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Local Food Market Retailers Transforming the Payment Experience

Steve Methvin, VP of Ecommerce and Retail Technology, Bozzuto's

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Is the Pinpad ‘ just a cost of doing business? Our food retailers view them as one of the most important technology touchpoints in the shopper experience” our leaders in local food retail are looking carefully into these tools and processes to find insight and investment opportunities – the local food market owner is quickly embracing new trends and services on nimble platforms that can update and change within minutes because ignoring these changes may leave a location with few choices to adapt or update. Our forward thinking retailers challenge us as their technology team to address these three soft trends.

1. Which Payment improvement provides the most value to revenue?

2. What is the impact of Payment transaction type on margin?

3. Which cost within a payment transaction is increasing the most?

Adding Value to the Revenue Stream

We recently supported a retailer introduce a mobile wallet app to reach consumers through payment--following in the footsteps of many others, including McDonald’s and Dunkin, in terms of tokenizing payment. Another retailer choose to use QR codes which means they do not have to buy new hardware for their POS system and can instead integrate the technology into an existing system. It also means that all customers who have camera capabilities on their phone can use the service and both will also be able to integrate loyalty and offers into the current system. The mobile payment platform was less about the payment and more about establishing a direct communication channel with their customer to improve the frequency of visits. More revenue without a rip and replace hardware strategy for the business owner enables income value from an innovative payment solution.

"We recently supported a retailer introduce a mobile wallet app to reach consumers through payment--following in the footsteps of many others, including McDonald’s and Dunkin, in terms of tokenizing payment"

Impacting margin

Over the last several years, technology allows guests to be recognized at the beginning of a transaction and remind a customer of previous orders and loyalty status. We faced many decisions about the best promotion strategy or pricing reduction and our recent contact-free payment platform exposed new data that showed customers wanted to be able to see their past orders and quickly re-order the same items from a recent order – skipping the shopping list or starting a new list from scratch. This trend substantially reduces order time and enhances a customer experience. This transaction flow introduced a “bounce rate” metric to our retail forecasting – how often will a busy shopper tell the retailer to repeat the last order? The tools to help customers rebuild a shopping list each week need to be reviewed in the light of new transaction technologies like PopID, Apple pay, and Square. The process fee is only a part of the total profitability of within our transactions. Customers will uses their phones on our apps to start and finish transactions - whether at lanes, payment terminals, or any unique location preferred by your best and most profitable shoppers. Some Transaction systems support these analytic platforms and enable profit making investments to become margin makers – find them and compare the data.

Address increasing cost

Technology influences the balance between store (paid) and customer (free) labor in the transaction processes. While labor is the largest cost in any retail transaction – recruiting customers to perform this role for free is a worthy goal. According to London-based research firm RBR, - the self-checkout momentum continues, with global installations expected to triple by 2025 to surpass 1.1 million. This trend shows the biggest win in every retail transaction is to have the customer perform the task for free. As new technology is becoming more affordable and convenient for smaller and midsize local retailers – the cost to staff checkout locations is rising in our region at a rapid pace.

While Walmart and Amazon might get much of the attention when it comes to self-checkout technology — our retailers are deploying the newest self-checkout technology, even if it’s less sophisticated or futuristic than the technology being used by the largest retailers. Self-checkout not only helps retailers keep lanes open – it keeps business flowing on unpredicted days. Maybe 3 or 4% of your customers love standing in line visiting with busy clerks and reading product labels – but the other 97% are looking at the weather or traffic on their phone and send texts like “waiting in line”! Self-checkout is not a Fix and Forget technology — fraud, accurate pricing, and age verification will demand attention. One of our retailers acknowledges this challenge and highlights the role that cashiers must embrace in the newer frontend process–they asked their employees and customers for feedback before installing the pilot unit to prepare for the best possible outcome – they know the cost of technology will decrease and the cost for labor will increase – and are prepared to embrace these changes as a team and recruit loyal and reliable “temporary cashiers” will reduce payment costs one transaction at a time and bring value to theirentire community.

Our stores embrace Payment as an important touchpoint and invest to make it a safe and profitable enabler. We are looking at the new trends to increase revenue with new products and promotions to build excitement. We know we can improve margins by minimizing non-product related activities from the transaction flow and support dynamic pricing options. Most importantly the local retail business is changing and our workforce is engaged with improving the value of food in our communities and less time corralling cardholders into ques or requiring shoppers to repeat mind numbing procedures every time they explore our services. We change with our customers, are spending more time shop keeping, less time collecting payment – and we won’t wait in line behind Amazon and Walmart to see what is next!

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