The Future of Store Checkout: How Retailers Can Keep Up

The Future of Store Checkout: How Retailers Can Keep Up

It’s no secret that optimizing your store checkout experience can help boost profits. But few retailers actually realize how big an impact the checkout experience can have on your bottom line. 

Consider this: The average shopping cart abandonment rate across industries is 69.80%. That means nearly 7 out of 10 shoppers abandon their purchase during the checkout process!

The checkout process is integral to your in-store customer experience. As small and medium-sized businesses finally begin to recover from COVID-19 and look to the future, it’s important to understand the emerging trends in store checkout. 

Let’s take a look at the future of store checkout and learn how you can provide an exceptional checkout experience.

Why is the store checkout experience so important?

The interaction at your POS system is your final opportunity to create an experience that resonates with customers. Besides the products they take home with them, this decides their final impression of your store. So, you want to make your checkout options as inclusive, time-efficient, friendly, and memorable as possible.

BOPIS (or buy online pick up in store) orders increased 208% at the peak of the pandemic last April. The trend became particularly popular for essential purchases like grocery shopping, and it won’t be disappearing any time soon.

65% of retailers have now implemented BOPIS or curbside pickup, and most customers have no intention of going back to the way they shopped pre-pandemic.

What does the future of in-store checkout look like?

More than half of Americans now use contactless payment methods. Touchless payment service providers such as Apple Pay and Google Pay exploded in popularity in 2021. P2P payment apps like Venmo and PayPal followed suit, as startups and SMBs sought cost-effective ways to reduce exposure.

Financial services companies like Payment Depot and Square offer mobile POS stations that make the touchless payment process easy. Customers just pull up their mobile wallets and hold their phones up to any scanner with contactless payment technology. Even pop-ups and kiosks without a traditional point of sale station can implement mobile payments by using mobile scanners for transactions.

Touchless payments allow customers to leave their credit cards at home when shopping in retail stores. In fact, sanitation (70%) and speed (67%) were the top motivators for customers who made the switch to touchless payments. However, touchless payments aren’t the only options that can help to expedite the store checkout experience.

Self-checkout gives customers complete power over their checkout experience. Customers just scan the QR codes themselves and enter payment at the register. A whopping 60% of consumers would rather use a self-checkout station than be checked out by a store associate.

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Walmart’s self-checkout stations are a fantastic example of how large retailers can streamline traffic at their POS stations. But it’s not always as seamless as it looks. Although 85% of consumers think self-checkout is faster than waiting in line, 67% have had a self-checkout malfunction. You’ll still need store associates to oversee the self-checkout process and to help when issues arise.

Is “checkout-free” shopping the way of the future?

We’ve talked about mobile checkout and self-checkout, but what about eliminating the cash register altogether? 

Amazon created quite the buzz when they announced the Amazon Go convenience store concept just a few years ago. The idea of a checkout-free grocery store quickly piqued consumer interest, grabbing headlines and making waves for the ecommerce megalith.

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Amazon Go is the first “grabango” concept to gain popularity in the U.S. The process is relatively simple. Customers download the mobile app to enter the stores. As they shop, the store uses video cameras, AI, and weight sensors to track and monitor their purchases.

There is no store checkout. You don’t need to use a credit card. You can just walk out with your intended purchases and the app will automatically debit your Amazon account. 

At this point, there are twenty-six Amazon Go stores across the U.S. and the innovative store’s growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

3 tips to future-proof your store checkout experience

No worries if you aren’t anywhere near being able to build out a “grab-and-go” grocery store. There are plenty of alternative, cost-effective ways to refine your store’s checkout system. Let’s take a look at three of them.

1. Optimize for mobile shopping

Did you know that 31% of ecommerce purchases are now made on mobile devices? If you don’t have a mobile presence yet, it’s time to get on board. With platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Salesforce, building out a mobile app has never been more affordable or checkout more seamless. So, make sure to optimize your website for mobile devices.

2. Offer “buy now, pay later”

“Buy now, pay later” is the newest craze in retail checkout technology. During the 2020 holidays, 44% of customers said BNPL would be important in determining how much they spend. Platforms like Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna are easy to integrate into your online checkout. And it’s getting easier to implement them into physical stores as well.

3. Create a shoppable social media profile

In 2020, almost one out of five consumers in the US had shopped through social media. 18% of them had used the “buy” button on a brand’s page while 16% had clicked a shoppable post or story. Platforms like Shopify make it easy to add a shoppable store to your brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. Even Google now offers easy integrations for your online store.

Businesses that provide exceptional in-store checkout experiences

Online checkout gets a lot of press. So, it’s easy to overlook local retailers that are doing a great job at the in-store checkout experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a big box store like Walmart to create an innovative solution to eliminate checkout lines.

Take a look at Miss Match, a trendy women’s apparel boutique in San Diego, California. Their POS station isn’t just a checkout solution or a place to process transactions. Instead, store associates use the checkout experience as an opportunity to greet customers by name.

Mobile checkout should always be a seamless process. The team at Miss Match understands how to use mobile technology to build lasting customer relationships. Busy customers and parents can check out their online shopping carts using BOPIS from their phones to save time. Miss Match even offers Afterpay, so consumers can buy now, pay later, without the risk of interest on credit cards.

Final Thoughts

Customers are eager to shop post-pandemic. Your checkout experience will determine whether those customers walk away with a positive or negative impression of your store. 

If you’re looking to implement mobile checkout or expedite the process at your POS station, look no further than Payment Depot. We offer the best-in-class mobile terminals from the trusted hardware providers. But that’s not the only reason that we are the highest-rated payment processor in the business. 

It’s because we help retailers save around $800 or more on credit card processing every month. To learn how Payment Depot can help you optimize your store checkout experience, contact our award-winning customer service team today!

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