Your checkout counter isn't just a place for your customers to bring their purchases when they're finished shopping. It's a key element in your store that can help – or hinder – your bottom line.
Make Sure Your Checkout Counter is Helping You Make the Sale
Consumer studies show that the longer shoppers remain in your store, the more likely they are to make a purchase. One of the ways to accomplish this effort is to set up appropriate traffic patterns within your business so that your customers can walk through your entire store and visually see everything you have to offer in addition to the pharmacy pick-up.
Once they are done with their planned (or impulse) shopping, be sure to incorporate these other sale-enhancing tricks:
- Make the checkout process as painless as possible by utilizing modern technology.
Technology is your friend when it comes to managing customer experience in your pharmacy. Using tools such as barcode scanners and modern registers that allow for the use of credit and debit cards is essential.
- Establish a strategic foot traffic pattern.
When customers come into your store, studies show that they will first look left and then go right. They generally prefer to walk counterclockwise as they go through your store, so help them do just that. Establish a footpath in your pharmacy layout that will dovetail with these traffic patterns while ensuring that they'll have a vantage point for easily seeing everything you have on sale as they make their way back to the pharmacy counter.
- Entice customers with appropriate point-of-sale displays.
After your customers have traversed your traffic patterns that have strategically moved them past or through your available merchandise, point-of-sale displays next to the checkout counter can really boost sales for you. In addition to providing great "impulse buy" items like candy, gum, and magazines, you can also help your customers by providing easy access to must-have items like cold and flu medications, adhesive bandages, and travel-sized personal hygiene items like shampoo and toothpaste.
- Make the checkout counter larger.
A larger checkout counter gives customers the ability to put more merchandise onto the counter without fear of having it fall off. A small counter subconsciously communicates to the customer that there is only room for them to add a few little items. However, a larger counter can increase sales by making customers feel comfortable in purchasing more items, simply because there's room to contain it at the checkout counter.
- Put the checkout counter in the back near the pharmacy.
By locating your pharmacy checkout counter in the back of the building rather than up by the front doors, you avoid having customers just stopping in to pick up a prescription and fully avoiding ever even looking at the merchandise that you also have available. Putting your pharmacy counter at the back of the store and leading them via a carpeted traffic pattern that provides line of sight to your merchandise serves to entice sales. Rear-store placement also more effectively protects you from "simple" theft as well as theft of highly controlled substances that are dispensed from the pharmacy.
- Offer a seated waiting area.
A waiting area at the back of the store near the pharmacy counter is a thoughtful addition because customers can sit and relax while they wait for their prescriptions. However, when planned appropriately, this waiting area also allows you to manage your customers' sustained view into your available merchandise area. As they sit and wait, they can see the items that you have on display, which may remind them of other things they need to purchase or prompt them to impulse buy additional items.