March 12, 2024

Payments Anywhere: The Key to Closing Sales

Payments Anywhere: The Key to Closing Sales

Retail payment device image

The checkout line is becoming a thing of the past. While waiting in a queue in-store has been common practice for decades, consumers are looking for businesses that place greater value on customers’ time by accepting payments everywhere they engage. A 2022 survey from customer flow and waitlist app Waitwhile found that 69% of people associate waiting in line with negative emotions, including boredom, annoyance, frustration, and impatience. Competitive merchants never want those feelings associated with their brands.

Still, retailers, restaurateurs, and other merchants need to solve the problem of the payments bottleneck. If the only place to pay for purchases is a checkout counter, lines will form, and customer experiences will be less favorable. The solution is to accept payments everywhere, which can also lead to increased sales transactions, customer loyalty and a growing business.

At the Point of Decision

A study from You Need a Budget (YNAB) found that 94% of consumers admit to impulse buying, with 53% citing emotional fulfillment as the main driver. Additionally, 68% are more apt to spend during the holiday shopping season from October through December. Capturing these sales can help increase revenues, but if a wait to complete a purchase is involved, customers may put items back on the shelves and leave the line.

Retailers can give customers options for paying without the wait throughout the store. Apparel retailers can implement smart fitting room solutions that allow customers to pay for purchases as soon as they confirm the perfect fit. Self-checkout kiosks enable customers to pay for merchandise without assistance.

Additionally, customers who need assistance from a sales associate, mobile point of sale (POS) solutions allow immediate payment. The associate can walk shoppers through their options, help them select, take a payment, and even print a receipt without requiring the customer to walk to a checkout counter and wait in line.

These mobile devices also enable merchants to collect email addresses, making the receipt processing more convenient and available via email. This also provides the merchant with more data and enables them to invite them to their loyalty program, send coupons, and more. Both parties win with email receipts.

At the Point of Engagement

Retail customer engagement refers to all the places a brand interacts with customers, in-store, online, through advertising, via email and text, on social media, and more. Merchants can shorten the shopping journey by accepting payments everywhere consumers engage.

In the store, interactive touchscreens can provide product information, communicate deals, and give customers a way to purchase items immediately with a QR code. Consumers scan the code with their smartphones, enter cardholder information, and arrange to pick up the item or have it delivered. Similarly, merchants can use QR codes on print advertising to direct consumers to a “buy now” page.

Merchants can also accept payments directly from offers they make through social media. Statista analysts expect global sales from social media to increase from $1.298 billion in 2023 to $3 trillion by 2026. Engaging messaging can include links to hosted payments pages, giving customers a fast, convenient way to pay. Also, Attentive’s annual consumer survey report states that 93% of U.S. shoppers have opted-in to receive texts from brands, 26% more than in 2020. Attentive’s survey found that the most popular time for consumers to shop on their smartphones, reported by 74% of survey respondents, is at night while watching TV. However, the second most popular time, reported by 65% of consumers, is after receiving a text about a sale.

Retailers should capitalize on digital engagement trends but also remember that about half of consumers will opt to pick up their orders in-store vs. paying a shipping fee to have them delivered to their homes. Merchants need to design their buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) experiences to make pickups efficient and fast. Employees with mobile POS can quickly verify the customer’s identity, locate orders, and decrease customer wait times.

Outside the Store

Some merchants are expanding the perimeter where they do business, transacting outside the four walls –or digital spaces -- of their stores. Retailers are experimenting with new store concepts, including the growth of pop-up shops. Consumers are embracing physical retail and retailers are making their merchandise available in more locations to allow consumers to see and try items – and post their finds on social media.

However, to make the pop-up shop concept work, merchants need a practical way to manage transactions and payments in a deliberately temporary space. Deploying traditional point of sale systems and infrastructure doesn’t make financial sense. However, self-service kiosks and mobile POS systems that the merchant can move from location to location are smart investments. With the flexibility of easy-to-implement solutions and a platform for managing a multi-location deployment, merchants can take their inventory where consumers shop, whether in a mall storefront during the holidays, a community event, or a festival with a schedule of regional events.

The Practical Way to Accept Payments Everywhere

Retailers with the goal of enabling fast service and on-the-spot payments can, unfortunately, create IT environments comprised of disparate systems and management challenges. A smarter strategy is to deploy mobile devices, kiosks, signage, and other hardware with unified architecture for simplified management. Android makes it possible.

Elo M60 Pay provides merchants with an Android mobile POS system that communicates via cellular or Wi-Fi networks, can integrate with 2D barcode scanners, and accepts all forms of payment. Merchants can use the handheld POS terminal with a docking station to create a customer-facing display for payments, allowing them to use it on a counter as well as in mobile applications.

Elo Pay 7” enables merchants to have a sleek design for their mobile or fixed POS system. The design enables this device to be a standalone mobile POS with or without printer. The device removes all payment friction by accepting dip, tap, swipe card reading, with pin on glass functionality. And when you attach Elo Pay 7” to a Z70 stand, the merchant has a mobile to fixed POS solution enabling them to have a customer facing display and a larger employee facing display. Elo Pay 7” offers the ultimate in flexibility and style, all on the same platform.

Self-serve kiosks are also gaining traction and popularity with merchants of all industries. Crazy Bowls & Wraps, a popular healthy, fast-casual restaurant chain notes that introducing self-serve kiosks increased the average check order by 38%. Kiosks are appealing to both merchants and consumers alike. Consumers seek greater control over their experience, and kiosks empower them to explore at their own pace. Meanwhile, merchants depend on self-service solutions, especially during labor shortages, to maintain operational efficiency.

Additionally, EloView allows merchants to manage all Android devices across the business, including mobile POS, countertop POS systems, touchscreens, kiosks, and interactive signage, with one scalable, centralized system.

Contact Elo to see how accepting payments everywhere adds convenience for your customers and will benefit your business. #EloIsEverywhere