Whether a customer makes it to your cash register or not is more than just wanting to buy your product — it’s also about how much of a hassle it will be to wait in line.
According to an Omnico study, after eight minutes of waiting time, American consumers are likely to abandon a checkout line. And don’t expect them back anytime soon: 77 percent of customers said they’re unlikely to return to a business where they experienced long wait times.
Particularly when you’re competing against the one-click e-commerce shopping experience, it’s more important than ever for retailers and other business owners to help their customers make their purchases as quickly as possible.
Here are some strategies to make sure long wait times don’t keep your business from making sales:
Consider adding self-checkout kiosks.
If you operate a business with a large customer volume, it may be worth trying self-checkout kiosks to enable more customers to check out without hiring additional retail staff.
However, while these kiosks may save on staff time in the long run, they require a large upfront investment: Not including installation costs, a set of four kiosks can cost $125,000 and upwards — no small change for a small business. Additionally, such kiosks often lead to high incidence of shoplifting: Shoplifting is five times more likely at self-service kiosks than at registers with cashiers.
Offer online ordering for in-store pickup.
If you run a quick-service restaurant business, allowing customers to both place and pay for their orders online can cut their waiting time when they arrive, and reduce your staff’s workload. Make sure your online ordering solution supports a mobile app so customers can easily order and pay on the go.
Use mobile point of sale devices to check out customers quickly.
iPad and other mobile point of sale devices are extremely portable, enabling your staff to check out their customers on the spot instead of making them wait. At a restaurant or bar, you can process your diners’ payment directly at their tables, rather than taking their credit card to the restaurant’s cash register and making them wait until you can cash them out. In a quick-service environment, you can meet them anywhere within the shop to take their order and check them out, much as Apple does with its customers.
Mobile point of sale devices can lead to significant revenue increases: One of our Instore customers, a bar/cabaret in New York City, has seen sales jump 23% since implementing a mobile POS solution. The owner attributes this success to waiters not running tickets or credit cards to the back of the store, leaving more time to take orders and turn tables.
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