A retail point of sale checkout system can gather enormous amounts of data each day. But when it comes to collecting customer information, retailers should value quality over quantity. That’s how retail POS software can help.
Capturing relevant customer data requires a variety of data-gathering methods, each with a focus of connecting customer information with every sales transaction. Here are three ways to effectively capture customer data at the checkout.
1. Create a customer loyalty program:
Determine what type of customer analysis would be beneficial to know for your store. Then, set up your retail POS software to gather that information. If you want to identify demographic trends among your sales transactions, a store loyalty program is among the best methods to connect customer information with a sales transaction.
How? Registering for a store loyalty program can be as simple as issuing the customer a card with a number. However, at some point in time, you will want to entice the loyal member to provide other useful demographic information, such as their address, gender, age, telephone number and household income. After filling out a customer loyalty membership form or answering demographic questions prompted by the store’s POS system, the customer could be given some loyalty reward or benefit for providing the information. The point is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to get his unique membership number, and then creatively gather additional information in the future.
During a sales transaction, the retail POS software should provide a process for entering or scanning the assigned loyalty program number and then associate it with the sales transaction that follows.
A customer loyalty program like this helps retailers to better identify their top-selling products according to gender, age or ZIP code. And retailers could also drill down to the buying habits of a specific customer according to the customer loyalty program number.
2. Gather customer data according to the nature of your retail business:
The work flow to collect customer data upon checkout varies with each retailer. Why? It depends on customer expectations.
For example, customers in a grocery store expect to get through the checkout aisle quickly. In this case, a store’s retail POS software must collect basic customer data while ringing up the customer at the checkout.
However, customers in a high-end bridal shop usually spend a couple of hours in the store before purchasing an item. The first step in the checkout process at a high-end retailer usually involves taking the time to locate or create a customer record in the store’s retail POS software, and then associating the sale with that customer’s file.
In either scenario, a business can effectively gather customer information using retail POS software, but it’s just a matter of how much time the retailer wants to take during the checkout process to do that.
If customers are short on time while in the checkout aisle, the retailer can quickly register a customer for the store loyalty program by scanning a numbered card and linking it to the customer’s telephone number. Or if signing up for the loyalty program requires more time, the store associate can have the customer sign up at the service desk.
3. Define “triggers” to get more customer data during the checkout process:
You can design your retail POS software to gather specific customer data or promote a particular sale as prompted by specific actions, known as triggers, during the checkout process. For example, if a customer buys a certain product, the POS screen could display an option to add on a three-year warranty. Or if a customer bought one item in a two-for-one sale, the POS system could prompt the store associate to ask if the customer would like to receive another item as part of the sale.
Defining triggers in your retail POS software makes it easier for cashiers to assist customers so you don’t have to rely on employee observations to gather customer data. Otherwise, your source of analytical data would rely on cashiers have to remember every store promotion and how many customers came in according to gender, age or other demographic information.
These are a few of the ways to gather more relevant customer data during the retail POS checkout process. Just remember that effective data-gathering is the basis of customer behavior analytics.