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GUEST COMMENT Queue busters – using technology to improve the shopping experience

Image: Paul Skeldon/InternetRetailing Media

As the shopping experience becomes increasingly based on convenience, customers are becoming used to the ease of same-day home delivery and one-click purchases. However, it’s not all over for high street stores, as customers still value the physical experience of shopping such as viewing items in person and discussing options with experts on the shop floor.

Yet, consumers’ lack of patience is beginning to transfer into their attitude towards shopping in-store – in fact, new research has unveiled that nearly 80% of customers will walk away from an in-store checkout because of long queues.

The in-store experience therefore needs to evolve to reflect the speed and convenience of online shopping. Customers spend more in-store than they do online, due to the prevalence of impulse buying, so it is vital that merchants don’t risk losing sales because they don’t implement a variety of options to speed up the in-store experience.

So, with merchants needing to eradicate the need for queues in store, what technologies are available to help them streamline the physical shopping experience and eliminate the risk of losing customers?

Scan and Pay

Scan and pay is a mobile-based payment option that enables the customer to scan a QR code relating to the product using an app. Payment is made through in-app payment from merchant app, completely erasing the need for a checkout service and queues. This method of payment puts the power back into the customers hands, provides greater in-store mobility, and allows them to shop on the go. Essentially, they walk in, pick up the item, scan it, and go. Simple.


Instant Payments

Instant payments are electronic payments from one bank to another that can be processed in real-time. Completed in under 10 seconds, they’re not only processed quickly, but also at any time of day. The instantaneity of the transaction can be highly beneficial to companies’ cash-flow, and likewise instant refunds are a great value-add for customers. Instant payments can be integrated into a range of checkouts, including on-the-go devices, to suit any business.


MPOS and EPOS systems

MPOS systems are a mobile point of sale used to process transactions in exactly the same way as a cash register. The big difference is that by being able to take payments on a mobile phone, or on a tablet using an EPOS system, payments can be taken anywhere in a store, providing the sales assistant or merchant is carrying a smart device. Reducing the need for costly terminals, an MPOS or EPOS system can also be extremely cost effective.

The days of queuing are numbered

Inevitably these new systems are transforming the role of the sales advisor. By giving shop floor staff more freedom to roam the store and provide 1-2-1 service for customers on a more personal level, as well as take payments on the spot, the in-store experience will combine the online and the physical experience. This will create a brand-new invisible checkout experience that works to the benefit of both merchants and consumers.

So, as consumers continue to demand simpler, more convenient ways to pay in-store, merchants must provide the services they need to be able to pay on the go, without the need to wait in a queue. The fact is, the days of queueing are numbered, and merchants who don’t adapt to customers’ demands by reducing the barriers to payment risk losing out on sales.

How can retailers know which payment method is right for them?

The best port of call is to chat to a payments professional who can apply their expert knowledge of the market to your individual business needs. Ingenico has long been a pioneer of in-store mobility solutions. Its forthcoming generation of devices will enable retailers of all sizes and scale to create a smoother shopping experience for consumers and boost the revenue-generating potential of sales associates.

Furthermore, with over 20 years’ experience and a range of payment system offerings, Ingenico Enterprise Retail is perfectly placed to answer any questions you may have – retail, security, technical or otherwise – and help your business improve its in-store mobility with a bespoke payments system.

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