Let’s face it. We all hate that long queue leading to the cashier. In most cases, a slow checkout process results in frustrated shoppers and poor customer service satisfaction, which can mean a slump in sales.
Although it may seem like a long line is good for business, a survey of grocery store buyers showed that 32% of customers choose to shop elsewhere to avoid a long line, while 11% of shoppers abandon their trip entirely.
Clearly, every second counts at the checkout counter. While the checkout processes in physical stores have quickly evolved and developed over the years from the standard cash register, the modern shopper has rising expectations. Today’s retail shoppers want a fast and easy checkout experience thanks to the growing popularity of e-commerce. With convenience right at their fingertips, shoppers want to purchase what they wish to easily and quickly.
Here, we have put together tips to help you improve and speed up your in-store checkout process. Keep reading if you want to know how to provide a great shopping experience for your customers while you ring in more sales.
Tips to Improve Your Retail Checkout Process
With the advancement of retail technology, it’s transitioning the checkout experience in the process. And as eCommerce continues to be on the rise in retail, stores have to compete with the easy checkout process and online shopping experience offers.
Here are tips on making the checkout process a little quicker so you can capture a lot more sales.
Set Up An Organized Purchasing Process
The most crucial part when you want to optimize your checkout is to set up a clear and organized purchasing process through a POS. To be able to do this, you have to make sure that every stock in your inventory is registered and categorized well in your POS system.
This way, the checkout process is automated and streamlined. You may also use a barcode scanner to facilitate this process. So every time a customer brings an item to the checkout counter, all it takes is just one scan at the barcode, and the price and all purchase information will be encoded right in their tickets, saving you more time.
It pays to find a POS that is intuitive and easy to use. The last thing you would want is to incorporate a POS into your store that is complicated and unmanageable. Some POS can even store customer data such as payment information and preferences, significantly speeding things up during transactions.
Use POS integrated payments.
When you integrate your point of sale system with your payment processing system, you eliminate the need to manually key in the transaction data at check out. This automation will significantly save you more time and also reduce the chances of human error. When our POS and payments solutions are seamlessly integrated, your cashiers no longer have to enter the sale amount onto your POS.
This way, data flows smoothly from one system to the next, eventually streamlining the checkout process. Using POS integrated payments, your team can ring up sales quickly and easily.
Offer various forms of payment and checkout preferences.
Perhaps the savviest move you can make to speed up the checkout process is catering to various payment methods and offering different checkout options to accommodate your customers’ preferences. Today, there are so many ways for customers to pay for their purchases. With e-wallets among some of the few new payment and checkout options, it’s essential to accommodate as many as you can so that customers can check out conveniently.
- Mobile Payment- The number of people who use mobile payments is now on the rise. Not only does accepting mobile payments accommodate shoppers who find it convenient to pay this way, but you can also capture sales in instances when customers forget their wallets at home or have a card that gets declined.
- Contactless card readers- are becoming more and more popular in retail stores. The tap-and-pay technology is being used today by many major credit card companies, and it’s a much quicker option than the traditional chip reader.
- Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS)- This dramatically decreases the checkout time because all your customers have to do is come to the store and pick up their order.
- Wireless Terminals- Equipping sales associates with wireless payment terminals can help keep the checkout process fast and painless. Wireless card readers let your staff take payments wherever they go. It also allows customers to check out anywhere in the store, eliminating lines and creating a more seamless shopping experience. Staff can assist customers with what they need and then collect payment right on the spot. In restaurants, waitstaff can accept payments at the table.
- Self Checkout- This method makes it a lot quicker for your customers, and it requires less attention from employees on the floor so they can focus on converting in-store browsers. This can be done by either card or cash, just like how a vending machine works.
Not only is an electronic receipt a greener option, but they’re also efficient in streamlining the checkout process. Customers don’t have to wait for the receipt to print out or fumble for a place to put it once you hand it to them. Also, your staff don’t need to stop and refill the receipt printer — which usually holds up the line.
Besides, unlike paper receipts that get crumpled and forgotten in the fold of wallets and bags, e-receipts can be easily reviewed right in your customers’ inboxes.
Another great advantage of email receipts is that as you expand your database of customers’ emails, it becomes a great way to reach out to them (newsletters, promotions, marketing campaigns, etc.) in a more personalized manner.
Forbes reports that 70% of people take advantage of coupons or discounts promoted through email.
Optimize your staff schedules.
Isn’t it a bummer when the only reason for the long wait at the checkout is because there aren’t enough people to man your registers? When you have too many shoppers but not enough cashiers, lines will form, and it’ll take much longer to tend to each customer.
You can prevent this from happening by looking at your store data and determining your peak business hours. Your POS should have reporting functions to view sales per hour and use that data to figure out the times of day that you have the most transactions. Optimize your staff’s schedules based on that and assign more shifts during the rush periods.
Train your staff well.
You can have the best hardware and software, but if you have staff who can’t operate the technology or are inefficient in their work, your business can still suffer from long checkout lines. Make your associates a part of your checkout optimization. Retailers should train staff to keep this process fast and more convenient for customers. Your team should be thoroughly trained on how to use the tools.
It is best to explain the goals of making the checkout process more efficient, the reason behind it, and how they can work to achieve that objective.
Consider your internet connection.
Sometimes a faster checkout is as simple as a speedier internet service because a fast and reliable connection is essential to keep things moving.
If your card processing terminal gets stuck loading during checkout, you might want to consider upgrading your connection. Usually, a fiber-optic connection is faster and more reliable than typical broadband. A network extender can also optimize your connection for certain areas of your store that have weaker connectivity.
Benefits of a Fast Checkout Process for Your Business
As the classic saying goes, time is gold. Speeding up transactions — we mean even by a few seconds — does wonder for businesses. Here’s how an efficient checkout experience can grow your sales.
Taking payments is your final chance to make a good and lasting impression on your customers. A slow checkout can quickly ruin a great shopping experience in your retail store. The happier your customers are with their experience in your store, the more likely they are to come back, and even better, refer your store to their friends.
Less Crowd and Fewer Staff
The shorter and more manageable your checkout lanes are, the fewer staff you need to run the registers. Also, think about how appealing and neat your store will look to your customers with less crowd. With shorter lines, thanks to a fast checkout process, your business will see itself right on the top.
In this day and age, if you don’t accept credit cards, you’re missing out on good revenues. There is a growing number of customers today who don’t pay with cash regularly. In 2018, it was said that a total of 46% don’t even bother themselves with whether they have cash in their wallets. You won’t lose a sale with a great POS system just because a customer cannot pay in cash.
More Efficient Staff
When your checkout process is efficient, you don’t need to delegate as many staff members to handle payments. Your crew can go ahead and focus on other essential functions to run your business. With a wireless checkout system, you don’t need a staff posted at the register. Instead, they can focus on serving your customers and take payments into their interactions with customers.
Improved Rush Sales
Between the daily rush hour or the holiday gift hunt, there are times when businesses get busier than usual. A speedy checkout process is a sure-fire way to make sure you can handle any scramble.
The checkout process is a vital part of your customers' overall shopping experience, so don’t turn a blind eye on it. We hope this article has encouraged you to reevaluated your checkout experience. Assess your process, technology, and staff knowledge then work on the areas that has to be improved.
Edited by Chooli