Waiting in long a checkout line may be a thing of the past as shopper impatience is driving retailers to provide faster checkout experiences. Customers like speed and flexibility when checking out, and younger shoppers, especially, expect to use modern checkout conveniences like contactless payment at the point of sale. This and other technologies can help retailers meet customer expectations to attract and retain loyal shoppers.
The Need for Speed in the Checkout Line
Shoppers don’t like waiting in the checkout line, so it’s no surprise that 83 per cent of customers say they value quick and easy checkout more than any other aspect of their shopping experience, according to a recent iVend survey report of 2,700 global shoppers.
The survey showed three aspects of fast checkout that customers value most — aspects that retailers should consider using to help keep customers happy.
Here are three ways to speed up your checkout lines:
Contactless Payment is a payment system that uses RFID technology or near-field communication (NFC). This allows consumers to simply hold a card or device near a payment terminal to process secured payments.
According to the iVend study, 39 per cent of customers expect to use contactless payments and mobile wallets. In other words, they want speed and convenience.Contactless payments shave minutes off of transactions by eliminating card swipes, PINs, and check writing.
In the U.K., public transit is offering contactless payment as an option, and nearly half of commuters say that offering contactless payment is the single most significant improvement in their public transit experience, according to a global study about contactless payments published by Visa. Other cities, like New York, Miami, Singapore, Edinburgh, are also seeing customer satisfaction increase by introducing contactless payments.
Clearly, much of the public likes contactless payments, and it’s easy to assume that shoppers with this preference will look for retailers who provide it. Contactless payment is another way to build your brand with a positive, loyalty-building customer experience.
Mobile Point of Sale
The iVend survey also revealed that an amazing 84 per cent of shoppers now seek out store associates who have mPOS devices, up from about 50 per cent from the previous year. Fifty-seven per cent of those shoppers said that fast checkout was the main reason.
When the store gets busy, mPOS is a fast and easy way to instantly increase capacity. In the process, sales associates can upsell or cross sell to increase sales and profits. Keeping upsells and cross sells in the aisles also eliminates lengthy conversations at fixed-location checkouts, further speeding up lines.
Another way that shoppers avoid long lines is using self-checkouts, with 44 per cent of those surveyed saying they prefer self-checkouts to staffed checkouts.
Self-checkouts are convenient for customers who are buying only a few items and hoping for a quick transaction, and also help free up cashiers for customers with many items who prefer a personal experience.
Self-checkouts are great for customers and stores, as they can alleviate frustrating waits at peak time, and provide more throughput for retailers when staff are stretched thin. Self-checkouts also take up less space, allowing retailers to add more checkout stations or use the space for merchandising. Self-checkouts are also efficient with staff time, as one person can monitor several checkouts.
Given the consumer demand for fast checkout, speeding up the checkout line is an important consideration for retailers. Don’t lose customers because of a poor checkout experience or long checkout lines. By meeting customer expectations for fast checkout, retailers can provide a more positive shopping experience at the point of sale that will build loyalty and profits.
Paula Da Silva
Executive Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances for CitiXsys