Are long lines cutting into your profits?
Consider this, 4 out of 5 shoppers say they are unwilling to wait more than 5 minutes at checkout. If you have long lines and a slow POS system… you’re leaving money on the table.
POS transaction speed is important. The average POS transaction takes about 45 seconds to process, and individual item scans take about 3 seconds. Therefore, if your average customer has 5 items, that’s 1 minute per transaction.
If there are more than 5 customers in line… you will miss sales.
Fortunately, retailers can speed up checkouts with some user-friendly technology. And a POS system is one of the best tools to help you do it. From optimizing POS checkout screens for speed, to using integrated payments, you can speed up POS transactions (and make checkout efficiency a differentiator for your business).
Slow POS Transaction Speed? Try These Strategies
These are tried-and-true strategies you can use to improve retail checkout speeds with POS software:
Screen Layout and Design
One of the fastest ways to speed up checkouts: Redesigning your POS checkout screen layouts. Here are some key tips:
- Simplify the checkout screen layout for a clear and logical flow.
- Minimize and reduce clutter.
- Highlight product images, names, and prices prominently for quick verification.
- Use large, easy-to-tap buttons for common actions.
- Organize items and discounts based on customer preferences and top-selling products.
Your POS checkout screen should be clean and well-organized. This can help to shave seconds off of checkout times, which adds up when you dealing with a high volume of customers.
Use a POS with Integrated Payments
Integrated payments means your credit card processing communicates with your POS. This means transactions are recorded automatically, eliminating the need for manual entry. Not only will this help you increase pos transaction speed, but it also provides you with richer data and updates your inventory in real-time.
Some key benefits of an integrated payment processing solution include:
- Uninterrupted communication – Using a third-party processor means your POS and card reader aren’t integrated. This increases the risk of one of your payment processing system being offline or having communication issues with your POS. The result: Longer checkouts and incomplete data.
- Reduced costs – An integrated payment provider means you don’t need an additional third-party app. Similarly, many integrated solutions offer better rates.
- Better data – Using an integrated system improves data collection and reporting, helping to streamline accounting and inventory processes.
Utilize Bar Code Scanning
Modern POS systems include barcode scanners. Obviously, scanning items rather than manually looking up prices can quickly improve checkout times.
However, another added benefit is that you can often print custom barcodes with the same system. This is extremely useful if you sell individually wrapped products, or if products you sell don’t have barcodes on the packaging.
Integrate Your Loyalty Program
When you have a number of customers in line, many businesses avoid enrolling new loyalty program customers. This slows growth and results in missed opportunities to connect with customers. Therefore, you need a system that seamlessly integrates and offers:
- Quick, easy onboarding – Create an account with just a name and email or phone number.
- Fast lookup – Use phone or email look up at the register to help customers redeem and collect rewards fast.
- Automated discounts – Your loyalty program must automate discounts at the register. Getting customers to sign up at the register is necessary for growing a loyalty program. However, you have to get onboarding right. You should be able to enroll a customer in 30 seconds or faster, and then use email or push notification automations to follow-up and establish a connection.
Offer Buy Online, Pick-Up In Store
One way to improve pos transaction speed: Reduce the number of customers checking out in store. A POS can help you instantly introduce a store pickup program. This allows customers to pre-order and pre-pay, and it can be done easily with the right technology.
When implemented correctly, the entire process is automated:
- – Order confirmations
- – Order is ready notification
- – Pickup instructions
The key however is having a strategy in place in-store to make it easy for customers to pick-up their order. For example, a one-time QR code or barcode can help cashiers pick the right order, do it quickly, and minimize the risk of picking the wrong order.
Use Customer-Facing Displays
Integrating a display into checkout does a few things:
- Allows customers to review the order in real-time (minimizing errors and reducing the time needed to verify purchase details).
- Can help your store display useful information like accepted payment types and checkout process details.
- Allow you to integrate loyalty program information at checkout, without the need for manual entry.
Additionally, you can use a digital signage to display limits for contactless payments, provide instructions for tap payments, or communicate any convenience fees or cash discounting policies.
The Final Step: Employee Training for Faster POS Transaction Speed
Your employees play a critical role in a smooth checkout process. Even the best checkout process can’t replace good customer service.
Specifically, you should provide training on common questions, as well as quick troubleshooting tips for POS checkouts. Provide training to help cashiers:
- Answer common customer questions quickly to minimize delays.
- Troubleshoot checkout issues like a receipt printer out of tape or manual card entry (if the reader isn’t working properly).
- Understand how to operate in offline mode and responding to potential downtime issues.
- Use scripts to upsell and walk customers through checkout.
Improving pos transaction speed isn’t often a high priority task for retailers. But it should be, especially considering you have just five minutes to serve everyone in your line.
Beyond these strategies there are others you can look at: Including mobile checkouts, handheld checkout to process orders in line, or even self-checkout. However, the fastest (and most affordable solution) is leveraging your POS to shave time off each checkout.
Need some help? Contact FTx POS today to learn more about our integrated payment solutions and advanced point of sale systems.