How to: speed up the point of sale process (without sacrificing service)

If you struggle with long queues during peak times and want to speed up the point of sale experience without sacrificing customer service, there are plenty of options are available to you.

26th July 2016

Point of sale software is almost ubiquitous on the British high street, with businesses recognising the numerous benefits it can bring. It saves you hours of admin time each week, improves the customer experience, and can give you complete visibility over cash flow and stock levels.

Many supermarkets and large chains have gone one step further to speed up the point of sale experience by providing self-service checkouts alongside regular checkouts. However, these self-service checkouts eliminate the opportunity for businesses to attempt to upsell or develop a rapport with customers.

For local businesses such as builders' merchants, which rely on loyal trade customers and use employee expertise as a selling point, self-checkouts simply don't work.

However, if you struggle with long queues during peak times and want to speed up the point of sale experience without sacrificing customer service, there are plenty of options are available to you.

Automating paperwork

Builders' merchants can spend significant amounts of time calculating and creating quotations and invoices for trade customers. By taking advantage of retail software features such as automatically generated invoices, you can quickly cut the time it takes to complete these tasks. You can then apply discounts and credit arrangements based on the customer's purchase history and quickly amend the electronic invoice appropriately.

It's also important to offer customers the option of receiving paperwork via email, instead of printing the documents in-store. Not every customer will prefer electronic documents, but many will. Make a note on their account to record their preference and save time whenever they place an order.

Knowledge at your fingertips

If your point of sale system is integrated with stock control and other features, you'll have a vast amount of information at your fingertips, leaving you in a strong position to answer customer queries at the point of sale.

For example, a customer might be buying a new power tool. Your software could automatically recommend products that are commonly bought with this item – such as sets of drill bits or other accessories.

Another customer might wish to know if you have a certain item in stock. Instead of having to call a colleague or check the shelves yourself, you can search for the item in the system and give an immediate answer to the customer – including when you expect the next delivery.

Using software efficiently

Whilst point of sale software has the potential to hugely speed up the checkout experience, it won't reach its potential unless you're fully aware of how to use it. Give your staff a refresher course on the software, particularly on the processes they tend to struggle with.

Additionally, read up on keyboard shortcuts. For example, using the 'Tab' key to switch fields whilst inputting info is much quicker than clicking between fields. You could keep a list of important shortcuts at the point of sale while staff learn them.

Here at Integrity, we offer our users thorough training options and unbeatable support services. If you'd like to learn more about how Trader can speed up the point of sale experience, get in touch with our sales team.

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