This is a guest post by Kristen Tally, Fattmerchant
A slow checkout is just as much a headache for retail merchants as it is for customers. Keeping checkout quick and painless enhances the overall customer experience and can turn casual visitors into life-long customers. Here are 5 ways you can make checkout as painless as possible in the coming year.
1. Use Mobile Swipers for On-the-Go Checkout
If long lines are backing up at checkout, mobile swipers can save time and move everything along. Mobile Bluetooth swipers enable you to accept payment from a phone or tablet, so you’re not tied to a countertop. For example, Fattmerchant’s mobile app works with our mobile swipers so you can accept and manage payment from your phone. You can check customers out while they’re waiting and prevent long lines from forming, freeing up your staff and resources.
2. Email or Text Receipts to Save Paper and Time
One advantage of using smart terminals is that many of them can send receipts through text message or email. Customers on a tight schedule might get frustrated if they need to wait for a receipt to print, souring their customer experience after they’ve found the perfect gift.
Not only do email or SMS receipts save you paper, but they save time and prevents customers’ frustration from waiting for their receipt to print from an older terminal. Emailing or texting a receipt can be great way to prevent the possibility of a customer losing their receipt. And with new payment technology, you can integrate those terminals with your virtual terminal for easier payment management.
And in some cases, these digital receipts can even help your marketing!
One retailer that’s seen the benefits of email receipts is surf shop Sitka NZ. Owner Andrew Howson is big on sustainability, so when he found out that his POS system (Vend) allowed him to send receipts via email, he used the feature right away.
When asked if they had difficulties getting people to adopt email receipts, he said: “not at all.”
“We first ask if they would like to be added to our customer database and if they say no, we then just ask if they are happy to receive a receipt by email.” Aside from reducing their carbon footprint, Andrew shares that sending email receipts helped them increase their online fan base.
“We include a link on the receipt, which goes straight to our Facebook page. And you can literally see every day new fans on our Facebook page, and they are the same customers who bought from our store.”
3. Get Your Onboarding Down to a Science
Keeping your staff trained and up to date on procedures and equipment can eliminate a lot of troubleshooting headaches. If you hire new or temporary staff, training them on your hardware and store processes will put everyone on the same page and eliminate confusion.
And if you’ve recently acquired a new POS system, make sure it’s user-friendly, and that it has documentation to go with it. This way, you’ll spend less time answering questions from your staff and more time helping customers.
For best results, see if you can pair your full-time employees with part-time staff while they’re on the floor. Let your part-timers shadow your more seasoned staff members while they’re ringing up sales so they can see the how the technology works first-hand.
In addition to being an effective training strategy, pairing your full-time and part-time staff is a great team-building exercise.
4. Accept A Variety of Payment Methods
Customers are moving away from the old cash-or-check methods of payment. Whether your customers use debit, credit, or even their mobile wallets for payment, it’s wise to accept all the methods of payment your customers prefer. Nothing backs up a line at checkout more than trying to find a type of payment you can accept from a customer.
Integrated technology like smart terminals can accept a variety of different payment types. The best ones can accept EMV cards — otherwise known as chip cards — traditional magstripe cards, and mobile wallets like ApplePay. Consider adding these smart terminals to your countertop for a seamless checkout experience.
5. Integrate Technology for a Better Checkout
Integrated payment technology isn’t just great for keeping accurate records and lowering processing costs – it can make your checkout process more efficient, too.
With integrated payments, you won’t have to manually key the transaction information into the card reader. This makes it easier and faster to ring up sales and also removes double entry and the likelihood of human error.
Having integrated payments also eliminates the need for end-of-day reconciliations, freeing up time that you can use to grow your business and keep customers happy.
Need an in-depth guide to choosing the right payment provider? Check out Vend’s Retail Payments Guide. This resource will you understand the importance of payment processors in retail and will give you the confidence to choose the right one for your business.
In it you’ll learn:
- How to negotiate the best rates
- How to beef up payment security using the right provider
- How to get maximum customer support from your payment processor and POS
Long lines are a pain, both behind the checkout counter and in front of it, but streamlining your checkout process can make it a painless experience for your customers. By making sure that your staff is trained to support each other, you have all of the right hardware and software, and all of it is in working order, and you can face the peak holiday shopping season with confidence.
Author Bio: Kristen Tally is a writer from Fattmerchant, an integrated payment technology platform that revolutionizes the payment processing experience for business owners through real-time data analytics, transparent subscription pricing, and award-winning customer support. Fattmerchant members enjoy all of these benefits with no hidden fees, no contracts, and unlimited processing. You can read more of her work on the Fattmerchant blog.