Long queues damage the in-store customer experience, costing UK retailers £14.3bn

Consumers now demand more and more from their retail experience meaning that retaining repeat business is an increasingly difficult challenge, even for the world’s biggest brands. With growing competition, increasing costs and the rise of multi-channel shopping; the fight to attract, retain and keep customers coming back for more is a challenge that every department needs to consider. Every process within a store needs to be reviewed to optimize efficiency, increase sales and offer a competitive advantage in order to remain ahead of the crowd and improve the in-store customer experience. This may seem like an insurmountable task, but often, it can be simple changes that have the biggest impact for consumers.

In-store customer experienceA 2018 European Retail Report carried out by Adyen suggests that often long queues in stores can lead to potential customers abandoning purchases, with an estimated £14.3 billion being lost in sales last year for this reason alone. This can ultimately have a huge impact on the bottom line and is a problem that can easily be solved. If queue times are shortened, not only will your revenue increase, but it also means customers are more likely to return and make repeat purchases from your store due to the lack of frustration at the point of sale.

For consumers, convenience is key

The percentage of customers using online shopping is still increasing year-on-year, with consumers taking advantage of the convenience, the choice available and the ability to compare prices.

Brick-and-mortar retailers therefore face the unenviable task of attracting customers to their stores and offering an experience that rivals the advantages of online shopping. To do this, they need to offer the ultimate in-store customer experience, with the customers wants and needs being considered and catered for at all times. But it doesn’t stop there. Once customers are in the store, and at the checkout, retailers must ensure that the service they receive is fast, friendly and memorable.

Automated technology, from self-service checkouts to hand-held devices, such as “scan as you shop”, is being rapidly adopted by retailers, in an attempt to streamline the purchasing process and reduce queues, but these have been met with a lack of enthusiasm by consumers.

They certainly have their flaws; from erroring mid-use, causing confusion for weighted items and the added inconvenience of consumers having to wait for a member of staff to approve their age limited purchases; they can often be more of a hassle than a help. Plus, with studies showing that staffed registers remain faster it certainly seems that self-service technologies may not be the answer to improving the in-store customer experience (and sales).

Cash management technology – an alternative approach

But what if there were innovative technologies available that helped to reduce customer wait times? What if these technologies automated those time-consuming, manual tasks that keep cashiers tied up in the back office and put them back in front of customers? And better yet, what if this automation led to an increase in efficiency and a decrease in loss?

Cash management technology can increase efficiency in your stores, by automating laborious cash management tasks. Staff spend less time reconciling till balances at end of shifts, preparing banking deposits or counting the contents of the safe – giving them more time on the shop floor and reducing those long queues that lead to abandoned purchases. Not only this, but cash management technology can help drive adherence to process and deliver time savings through streamlined cash handling processes, ultimately reducing labor costs.

End-to-end cash management solutions, such as Tellermate’s LiveDrawer enable retailers to eliminate manual cash handling processes, whilst dramatically reducing cash loss and increasing efficiency. The real-time count-by-weight technology and transaction-by-transaction reporting means that you’ll always get an instant picture of the cash in the register.

This makes shift change overs quick and simple. LiveDrawer will record the change in employee, whilst also determining and recording the cash values in the drawer, eliminating the need to “cash up” during opening hours. So, no more queues building as cashiers swap in and out.

Plus, with its weight-based counting technology, customer change disputes can be rectified on the spot. Cashiers can be alerted if they have short changed a customer and can correct the mistake without the need to wait for a manager, or for the register to be counted.

All this means that customer wait times can be reduced, employees get more time to spend with customers, and the in-store customer experience is optimized.

By implementing intelligent cash management technology, retailers can “cash in” on those sales that would otherwise be lost due to long queues or poor service. But with many different solutions available, from intelligent cash drawers to cash recyclers, it can be difficult to decide which solution is the best fit for your business.

Download the Cash Management Jungle Ebook to learn how cash management solutions could help your business to reduce abandoned sales, improve the in-store customer experience and discover which technology would deliver the best ROI for your stores.

Cash Management Jungle Ebook

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