4 Things That Will Improve The Checkout Experience

iStock_000003275965SmallJust because your customer is making a purchase in your retail location doesn’t mean you should relax at the cash register. Every moment she spends with you is an opportunity to improve your image and deliver a memorable customer experience.

Here are 4 things you can do at low-or-no-cost:

Clean off your counter and give room to maneuver.

It’s very tempting to load your counter space with point-of-purchase displays and impulse buying options. Are they hindering rather than helping your checkout process? Customers need room – space for purses, shopping bags, wallets, checkbooks, etc. Not to mention space around the checkout area to park strollers, umbrellas, etc. while mom checks out. A large, spacious counter area is inviting and most welcome.

Tell her what a great choice she’s made.

We’ve all gone to nice eating establishments where the waiter remarks on our “excellent choice” of meal from the menu. Why not do the same? I’ve had the checkout person at Lucy comment on the cuteness of my choice of yoga top, had someone at Sports Authority tell me how happy I’d be with my new heart rate monitor, and a cashier at Trader Joe’s rave about the peppermint soap I was trying for the first time. Take a cue from these leaders and give it a try. In the customer’s mind, it reinforces that she is a smart consumer and makes her feel that in your eyes, she really IS an important customer.

Let your packaging be a walking billboard.

This is the most costly of the 4 things, but the best investment as well. If you’re still using generic plastic bags for her purchases, stop it. RIGHT. NOW. Invest in bold, colorful, or elegant bags (and liners like tissue paper, etc.) that are unique to your retail store and make a statement that she’ll love to carry around for the next hour. Better yet, make it highly functional as well. For example: when you leave an Apple store, your purchase is placed inside vinyl drawstring bag that can be carried as a backpack or sling. It’s brilliant design and great function for customers who are trying to balance multiple bags and children.

Give a little lagniappe.

“Lagniappe” is that little something extra you give your customer just for being a customer. It’s NOT throwing in a coupon for a future discount; it IS something that has meaning at the moment of checkout. It’s the butcher who weighs the lunchmeat, prints out the price tag, and then throws an extra few slices into the bag. It’s the bank teller at the drive-thru who notices the puppy in the car and sends a dog treat back with the deposit slip. It’s the clothing store manager who notices a customer looking through a basket of clearance earrings and lets her pick a pair for free. It’s a small investment that brands your store directly into the reward behavior area of the customer’s brain.

Pretty easy things to do, right? Why not give them a try? They’re small improvements that will have powerful results.

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