Retailers: Start Automating Your Checkout Before It’s Too Late

January 8, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Retailers of all sizes have a lot on their plates already. Scheduling employees, what products to offer and which to leave behind, and keeping the store as sharp and up to date as can be all play roles in the retailer’s mind. The increasingly digital-savvy customer, meanwhile, is also weighing heavily, and that’s leading some to call out retailers, saying that automated checkout processes are now a necessity that must be considered lest the competition grind a retailer under.

Customers, increasingly, are preferring the ability to order and pay from one device. We see that in online shopping, and we see it in mobile shopping as well. It’s one of the biggest advantages of such shopping. In order to take advantage of this, businesses will have to often restage operations from the ground up. That includes inventory management and payment systems, among a wide range of others.

Businesses can’t stop there, meanwhile; the “trust economy” is becoming a bigger part of the retail market. Security has long been a major concern of mobile payments users, and the “trust economy” is helping to address that. Make it clear to customers how their data is protected, and what’s done with it.

Don’t forget updating payments technology to protect against chargeback issues. Perhaps the biggest point is to put more focus on the mobile consumer. With reports pegging the overall mobile market at $503 billion by 2020—and mobile shoppers about to represent one in four consumers—it’s clear there’s a lot of life left in mobile payments.

In the end, it’s all about appealing to the customer. Customers want fast, safe, convenient payment mechanisms to let them get in and out and on with their lives. Sure, there’s a certain risk to complete automation—showing up in the newspaper along with a banner headline like “Business Fires Everybody” isn’t a promotional bell-ringer—but the more of it that can be done effectively seems to increasingly be worth doing.

Giving customers what they want is one of the great keys to better business. Customers want a faster, better experience, and mobile payments is one great way to give it to them. It should be part of a larger strategy, but mobile payments can be the cornerstone on which the plan is built.