Revel Blog

Retail Checkout Counter Ideas & Sales Best Practices

Sydney Kida | June 18, 2020 |

Retail Checkout Counter Ideas & Sales Best Practices

Many businesses treat the retail checkout counter as the end of a customer's buying experience, and feel they don't need to place much importance on it. It's a shame, because this leaves a significant opportunity on the table.

The thing is, the store register counter is where most of the magic happens. It's an essential part of your relationship with your customers. If they leave your counters happy, then they'll most likely come back.

That’s why maximizing your checkout process is a crucial part of your retail store operations. Here are some retail checkout counter ideas to get you up and running.

Tips to Improve Your Checkout Counter

Make it stand out

Your retail counter is like any other part of your store, so it must still reflect the overall aesthetic of your brand. Too often, the design of the checkout counter is neglected, which can communicate the wrong ideas about your brand.

Consider the services of an interior designer or professional store designer to assist you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative with your designs, as long as they reinforce your brand’s values.

Good lighting also plays a significant role. A well-lit checkout counter can make it stand out, and it can serve as the focal point of your store. If you’re still unsure of what to put there, why not fall back on a plant? They’re inexpensive and easy to maintain, plus they give your store a fresh look.

Another idea to consider is adding a TV screen. Remember that your customers will spend a considerable amount of time queuing at your checkout counters. TV screens not only help keep them entertained, but they can also showcase your other products or promotional announcements.

Remember, beautifully designed checkout counters can draw positive attention from your customers. They might even earn you social media shares, giving you free exposure in the process. 

Highlight impulse buys

Your POS checkout counter is a fantastic opportunity to work a few more products into your customer's shopping cart.

Do this by tapping into the power of impulse buys. Business checkout counters are the best places to do this because people who are in line there already have the intention of buying something. Allocate an area to display items that people can easily pick up and buy on the way to the checkout counter

The best products to encourage impulse buying are those that don't need further explanation and can practically sell themselves. They’re also relatively inexpensive, so resistance to buying them is lower.

Practical essentials are a great example since people see them as necessary. You can stock extra batteries in an electronics store, for instance, or sell a portable toothbrush if your store is travel-focused. In addition to material products, gift cards are a great inclusion for checkout counter impulse buys. They're easy to buy and come in different denominations. They're small, so they don't take up a lot of space. Plus, people are always looking for gift ideas, so there is always a market for gift cards. 

And the numbers add up: close to 80% of customers report having made an impulse buy in the past.

Reinforce your brand identity

The retail sales counter is also an excellent place to promote your brand identity to your customers. You can, for example, tell your brand’s story through TV visuals or printed manifestos. Even a simple portrait of your store founders can already tell a rich story about your brand's origins.

Here’s why it works: people generally want to buy from someone likable or relatable. Your brand story creates an instant connection between you and your customers and will make you much more memorable. The next time that customer wants to buy a pair of jeans, he or she will think of your brand first because of that connection you've just established.

You can also promote your corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts if you have them. This is yet another option for creating a bond with your customers and fans. 

Even if you don’t have a formal CSR, you can drive home your brand voice during the checkout experience by posting inspirational or funny quotes that promote your brand’s perspective and put a smile on your customers’ faces.

Promote your social media handles

Social media is an excellent way for your fans to talk about your brand. Better still, when customers share posts about your brand, you get free publicity in the process. You can encourage them to do this by displaying your social media handles prominently on your business counter.

Checkout is the best time to promote social shares from your customers. They've committed to buying a product, and they're likely excited to talk about it. 

Subtly encourage social sharing with signs encouraging people to tag and like your social media pages. This is a natural way to increase your followers online, expanding the organic reach of your social media messages.

To drum up even more followers, offer a social media promotion. One way is to give a gift to the social media photo with the most engagements (likes, comments, and shares) from your followers every month.

Train your staff to engage with customers

A pleasant and engaging staff at your checkout counters is a significant part of a fantastic store experience for your customers. Even if you follow all of the tips in this blog post, a single rude encounter with staff can undo all your hard work.

Checkout counters are also an excellent place for upsells. Train your staff to promote slower moving products, or have them encourage the buyer to upgrade to a more premium version. Your checkout staff can help spread the word about your store promotions or events you'll have in the future. Of course, the key is to keep these conversations as natural as possible and not be pushy.

Your staff is also instrumental in explaining your store’s loyalty programs. They can help encourage customers to maximize loyalty points by spending more or returning in the future.

Above all, train your staff to handle customer complaints gracefully. Winning back a disgruntled customer is not only satisfying; it’s also profitable. 

Consider the location of your checkout counter

Where your checkout counter is located is just as important as how it looks. Location can maximize customer purchases and add to the overall store experience.

Studies have shown that most shoppers go through a store in a very predictable manner. From the store’s entrance, they usually start on the right side and follow a counter-clockwise path throughout the establishment.

Therefore, a good place for the cash register is the left side of the store, 12 - 20 feet from the exit. This placement ensures the customer has explored the majority of your store before making their purchase(s). If you’re concerned about theft, you can also place the checkout counter further inside the store, nearer the back.

Placing the checkout counter in the middle of the store is also an acceptable alternative. The added benefit in this scenario is convenience, in case customers already know what to buy and want to check out quickly. 

Make your checkout counter seasonal

Checkout counters are a natural place for adapting your store to reflect the season at hand. Seasonal elements help keep your store fresh looking, and add a bit of novelty for your customers.

For example, you can display gift-wrapped boxes or lights during the winter holiday season. In February, you can put up roses and adopt a red color motif to promote Valentine’s Day.

Customizing your store for the seasons shows to your customers that you care about the same things that they do. You may also align your changing décor with special discounts or sales events. 

Use the power of a modern POS system

Having an iPad POS system like Revel can drastically improve your checkout process. The intuitive platform makes it easy for your staff to keep transactions quick and lines moving.

Revel’s POS also supports loyalty programs, gift card processing, customer relationship management, and online ordering.

The backend experience with Revel is as simple to navigate at the iPad POS at the checkout counter. Through a single, central management console, you can monitor your cash flow, track deliveries, and oversee your employees’ performance. 

A sleek, mobile POS system doesn’t just improve your transaction speed and in-store experience. It also looks better and takes less space than the clunky cash registers available through legacy providers. Your POS can add to your checkout counter's visual appeal.

Streamline Your Checkout With Revel

Ready to implement these retail counter ideas at your business? Apply them easily with Revel’s innovative and feature-rich retail POS system. Schedule a free demo with one of our product experts to see how we can improve your checkout process and skyrocket your retail sales.