers with the shopping bags once checkout is complete would create a conducive environment for the customer to return to the store.
The simple pointers would help you increase revenues without doing much except optimizing the checkout counters. The checkout counter is often the point of no return for the customer. Providing a frictionless experience would not only help earn loyalty from the customer but rather make sure that there is an increase in revenue. Making sure that the last impression that the customer has of your store is a positive one is imperative.