Holiday Season Selling: Improve the checkout experience

The holiday season is getting close, and people are looking to spend money to make their holiday dreams come true. For the industry of retail, it means business owners looking forward to the coming months as it is the part of the year where they make most sales. And, while the business may be booming in this season, the amount of competition is also high. To stand out and attract more business, you have to make sure your business is set for the holiday and your store visitors have the best experience to convert them.

One of the biggest pain point for shoppers around the world during holiday season is long checkout queues: No one likes standing in long lines. In a survey by Timetrade, retailers reported that over 50% of their customers were likely to abandon their purchases if their wait times were over five minutes. During the holiday season, it may seem like long queues are unavoidable, but there are several strategies you can employ to keep your customers happy and increase your conversion rates.

1. Train Sales Associates

While many of your sales floor associates will be needed to assist customers and manage stock, during the holidays it's a good idea to have associates who are also trained to use your POS system. Opening another checkout lane always lessens the strain on your cashiers and allows customers to get in and out quickly. Since the holiday seasons are hectic, you may even need to hire extra help to get by. Conducting pre-holiday trainings for your employees will also highly benefit your business. Make sure each of your employees has a delegated position and are rightfully trained in it. Having to wait in a queue just to have a question answered is counterproductive – so make sure you have enough people on the floor available to help shoppers.

2. Use flexible POS technology

Long lines are unfortunately a reality of any static point of sales system. But if you add a mobile POS, you can quickly train sales associates and equip them with smartphones, tablets, or specialized hardware to help customers check out quickly. With a dynamic mobile solution your associates can provide a complete customer experience without having to leave to check prices, stock, or to ring up the customer's purchases. This eliminates the need for a lengthy queue altogether and can drastically increase your conversions.

3. Keep Your Queues Fair

Line-cutting can be a real problem during the holidays. Customers are agitated and--whether they mean to or not--will sometimes ignore the queue order to get to a newly opened register. This creates understandable frustration among your customers, and many will leave outright if it the issue is not solved fast. Train cashiers to specifically call over the next person in line to avoid this as much as possible. Additionally, some stores choose to place a sign at the front of the queue that customers must wait behind, or place guides to enable an orderly queue.

This holiday season, cut down on long lines by implementing these simple strategies into your everyday workflow and stand out among your competitors.

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