I stopped by #Walmart – something I generally loathe to do because of the hassle factor – to pick up groceries this morning. After loading my cart with about $150 of groceries, I went to checkout and there were no cash registers open. I was told by a store employee no cashiers were available, and I had to use self-checkout instead. I told the associate “no” because I had way too many items in my basket and didn’t want to hassle with dealing with their undersized self-checkout stations (more on that in a future post). Then, I abandoned my cart in the isle and left the store – finishing my shopping at their competitor down the street.
My experience with Walmart today is a reminder that most retailers get a failing grade when it comes to understanding the payment experience. The payment experience is as important as just about every other experience your customers have in your store. Don’t ignore the importance of doing it better than your competitors.
The payment experience is far more than that moment when customers interact with the payment terminal. The payment experience begins at home when people make a decision to go shopping (what am I going to buy, where am I going to go, and how am I going to pay) through paying at checkout (swiping, dipping, tapping, scanning, etc.), then getting out of the store and parking lot quickly. A bad payments experience means customers can and will go someplace else.
Retailers who understand that the payment experience is more than just what happens on a POS terminal or with an online shopping cart checkout will have a competitive advantage – it’s money in the bank.