Brick-and-mortar customers come into your store with the desire to have a pleasant shopping experience, get their questions answered, and test or try on the products they are looking to purchase. Customers who prefer to do their shopping online do so because there is never question of inventory availability, it is typically easier to find the products they are looking for, and the shopping itself usually takes less time and effort.
Advanced technology with ePOS system software is making it easier than ever for brick-and-mortar shops to combine the convenience of online shopping, with the loyalty-building interaction of physically coming into the store. Retailers have inventory counts that are updated in real time at their fingertips, and can make orders for their customers with a few clicks. This simplifies the shopping experience for customers who come into the store, and helps build relationships that keep them coming back.
Tech developers are still working on ways to make the online shopping experience more bilateral, but there are already some pretty amazing apps available that bring the store to wherever the customer is. The one thing you can easily do to improve user experience with your online store, is make the checkout process simple and secure.
Keep reading for more tips on how to make transactions easier for your customers, whether they are through your brick-and-mortar, or your ecommerce shop.
1. Help Customers Skip the Queue
There are two kinds of shoppers. There are the customers who know what they want, come into the store to find it, then want to leave as quickly as they came. Then there are the customers who like to browse, taking their time to contemplate their purchases. They may not even have a particular item in mind. Regardless of the type of shoppers in your store, no one enjoys waiting in queue. Give your customers the feeling that they have more control over their time by letting them register their spot in a virtual queue. This allows them to continue browsing until it is their turn to be helped. You can also provide self-checkout stations, giving customers the ability to grab what they need and go. A great way to merge the two options, is having employees meet your customers right in queue and check them out where they are.
2. Take Every Form of Payment
With all the banking options out there today, there are just as many ways to pay for purchases. Don’t leave room for your customers to be embarrassed because they have a load of stuff at the register and no way to pay for it. Make sure you are all set to take all credit cards, gift cards, cash, cheques, and partial account payments if you have higher-priced items. Simplifying the payment process will make spending money at your shop far more accessible.
3. Keep Customer Information in Your System
Repeat customers usually appreciate it when you already have all their pertinent information in your system. For online purchases, allowing customers to set up an account where their shipping and billing information can be saved spares time in the checkout process. When customers make purchases in person, having their information easily accessible personalizes and speeds up transactions.
4. Email Receipts
Paper receipts are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Not only is an emailed receipt more environmentally friendly, but it is also more secure and easier to keep track of. When you offer customers the option to have their receipts emailed to them, they can just focus on enjoying their shopping experience.
5. Keep Checkout Consistent With Your Shop
This is especially important when it comes to ecommerce, because a checkout page that looks completely different from the rest of your site can raise suspicion. You want your customers to feel secure when they are making their purchase. Don’t lose sales by taking them to a separate page, or a page that does not match the rest of your site, for checkout. While this is less of an issue for in-person purchases, you still want your customers to have a cohesive experience from walking into your store, to walking out. This helps them have a solid idea of what to expect from start to finish when they shop.
6. Maintain Up-To-Date Inventory
No one likes shopping for a specific item only to find it is not in stock. Online, customers may go all the way through the transaction process before finding out they will have to wait for their item to be restocked before they can get it. Customers who come into your shop may feel like they have wasted their time searching for an item if it is not available. It is frustrating and disappointing to put effort into finding something that is not in stock. Make sure your inventory is updated in real time so that employees always know what’s in stock, and you never run out of what your customers are looking for.
7. Update Prices Regularly
When prices change, it should immediately go into your system. It is never pleasant to get to checkout with an item marked as being on sale, only to have the register ring up the full price. Make sure your shop’s items are all priced accurately to keep your customers focused on getting the most out of their experience.