Listen to Your Staff and Refresh POS for a Successful 2016
The start of the year can be a challenging time for retailers. But it’s also one full of tremendous opportunities for those ready to approach it in the right way. There’s no better time to take a careful look at your priorities for the coming 12 months, at where and why things didn’t go as well as hoped last year and how to get them right for 2016. One of the mistakes many managers make in any business, is not to listen to their staff. Remember: these are your frontline troops, the people closest to your customers. Anything they say – both positive and negative – can be an opportunity to make things better.
That’s why we recently commissioned in-depth independent research, which polled frontline staff to find out more about the key challenges facing retailers today. We concluded that “retail mobilisation” should be a key priority for any business out there keen to thrive in 2016 and beyond.
Stress at the till
One key challenge identified in our poll and faced by retailers is the pressure to meet heightened consumer expectations over the shopping experience. Many of the staff we spoke to noted how shoppers pestered them to hurry up if there was a queue at the till. The check-out aisle can be a pretty stressful place for both shopper and staff member – especially if high numbers of customers are paying by cash, which can slow things down even more.
It’s not just the speed of the queue. We found out from retail staff that shoppers are also more demanding of product and other information. Often they will interject even if a check-out assistant is serving another customer, armed with pricing and other information on their smartphones.
Then there’s the quality of the POS machines themselves. Customers and staff can be put off by dirty chip and PIN terminals, illegible displays and not being able to pay by their preferred method – for example Apple Pay or contactless card.
Go mobile in 2016
It all adds up to one thing – shoppers voting with their feet. The retail market is simply too competitive today to ignore these kinds of concerns. Customers are either leaving the queue without paying at all, or deciding after a poor shopping experience that they’ll never return. Retail managers and business owners can’t afford to let this continue. So what’s the answer?
A technology refresh could go a long way to meeting the challenges outlined above. New mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) systems free up staff to roam the store with handheld mobile devices linked to chip and PIN readers.
This can not only reduce queues at peak times but also increase interactions between staff and customers, mitigating the top four reasons customers leave a store without purchasing:
• Items out of stock
• Vague pricing
• No shop assistants available
In short, it’s all about retail mobilisation, driven by mPOS. If you’re keen to find out more, talk to us today about our range of mobile payment solutions. And for more industry insight, look out for our upcoming report, When Worlds Collide: Store Staff and Shoppers in Retail Today.