The checkout process can truly make or break a business. If yours is slow and clunky, it can cause frustration among both employees and customers alike. Let’s face it, nobody enjoys standing in long lines while payments process. The quicker your lines move, the more satisfied your customers will be with their shopping experience. Here are five ways retailers can improve their checkout experience.
1. Update Your POS System
If you’re still performing checkouts with an old cash register-style POS system, you’re not only outdated, you’re likely running rather slow as well. The older, bulkier cash registers are notorious for slow transaction times, constant errors, and costly maintenance.
A modern POS system can not only improve those wait times and eliminate long lines but also accept more payment methods; driving in new customers that otherwise wouldn’t have visited your store prior. The way we pay for goods and services is constantly changing, and simple credit/debit card and cash machines are no longer viable.
POS systems come equipped with plenty of other tools to help the overall efficiency of your business as well, from inventory tracking tools to customer profiles from which you can get to know your shoppers better. By updating your POS software for faster checkouts, you’ll increase your store’s efficiency, setting you apart from the competition with your short lines and incredible service.
2. Self-Checkout Kiosks
If you’re a shopper at any of the major retailers like WalMart or Target, you’ll likely have noticed that there seem to be fewer and fewer cashiers. Instead, self-checkout kiosks are beginning to become the norm. This is because self-checkout kiosks are cheaper, easier to maintain, and actually improve business.
Self-checkout kiosks allow for quicker checkout times, with customers scanning their own items and moving through the lines as quickly as possible. With fewer long lines, your customers will be more inclined to purchase more items, driving your sales up as well as providing convenient options for your customers.
Customers actually prefer self-checkout options, according to this study completed by Whistl, a delivery management company. According to the study, over half of UK shoppers actually preferred self-service checkout over manned kiosks. Startling, isn’t it?
Don’t forget that even if you do decide to utilize self-service kiosks, customer service should still be your number one concern. Just because the checkout process is automated doesn’t mean the rest of the store is. Customers will still require assistance finding certain items, and likely need questions answered regarding price and availability.
Self-checkout kiosks are a good option for when your retail store begins to grow and you want to make the checkout process simpler and faster. You’ll save money on cashier labor costs, cut down on lines, and encourage customers to purchase more simultaneously.
3. Reorganize Your Store
Congested checkout areas can make standing in line all the more uncomfortable. The last thing you want to do is make your customers feel trapped while they’re waiting in line; whether it be boxes or other supplies piled up by your checkout counters or aisles too close to your registers.
Switching around just a few aisles or registers can make your checkout lines flow easier, as well as help customers locate the checkout aisle. Have you ever gone into a store and had to search for the checkout aisle? This can be incredibly frustrating. Make your checkout aisle obvious with signs and open spaces for a smoother checkout process.
4. Improve Employee Interactions
One of the most important factors of improving the checkout experience is how your employees interact with the customers during the process. We’ve all had an experience with a less than friendly cashier, and are aware of just how much this can affect the entire shopping experience. You can have a great time shopping around the store, only to have the entire mood damaged by a rude cashier.
Be sure your employees are well-trained on how to interact with customers during checkout. This can include things like the correct questions to ask, how to respond to difficult customers, and when it’s appropriate to call a manager.
Offering your employees incentives for great customer service at the register is a good way to ensure that you’re getting the most from your cashiers. Gift cards, vacation days, or other incentives can help motivate your employees to perform their best and treat their customers with respect.
5. Ask For Feedback
Interacting with your customers via feedback surveys is a great way to generate ideas on how to improve the checkout experience or the business overall. The customer knows exactly what they want out of their shopping experience, and so it’s vital that retailers tap into this wealth of knowledge.
This insight will help you better tailor your stores and practices to meet the needs of your customers and improve the efficiency of your checkout process. Don’t ignore any complaints you receive, either. While these can be disheartening, they usually contain a lot of wisdom on how your store can improve.
Improving the checkout experience is just one of many ways to foster loyalty among your customer base. With a more streamlined checkout process, you’ll find that customers want to visit your store instead of the competition. Never underestimate the power of excellent customer service. Ask for your customer’s feedback and actually take it into account, and you’ll be on your way to creating the best shopping experience for your patrons.