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Best POS Technology Provider 2020 – Ontario

All Lanes Open

Paul Leduc

Recently, some major grocery store chains have advertised with large banners placed at the front of the store, “All Lanes Open”. The purpose is to give customers an expectation before they enter the store that they will be able to pay for their goods quickly, when they are ready to do so. Further, the reason they need to do this is because consumers are becoming weary of long wait times to pay for their goods.

With the advent of self-check-out lanes, customers who are comfortable with the technology, in many cases, prefer self-check-out over a human. All of this payment activity is based around the need and expectation that the payment part of the purchasing process, will be the quickest part. Cell phones help to keep some customers pacifed while they wait in line, however generally speaking, customers expect to check-out, either way, easily and quickly.

Now that autonomous check-out and frictionless shopping have become trends, consumers are expecting close to zero wait times to pay for their purchases. The check-out process in the mainstream generally involves customers paying for their goods at a POS (Point of Sale) system. Depending on the size of the store and the frequency of purchasing, stores will have multiple POS lanes to check-out customers quickly when they’re busy. Items are scanned or entered manually, payment is arranged, receipts are printed, and the goods are bagged.

This would be a typical mainstream check-out process for most retailers. Longer than necessary scan times, difculty in fnding manual buttons, and slow printing and payment, all contribute to longer check-out times.

Technology plays a large role in satisfying customer expectations. Consumers today have acceptable wait times that are much less than what was previously acceptable. Interruption in the consistent operability of the POS system will inevitably create low customer satisfaction scores. Creating a consistent and reliable POS system environment involves several key factors including the grade of the computer hardware, the reliability of the software and the availability of quick and efcient support when required. Add networking and the POS becomes a technology eco-system.

An inefcient commerce system is one where the computer hardware is older than 5-10 years, the software is not running on the latest version and legacy payment integration is slow and troublesome. These and other ‘system’ inefciencies can have a dramatic effect on customer satisfaction and therefore sales and loyal customers. Globe POS has been busy upgrading older systems to the newest processors and the latest software versions. Microsoft Windows, an operating system which is used in more than half of all retail locations, recently announced discontinuing updates and support for Windows 7. Changing parts of a legacy system has been the most popular form up replacing POS components. Printers generally have a longer life span than the POS terminal and some cash drawers can last more than 30 years. However changing “parts” of a system doesn’t always work.

“We are constantly getting calls about retailers who discover that their POS systems are not as efcient as they were 10 years ago”, says Paul Leduc, President of Globe POS Systems. If you think of some of the advances in computer processing speeds over the past 10 years, it’s easy to see why faster and more reliable systems will help retailers reduce the check-out process and increase customer satisfaction.

The lifetime value of a good customer is exponentially better than the cost of upgrading a POS system to have it scanning, printing and paying faster, to increase the overall throughput of the check-out process. Constant re-booting, unplanned Windows updates, driver issues, networking issues and a host of other technological problems cause some retailers to lose customers due to long wait times.

In an article entitled, 10 Factors That Affect Customer Satisfaction, the National Business Research Institute states that, “Technology means more than a fancy website. In order to satisfy customers, companies have to keep up with the latest technological advances or suffer the consequences. Change is never easy, but business as usual isn’t a viable alternative. Technology can help small and mid-size companies look like big companies by improving the quality of the purchasing experience without adding staff to the payroll.”

Many retailers consider their POS system to be a capital expense, with a one-time purchase that will last years, until something stops working and the system requires replacement. Smart retailers look at their POS system as an operational expense and as such allocate a certain part of their operational budget to keeping their systems relevant, using the latest technology to contribute to a quicker and more seamless shopping experience. Technology can contribute to increasing customer satisfaction. And when customers are checked
out quickly and efciently, retailers will no longer need to advertise, “All lanes open”. Falling behind technology upgrades and affecting customer satisfaction in a negative way, unfortunately can lead to all lanes being closed.

Paul Leduc – President
Globe POS Systems Inc.
Tel: (416) 900-4050
Fax: (905) 695-9101