After walking around a store, the last thing customers want to do is spend an extended amount of time waiting in line to check out. Once the perusing is done, people want to pay for their goods and be out of the door quickly. According to a study commissioned by Digimarc Corporation, 88 percent of U.S. adults want checkout experiences to be faster, and 50 percent named slow checkout speeds and long lines as their top complaints.
When customers face backed up lines and long wait times, they can grow frustrated with the business and could potentially leave without making the purchase. This is significant because it can result in losing a sale in that instance, and it could prevent the customer from returning. Even when consumers shop online they can bail on items in their shopping cart before actually making the purchase.
If you deal with consumers in-store, you should be researching strategies that can help decrease wait times and can simplify the process overall.
Retailers can focus on providing simple and quick checkout options that can reduce wait times at brick and mortar locations and can make paying for goods online easier. When a consumer makes an effort to purchase from your business, you want to do whatever it takes to close the sale. The following tips can help you streamline the checkout process at your business:
1. Utilize Innovative Point of Sale Options
The most important part of processing a transaction is the actual point of sale device. Choosing a point of sale option that is easy for customers to use and can process a transaction quickly can help you and your staff get customers in and out of checkout lines. Additionally, you want to make sure it is something your cashiers can use efficiently, even when the store is hectic.
Retailers also could be more creative with point of sale options throughout a store. They could use mobile swiping devices to divide long lines into smaller groups. This means, instead of checking out customers at only one stationary point of sale, mobile swiping devices would allow retailers to process mobile payments throughout the store with shorter lines.
Retailers like Victoria’s Secret already are utilizing mobile swiping devices to decrease checkout time for customers. Now, if more than five or six people or waiting to check out at a register, another employee can divert one or two of those people to a different area of the store, process their order and even print a receipt.
This can help alleviate long lines, but it also creates a more personal and intimate sale atmosphere. According to the same Digimarc Corporation-sponsored study, 61 percent of people surveyed said clerks focus most on scanning items and less on finding out if they’re satisfied. This is another way to alleviate that issue and make customers feel more appreciated.
2. Accept New Forms of Payments
When choosing a point of sale device, you want to be sure it can accept credit cards as well as new forms of payment. Payment technology is constantly changing, and you should use that to your advantage. Accepting new forms of payment like NFC or mobile pay can help you appeal to more consumers, and it also can save time at the register.
NFC, or near-field communication, allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data. In order for this to work, both devices must be equipped with an NFC chip. If customers want to use NFC payment options, you should be able to accept them. This process is quick, secure and simple. Big box retailers throughout the country already are accepting these forms of payment, which can help to grow their following.
If your business has an online store, you should be sure to accept multiple forms of payment there as well. Customers want more options than traditional credit card purchases now, especially with data hacks appearing in the news more frequently. Customers want to use options like Google Wallet and PayPal to make purchases. The more options your business can offer, the more likely you will be to appeal to shoppers.
88 percent of U.S. adults want checkout experiences to be faster, and 50 percent named slow checkout speeds and long lines as their top complaints.
3. Create a Simplified Online Checkout Process
If your retail business handles sales online, you want to be sure you do everything you can to get customers through the checkout process without leaving items in their “shopping cart.” You don’t want to lose a sale because your website was outdated or because the process took too long. You should simplify your online checkout process to help customers complete the purchase quickly.
One common issue with online order forms is placing the information on various pages. With each click, customers have more time to debate the purchase and more time to back out. Additionally, if the form requires clicking on multiple pages to enter their information, this means more possibility for errors. All around, multiple-page order forms can be a hassle.
People also want to know upfront the costs associated with their order. Let customers know the shipping, handling and fees that will be added to the order immediately. Then, they will feel as though they know what they are expected to pay and could be more likely to proceed with the order. If a retailer tries to slip in other costs at the end of the purchase, the shopper could be quick to abandon the account.
Creating an easy online ordering process also means allowing a guest checkout. Businesses often requires customers to register for a new account when placing an order. This could deter customers, especially because if they place an order there will be more forms to complete almost immediately after registering. Providing a guest checkout lets people choose the items they want, place the order and finish the process relatively quickly.
Many of these tips seem like no brainers, but implementing them could prove to be challenging. If you deal with consumers in-store, you should be researching strategies that can help decrease wait times and can simplify the process overall. For online retailers, you should make sure your website page order forms are de-cluttered and easy-to-read. No matter how you deal with customers, your retail business should be actively looking for ways to streamline the checkout process and keep up-to-date with the latest technology.
About The Author
Cristine Sommers is the CMO of SoarPay.com, a company that helps retail business owners obtain convenient credit card processing solutions at low affordable rates. Follow Cristine on Twitter and Google+.