The author of an opinion piece in Finextra has a different take on the need to speed up transactions either through faster card payments at the point of sale or through real time solutions. His take is that the slower transactions or perceived slower transactions result in an opportunity to divert consumers’ attention elsewhere:
…there is ample market research showing that retailers want customers through the checkout as fast as possible, and consumers want the same. Is there another way to look at it?
Might the inevitable queue (in a checkout line) be more opportunity than problem? Instead of waiting for the customer in front to remember where he or she put their purse, might an interactive screen divert attention, and perhaps promote e-inventory and in-store special offers?
The blog goes on to suggest that airports of all places might have tackled this problem best.
LaGuardia airport in New York has taken optimisation of queuing one step further. When LaGuardia modernised, it reduced the area normally ascribed to each gate, and to the restaurants; replacing it with a large number of iPad-equipped desks. Travellers enter their flight data into the iPad, which in turn informs them of the time at which they need to be at the gate. Because the airline is informed of their proximity through the same system, passengers do not need to go to the gate until close to last call.
Having checked the news and e-mail, passengers are unobtrusively encouraged. ‘Mr Smith, it is 47 minutes until you need to be at the gate, may we interest you in a gin and tonic?’ A swipe of the credit card and the drink is duly delivered direct to the desk.
Airside retailers have seen their sales increase by up to 20%; ‘sales per passenger are well above other airports….’ Passengers are happy, airlines are happy
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Group at Mercator Advisory Group
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