Friday, May 27, 2011

Retailers: Just Get Me Through the Checkout Line

I had to stop in the local Kmart today. I’m not a regular shopper  but there are one or two items they carry that I sometimes can’t find elsewhere. I quickly made my way through the store and got to the checkout line. After waiting what seemed like forever for the woman ahead of me to get through the check out, the cashier rings up my small purchase and the litany of questions begin:

Would you like to use your credit card today? (My answer – no, thank you.)

Would you like to use your Sears credit card today? (Answer – no, thank you.)

Do you HAVE a Sears credit card? (Answer – No.)

Would you like to open a Sears credit card? (Answer – No.)

Would you like to donate to the March of Dimes? (Answer – No.)

I really don’t like it when it feels like the Inquisition just to get through the checkout line. It’s also a pity that they ask you if you want to donate to the charity of the day AFTER they badger you with questions about how you’re going to pay for your purchase.

Here’s my suggestion to Kmart on how the check out process should go:

1. If you want someone to contribute to a charity, ask that question first.
2. Ask the person if they want to pay by cash or by credit/debit card. Period. If you want people to sign up for your store brand credit card, put a small sign up by the register so customers can see it as they approach.

That’s it. I’m sure the customers will be thrilled at not having to answer 20 questions before they check out, and I’m sure the cashiers won’t sound like automatons reciting the litany of questions. You may actually get customers through the checkout line faster. Now that is something customers will like…and it doesn’t cost anything.

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