October 21, 2021
Whether your business is brick and mortar or hosted online, the checkout experience you deliver to customers is an essential piece of the puzzle that invariably impacts sales and customer retention. A tremendous example of a pioneer in this right is Amazon and their patented “1-Click” feature to which they held exclusive rights for 18-years beginning in 1999. At this point Amazon was merely an online book retailer, however, this patent is regarded as one of the prominent catalysts for the market position the ecommerce giant came to possess. Though the “1-Click” ship has sailed, below are some simple strategies you can employ in your digital or physical storefront that are sure to keep your customers returning satisfied.
Tap technology coupled with agile POS systems from companies such as Clover can greatly improve checkout speeds if you are encountering checkout bottlenecks or are looking to upgrade dated hardware. Among many options, contactless payments allows for multiple points of sale without being tied down to a cash register or a countertop while simultaneously diversifying your accepted payment options by opening doors to services like tap to pay, Apple Pay, and other mobile payment technologies.
Checkout bottlenecks aside, the last thing you want is to leave cash on the table by not accepting certain customers’ payment method of choice. The obvious workaround is to accept as many different styles of payments as reasonably possible for your business. With respect to pre-existing trends towards contactless payment, the COVID – 19 pandemic has greatly sped this option up and contactless safety measures have since become the industry standard. Simply put, your business must incorporate these methods if you wish to remain on the ball.
Saving paper and time are obvious benefits of digital receipts but what goes often overlooked is customer convenience. Sure, you can save on paper costs and time at the checkout counter, but these aren’t the things your customers will truly appreciate. Instead of needing to keep tabs on a physical receipt, customers should be given the ability to digitally retrieve any desired information about their purchase directly from their smartphone, watch, or tablet via receipts sent directly to their email or SMS inbox.
If your business deals in online transactions, consider eliminating the requirement of a customer account to make a purchase. Albeit seemingly trivial, this small requirement can often lose customers, especially if your business is not widely known. Most people already have too many online accounts to remember all the passwords for so why add another and risk losing business? Customers are drawn to flexibility and by giving them the option of checking out as a guest you are providing just that.
In a similar vein to the previous tip, asking your customers for too much information during online checkout can raise red flags as well as potentially increase the likelihood of an abandoned cart. Remember Amazon’s “1-Click” feature? The elegance of this feature comes from how easy they made it to convert website traffic into sales. Focus on asking for only the essentials during the purchase. Every additional field makes the checkout process more cumbersome which may lead to suboptimal outcomes for your business.
At the heart of the preceding five tips is one simple principle: flexibility. Though this has always been a guiding principle, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized this point to an even greater extent by placing newfound pressure on contactless shopping environments. It is your decision as a business owner whether to adopt and use new trends to your advantage or to stagnate and watch as they pass by. I recommend the former.