Updated: October 6, 2022

customers in a grocery store wait in a retail checkout line

The final step for any customer making a purchase in a retail store is to make their payment at the register. As a retail owner or manager, you want to make this process as quick and easy as possible. Customers generally hate waiting, and a long line can reflect poorly on your retail store. Plus, it leads to lost revenue – a faster line means more sales at the end of the day.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of steps you can take that will greatly diminish your customers’ average wait time. Below is a guide to help you improve your retail checkout experience. 

1. Choose the Best POS System for a Fast Retail Checkout Experience

If you have a high volume retail store, you’ll need a point of sale that can handle the constant action. One delayed payment can back your line up substantially. Additionally, get a retail POS that is intuitive to use. Make add-ons, substitutions, gift cards, loyalty programs, etc. easy to navigate and complete. Your staff is a great source of feedback on this. If they’re not happy with the system, the frustration is being passed to your customers, at least to some extent.

2. Check Out Cashier Training on Store Products and POS Terminal

Have new staff members spend a day or so playing around with your POS solution. Have them practice odd scenarios and difficult requests. If you have items that need manual code entry, make sure new associates take a quiz. A calm, prepared, and knowledgeable cashier makes your retail store faster and more efficient. They also make everyone waiting waiting in line feel more at ease and improve customer experience.

3. Institute EMV Payments

EMV payments are now relatively ubiquitous among retailers, but some have yet to make the switch. With a good credit card reader,  processing transactions will be faster than the traditional magnetic swipe method. Plus, EMV payments are safer. The issuing bank is responsible for fraudulent transactions, not the merchant. This keeps both your business and your customers’ information more secure.

4. How To Improve Checkout Experience: Accept Modern Payment Options

Forget about money orders, traveler’s checks, and personal checks. More and more consumers are using Apple, Android, Google, and other forms of contactless payment. These payment options offer ease and dependability as they require less effort to facilitate and are often executed right from a smartphone.

Customers can simply “hover” their card or smartphone over the credit card reader and a near field communication (NFC) payment will safely go through. Spend the time and money on the right hardware to integrate your checkouts with these payment trends. KORONA POS comes NFC ready,  and is equipped to take on all new emerging payment technology. 

5. Limit Your Product Selection Whenever Possible

This is especially relevant for quick-service restaurants and shops.  Try to balance keeping menus and options simple and straightforward without limiting your selection too much to where you lose customers. Think about experiences you’ve had in stores with remarkably fast retail checkout. They’ve found a formula that works for their store. While it might not be the same for yours, it’s worth playing around with different ideas to see what does.

6. Add a Terminal or Lane

A new POS payment terminal and a second employee on the clock can add up. However, if it means doubling your sales, it’s well worth the investment. Perhaps you won’t always need the additional support in line, but keeping your line moving smoothly during peak hours is crucial.

You might also think about creating a credit only line. Cash is slow – people fumble through their wallets and cashiers have to count and return change (internal theft is also easier) – so encourage customers to use their credit and debit cards whenever possible.

Make opening a new lane even faster with mobile terminals. Adding a few tablets to your POS hardware allows employees to quickly open up a new lane and get lines moving more quickly.

For more information on this, check out our guide to POS hardware.

7. Store Checkout Optimization With Impulse Buys

For any high volume retailers, some wait time at certain points of the day is inevitable. So for those times, make the line a stimulating place to stand and wait. Offer smaller impulse products that shoppers can easily pick up and handle while in line. There’s a reason every grocery store has the National Enquirer right at eye level. It’s an easy distraction.

Prioritize Having a Fast Retail Checkout

Don’t let your sales suffer just because of pesky long lines. Make sure that your retails store’s checkout is optimized for speed and efficiency. Your POS system is an integral part of this process. Click below to find out more about KORONA POS and try our software for free today.

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