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Whether you run a retail store or a quick-service restaurant, the checkout experience plays an incredibly important role in the success of your business. Apart from being the point at which purchases are made, it’s also an opportunity for customers to engage with your brand and for you to grow your business.
Once you have the right point of sale or ‘POS’ system in place to enable you to take payments smoothly, it’s time to think about a point-of-sale marketing strategy that can further help you engage your customers and drive more sales.
There are a number of ways to capitalize on the space around your point of sale, but space is often limited. So how you use it depends on what kind of business you run and what you want customers to do once they’re checking out. Do you want them to buy more items? Do you want to make sure they return for repeat purchases? Do you want to ensure you get their contact information?
We’ve put together five POS marketing tactics that speak to different goals. Each of these can be extremely effective for your business, but don’t feel like you have to use all of them. Remember, keeping things simple is better. Sixty-four percent of consumers are willing to spend more for simpler experiences, according to the Global Brand Simplicity Index.
So think carefully about your goals and then test out one or two strategies at a time to see what works.
Five POS marketing tactics
Capitalize on impulse purchases.
If your goal is to increase the average ticket of each customer, you might think about placing small, less expensive items — impulse purchases — near the counter. Think about a grocery store that puts candy, gum, and magazines near the register. Or a clothing store that displays low-cost accessories where customers line up to purchase. You could theme your impulse purchases to the time of year or holiday. Or maybe you put together a bin of only $1 items.
Showcase special promotions.
If you’re looking to move a particular product or group of products, think about promoting it at your point of sale. You could identify a product that isn’t selling particularly well and then discount it. Or you might pair a product that is selling well with one that isn’t. Then you can create signage to place at your POS to promote the special offer.
Start a loyalty program.
Many businesses tailor their marketing toward acquiring new customers, but your regular customers are the backbone of your business. Studies show that repeat customers spend 67 percent more than first-time customers when they return, and over their lifetime they’re worth 10 times as much as their first purchase.
One way to get more regulars is to start a loyalty program. It’s a great way to show customer appreciation and up your revenue. Customers who participate in the Square Loyalty rewards program, for instance, return in half the time it takes nonparticipants to return. Which means that over the same period of time, these customers come in twice as often.
Put signage near your point of sale that touts the benefits of your loyalty program. And make sure you train your employees to ask people to join the program.
Advertise your gift cards.
If you’re looking to find some new customers, gift cards are a fantastic marketing vehicle. Your customers can buy gift cards for their friends, extending the reach of your business.
But gift cards are also a great way to upsell. If you throw in a free $15 gift card when customers meet a certain price threshold, for example, they’re more likely to grab a few more items. And, again, if they end up gifting the gift card, that’s a new customer for you.
Make sure to display your customized gift cards at your point of sale so it’s easy for customers to add them to their purchase.
Tell customers about other marketing programs.
Your point of sale can also provide real estate for other types of marketing. If you’re looking to engage your customers with your brand, you might want to post a sign that encourages customers to attend an upcoming event you are hosting, or to sign up for your newsletter. Just make sure you don’t overwhelm your point of sale with too many signs.
Your point-of-sale area is a valuable piece of real estate in your store. And it’s often the last place where you’ll be able to make an impression before your customer leaves. So make sure you take advantage of the space by using the best technology and providing promotions and programs to more deeply engage your customers.
This article and imagery were provided by our friends at Square.