In the age of choice, where customers can shop anywhere and anytime, providing a great in-store experience is key for brick-and-mortar retailers. Delighting the customer is one of the best ways to create additional revenue; happy customers are more likely to return, and more likely to recommend your business to others.

Today’s shoppers are busy and tech savvy – they expect their shopping experience to be smooth and seamless with an emphasis on customer service. For businesses, this is particularly important when accepting payments.

Here are three ways you can delight your customers by creating a smooth in-store payments experience (plus a bonus tip on enhancing your in-store ambience).

Tip #1: Let your customers pay their way

New Zealand and the rest of the world are fast becoming cashless, and new technologies now mean customers have a greater choice in the way they want to pay. Businesses that adapt and accommodate customers preferred payment options, whether it be EFTPOS, credit, contactless or mobile payments will make it easier for customers to spend, and provide a better, frictionless experience.

Mobile payments in particular are increasing. As tourism continues to grow, there is increased demand for a familiar and convenient way to pay whilst travelling, and QR payments using platforms such as Alipay and WeChat are dominating. Alipay and WeChat Pay together account for over 93% of China’s mobile payments and have enabled overseas payments for their 520 and 800 million respective active monthly users in 2017.

QR Payments work by allowing the customer to pay via scanning a QR code on the EFTPOS terminal from their smartphone. The customer is shown the New Zealand dollar amount, the conversion rate and the total Chinese RMB dollar value that they will be charged at the time of payment. The merchant receives the full NZ dollar amount, and pays a low Merchant Service Fee on each transaction which is totalled and billed at the end of the month. Learn more about QR payments.

Tip #2: Don’t keep your customers waiting at the checkout

In the era of internet shopping where customers can get same-day delivery from the comfort of home, it’s safe to say that today’s shoppers don’t like to wait.

Reducing queue times at checkout is a great way to speed up your customer service and provide a smooth customer experience. Accepting contactless payments and integrating terminals with your point-of-sale (POS) system not only reduces waiting times for customers, but also frees up your staff to engage and delight. Merchants that integrate with POS also see benefits from improved accuracy and quicker and easier end of day reconciliation.

Smartpay has developed robust integration technology to connect with many different POS vendors. We have options that work with cash registers, desktop or cloud-based POS systems, or apps on tablets or smartphones. Learn more about our integrations here.

If you like the sound of integrated payments but don’t have a POS system, check out our free Till2Go app which integrates with most of our terminals.

Tip #3: Keep your staff focussed on your customers, not the machine

In an increasingly competitive retail environment, creating more time to engage and build relationships with your customers is key.

Customers love to be acknowledged, remembered, understood and to feel valued on an individual level. Personalising the experience for your customers requires your employees to spend time with the customer, asking great questions to understand them on a deeper level.

Starting with the basics of implementing reliable technology and partnering with a payments provider that offers round-the-clock support is a great way to set the groundwork for freeing time up to focus on personalising the experience for your customers.

When choosing a payments solution, you should consider:

Technology

Think about where and how you need to accept payments. Your solution should work with your existing technology, including your internet connection, and support a variety of payment methods. If you need to accept payments away from a counter-top, you may want to consider a mobile terminal.

Support

Sometimes technology fails. If it does, you want to be confident that you will get the technical support you need to get you back up and running, fast. Smartpay offers a 24/7 phone based support service and our New Zealand based helpline team can help you with your technical queries.

Bonus Tip: Set a mood that matches your brand

The environment you set out in store plays a huge part in how your customers perceive your business and your product offering. A positive environment increases the chance of making a purchase and encourages customers to return.

Setting a great ambiance in-store can be as simple as selecting the right kind of music. Choosing good audio and visual stimulus can ensure that your customer’s experience matches your brand and become an important competitive tool for business owners in distinguishing brand experience.

Playing the right kind of in-store music has also proven to help boost staff morale and encourage customers to stay longer which in turn has a positive impact on sales; when in-store music is tailored for your individual demographic and location, 35% of customers say they stay longer along with 31% saying they would revisit.

Smartpay offers a great Retail Radio solution that enables stores to deliver a bespoke audio ambience, whilst also creating and playing promotional messages via audio and digital displays at key times. Learn more at www.retailradio.co.nz.

In summary, those merchants that put the customers’ experience at the heart of their business by focusing on creating the right in-store environment as well as offering relevant, reliable, robust and integrated payment options will be without a doubt those that see profitable growth and success in today’s highly competitive retail environment.
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