I’m guessing that many people who read the title of this post think it’s about online experiences. That’s where “design” and “checkout” most often show up in the same sentence. But I’m actually discussing in-store experiences. According to recent research, about 1.6 percent of customers abandon in-store checkout lines. For a typical retailer, that’s over $100,000 per store per year, which is more than $50 million per year for a 500 store chain.
My take: I’ve recently discussed new in-store merchandising strategies for Wal-Mart, Michael’s, and Macy’s. Companies are recognizing that store design has a significant impact on customer purchases during a visit and on the likelihood of customers to return to the store. But the last place you want customers to have a bad experience is when they’ve got a product in one hand and payment in the other.
So companies need to take another look at the design of their checkout experiences. This means examining their queue structure (multi-line, single-line, etc), the queue environment, and in-queue merchandising. Technology offers new options for in-store experiences like self-service checkout kiosks and portable checkout systems.
Since I mentioned online experiences at the start of this post, I’ll end with a comment about online experiences. I’ve written in the past about flaws in the Store to Web experience. With the growth of mobile applications like ShopSavvy, retailers will increasingly need to design experiences that cross-over online-offline boundaries.
The bottom line: Stop losing customers that are ready to buy.