Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, but any small business owner will tell you they have to work hard to compete with big-box stores or chains that have more resources to spend on things like advertising and the latest technology. There are plenty of ways small businesses can promote their own growth. One way, in particular, is by using a modern point-of-sale (POS) system at your checkout counters.
In this post, we’re going to focus in on one part of a POS system — the customer-facing display screen. This screen may seem small, but it can make a big difference for your business. If you want to improve your customers’ checkout experience and encourage them to keep shopping at your store, leading to an upturn in sales, keep reading to learn how a POS system with a customer display can help you do just that. We’ll explain what this screen is and what it does, then dive into the benefits you can enjoy when you add a customer-facing screen to your store’s checkout counter.
What Is a Customer-Facing Screen?
A customer-facing screen, also sometimes called a customer-facing display, is just what it sounds like. It’s a screen that faces customers in the checkout line. If you’re picturing a cash register with a screen for customers that shows the price of items as they ring up, it’s important to note that a modern customer-facing display is a major step up from this small, calculator-like display.
A modern customer-facing screen looks more like a computer or tablet screen. Its larger size and vivid display make it more of a focal point in the checkout line. It can also display far more than just prices as items are rung up. We’ll talk more in a minute about what a customer-facing screen can display.
A customer-facing screen isn’t a standalone piece of technology. It’s part of a whole POS system. A POS includes all of the hardware and software it takes to facilitate the checkout process. In addition to the customer-facing display, this also includes a screen for the cashier, cash register, card reader, barcode scanner and more. An all-in-one POS seamlessly integrates all of these components for a high-tech checkout experience.
Note that the customer-facing display is different from the display on the payment processor, which may prompt customers to approve of their purchase total, ask for their PIN and more. The customer-facing screen is not interactive with buttons for customers to press. Instead, it engages the customer with a purely visual display.
The customer-facing screen is an important part of the POS since it immediately shows the customer that they’re going to enjoy a checkout experience enhanced by modern technology. The information displayed on the customer-facing screen engages the customer in the checkout process and may even keep them coming back more in the future.
What Information Does the Customer-Facing Screen Display?
A customer-facing screen can display various categories of information that customers may find helpful. This information also keeps customers interested while they’re waiting in line. These categories of information include:
1. Transaction Information
One thing all customer-facing displays show the customer is transaction information. This means that, as the cashier rings up each item, the name of the item along with the price shows up on the display. This way, there’s complete transparency, so the customer doesn’t have to inquire about prices and can confirm that each item is the price they expected. This helps to prevent any confusion or mistakes. For some customer-facing screens, the information stops here, but more advanced POS systems with customer-facing screens can display other categories of information.
More versatile POS systems can also show store promotions on their displays. Every customer loves to get a discount, and they can see exactly how much money they’ve saved on their display. In the case of discounts that require a certain minimum purchase, the screen can inform them of whether they’ve met the requirement or not. If not, they can throw in a candy bar or two or whatever it takes to unlock the discount. Showing your customers how much they’re saving is a great way to encourage them to come back for more great deals.
Some POS systems even include advertisements on the customer-facing screen. These could be ads from a parent company or network of retailers, or they could be your own personalized ads for your store. For example, you can let customers know about an upcoming sale they don’t want to miss. Advertisements should appear in a portion of the display without blocking transaction or discount information. Displaying ads on a high-definition screen can help engage the customer when they may otherwise become bored.
Are Stores Required to Have Customer-Facing Screens?
Customer-facing screens aren’t just a good idea — for some, they are legally required. For example, in California, stores are required to display prices conspicuously as items are rung up during checkout. This law promotes complete disclosure for customers. A customer-facing screen is an easy way to comply with this law and reap a whole host of other benefits, which we’ll talk more about in the remainder of this article.
Check to see if any state laws or municipal ordinances require you to have a customer-facing display of some sort. If so, don’t settle for a small, lifeless display that only displays the price of each item. Instead, opt for a POS system with a customer-facing screen that will elevate the whole checkout experience. Even if any state or local laws require you to have a customer-facing screen, you should still strongly consider it.
How Can a Customer-Facing Screen Help Me Grow In-Store Sales?
Now that we’ve established what a customer-facing screen is, what it displays and whether you’re legally obligated to have one, let’s turn our attention to the benefits of a POS system with a customer-facing display. After all, whenever you’re considering investing in new technology, you want to make sure you’ll get a good return on your investment. So, how can a customer-facing screen help your small business grow and thrive?
The answer comes down to two major benefits a POS with a customer screen can deliver:
1. Improve the Checkout Experience
First, if you’re looking to grow in-store sales, then you want to give customers a great checkout experience. If customers see a long, slow line or see other customers becoming frustrated with errors, they may abandon their purchase altogether. If they suffer through an inconvenient checkout process, it’s not unreasonable to expect that to be the last time they patronize your business.
A customer-facing screen, as part of a modern POS system, can tremendously improve the checkout experience for customers compared to methods that involve older technology or stripped-down, more manual methods.
2. Encourage Customer Loyalty
Small businesses understand just how critical customer loyalty is to their growth and success. Loyalty is what keeps customers from going to big-box stores instead of your smaller establishment. Of course, when customers know that checking out at your store is a pleasant, rather than frustrating, process, they’re more likely to keep coming back.
But that’s not the only way a customer-facing screen encourages customer loyalty. It also uses advertisements to encourage customers to come back for more deals and lets customers who have opted into the rewards program know how much money they saved from their special customer loyalty discounts.
How Does a Customer-Facing Screen Improve the Checkout Experience?
Let’s talk about how a customer-facing screen can deliver the first of those two major benefits we just looked at. Improving the checkout process for customers should be a priority for all retailers. After all, modern consumers tend to highly value efficiency and are apt to compare all checkout experiences to the ease, speed and transparency of checking out online.
Having a POS with a customer screen can improve the checkout experience for customers in several ways:
1. Speed up Checkout
There are a lot of ways a POS system can help you speed up checkout time. When it comes to the customer-facing display, specifically, it can help eliminate a customer’s need for asking about the price of an item or whether a discount was applied. They can see all the information, right there on their screen, so there’s no need to slow things down by checking to see if the cashier has it right. A more efficient checkout process will leave customers pleased that they stopped into your business.
2. Minimize Errors
Customers don’t only care about efficiency. Most customers care equally about accuracy. Human errors can be inevitable from time to time, but the right technology can help to eliminate as many of these errors as possible. In the case of a customer-facing screen, the customer can see the whole checkout process happen in front of them and can read individual item prices, discounts applied and the final total — just like they’re used to doing online. When there’s complete transparency, you can expect far fewer misunderstandings and errors.
3. Engage the Customer
A customer-facing screen can also serve to engage the customer while they’re waiting to pay. They can look at the prices and relevant discounts as the cashier rings up each item, and they can also look at advertisements. While ads can be a nuisance in some situations, when people are waiting on something, they tend to be drawn to advertisements as a source of interest. You know what we mean if you take public transit and find yourself reading the ads that pepper the inside walls of the bus or train.
How Can a Customer-Facing Screen Encourage Customer Loyalty?
We’ve seen how a customer-facing display can elevate a customer’s checkout experience, and this benefit alone can encourage customer loyalty. When it comes to grocery stores, customers cite long lines and bad checkout experiences as top reasons they would go to another store. This illustrates just how strongly you can encourage customer loyalty by giving customers a great checkout experience.
However, there are still other ways a POS system with a customer-facing screen can encourage customer loyalty. It can:
1. Instill Confidence in Customers
When customers know you’re taking advantage of the latest technology and that they can rely on your checkout process to be accurate, this imparts a high level of confidence. Customers don’t want to feel like they have to monitor the checkout process vigilantly. Once they feel confident that your cashiers are accurately ringing up items, that the discounts are being applied and that it’s all right there for them to see, they can rest easy with an enhanced level of trust in your business. They may even get to relax and enjoy friendly conversation with the cashier.
2. Get Customers Excited for Upcoming Sales
Another way you can encourage customer loyalty with a customer-facing screen is by advertising upcoming sales. When a customer sees that those shoes they couldn’t take their eyes off of will be on sale next weekend, they have a reason to come back to your store. The same principle applies, no matter what you sell. An upcoming sale, whether it’s on sweaters, screwdrivers or strawberries, will encourage even a new customer to come back to your store soon to cash in on those great deals.
3. Highlight Their Loyalty Rewards
A customer loyalty program turns customers into more consistent shoppers and can help your business grow since customers are more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program to their friends. If you don’t already have a loyalty program, you should implement one right away. The customer-facing screen will show customers how much money they saved on items because of their loyalty status, which should encourage them to remain loyal customers and may also pique the interest of that new customer behind them in line.
How Do You Get a Customer-Facing Display Screen?
Now that you know some of the ways a customer-facing screen can help you grow your small business, you may be wondering how you can add this technological gem to your checkout lanes. The best way to incorporate a customer display is to equip your store with an all-in-one POS. This way, your customers can enjoy a convenient, modern checkout experience, and your employees can benefit from the ease and accuracy that a modern POS delivers.
If you want to fully reap all the benefits a modern, all-in-one POS system, equipped with a customer-facing display, consider the POS+ from National Retail Solutions (NRS). Our POS system is user-friendly for your employees and visually engaging for customers. It comes with loyalty software and exclusive access to BR Club, a customer loyalty program that other stores in our nationwide network take advantage of. Your customers can see accurate pricing on their screen, can view advertisements from your store or our network of businesses and can see exactly how much they’ve saved by being part of the BR Club.
If you want to see your in-store sales grow and your store succeed with the help of the POS+, contact our sales department for a free quote today.