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Maximizing Checkout: A Retailer’s Critical Last Step

No business wants to leave money on the table. Yet, that’s traditionally what happens to retailers without a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) strategy.

A retailer may inadvertently neglect their checkout process for a number of reasons. Whether management is unaware of the potential to optimize their POS process or have uncertainty about loyalty programs, there is a huge opportunity in combining both strategies to increase revenue. To get started, retailers need to adjust the way they think to understand that checkout is more than just moving customers through a transaction.

As the last interaction with a shopper, the checkout process can serve valuable purposes beyond closing a sale. Your POS strategy can help leave a lasting impression, boost revenue, cultivate a loyalty program, and attain critical customer data and contact information.

To enhance their checkout processes, retailers must establish goals beyond closing a transaction, then implement strategies that will achieve that objective in both the short and long term. Consider the following three goals for your POS strategy.

Goals for a POS Strategy

  1. Generate Revenue

The quickest way to increase revenue at the point of sale is by placing small impulse items at checkout. Whether it’s candy, gum, travel-sized cosmetics, an electronic device charger, a newspaper or magazines, sales of small items add up over time.

These add-on purchases can result in immediate sales, but there is also a simple way to set up for long-term revenue generation. Sales associates can encourage shoppers to join their loyalty program, increasing the likelihood of repeat and more loyal customers in the future. 

  1. Grow a Loyalty Program

Creating a strong loyalty program that offers both immediate and long-term value to the consumer at the point of sale has several benefits for the retailer. Loyalty program benefits can vary depending on the structure, but in general, these programs help create more engaged customers who make repeat purchases resulting in more revenue. 

Additionally, loyalty programs allow you to communicate directly with shoppers to share discounts and incentives, retarget shoppers who abandoned carts, and ultimately gain customer insight data that can be used to tailor your offerings to your target demographics.

  1. Enhance the Customer Experience

Considering that the top 20% of shoppers generate 80% of a company’s business, it pays to cater to your best customers. Increasing customer retention by 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%, according to the Harvard Business Review. A more personalized checkout experience provides an opportunity to reinforce customer relationships and encourages shoppers to keep coming back.

The Impact of Immediate Loyalty Benefits at Checkout

Offering shoppers the opportunity to join a loyalty program during a transaction is an effective way for retailers to optimize their checkout processes. The key is determining the specific loyalty benefit that most appeals to the shopper. A Clarus Commerce survey found that more than half of shoppers would return to a store in exchange for a discount off their total purchase, while 1 in 5 would return for a gift.

Forty percent of shoppers expect loyalty benefits to begin immediately, making it critical that customers receive rewards quickly. Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) retailers that offer benefits within the first week after signing up a new loyalty member report weekly shopping.

A One-of-a-Kind Incentive to Grow Loyalty at Checkout

To truly maximize their checkout experiences, retailers need a cost-effective solution that can simultaneously grow customer loyalty and increase revenue. That’s why Synapse has partnered with its parent company Meredith Corporation to bring the universal appeal of the world’s most popular magazine titles to retailers’ customer loyalty portfolios.

With help from Synapse, you will be able to offer customers a customizable magazine at checkout to incentivize a loyalty program sign-up — increasing the likelihood of enrollment by 50%. From there, members will receive discounted subscriptions to instantly recognizable publications like People, Better Homes & Gardens, and Sports Illustrated. Each issue will remind the customer of their positive shopping experience, and magazine pages can be customized to highlight the retailer. At the end of the year, the retailer will share in revenues from subscription renewals, creating an additional source of income at no cost. 

Synapse manages all aspects of the customer subscription, including processing and future deliveries. All programs come at no cost to the retailer and include POS implementation and thorough employee training. It genuinely is a gift that keeps on giving to both the shopper and the retailer.

As shoppers’ wants and needs evolve and society changes, a company’s success hinges on its ability to innovate. Retailers must constantly re-win their customers’ loyalty and business — with every transaction. Checkout, the last moment of contact, is the key to strengthening that connection through knowledge, rewards and generosity.