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Don't Fail at the Point-of-Sale

Money left on the table sucks. Often, I'll go into a cafe and am severely disappointed by the customer journey. Effectiveness is tossed aside for cuteness, value optimization is stomped on by the desire to be simple. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by setting up a poorly planned point-of-sale counter. This is the place where customers spend the most time ordering and considering their order. You can maximize the order value with a few simple hacks.

Here are three point-of-sale tips for coffee shops:

1. Optimize the Journey

This is especially true for cafes that make their baked goods in-house. These items are add-ons many customers purchase with their coffee – placing them out of sight or difficult to see from the point-of-sale counter will reduce the possibility of purchase.

Ex. I recently saw a cafe that had an L-shaped ordering counter with the point-of-sale right in the corner. The baked goods were in a glass case that was very difficult to see from the counter. This setup makes viewing these items a challenge. Instead, it would be better if the baked goods were placed in between the door and point-of-sale so that customers had to pass by and view them before ordering.

2. Showcase Your Products

The point-of-sale counter is where customers will be perusing the menu to decide what they want to order. Make it easy for them to find and understand the menu. Make it big and obvious. Additionally, If you have a seasonal promotional item, highlight it with a bright, obvious laminated menu or acrylic case.

3. Give in to the Impulse

Impulse purchases are excellent opportunities to boost sales at the last minute. Place items that customers might impulsively purchase near the point-of-sale so that they can see and consider these items while checking out.

Ex. I recently saw a bakery have birthday candles next to their point-of-sale. While I'm ordering coffee, I'm not considering perhaps purchasing birthday candles. These would do better by the birthday cakes container, while a small selection of boxed macarons might sell more by the register.

4.Talk to the Customer

This is a point-of-sale tip that's more about the staff than the physical set up. The point-of-sale is an excellent opportunity to upsell or promote items. If you're busy, it can be difficult to find time to engage with each customer. However, if you have a moment while they're waiting to order, have your staff ask what the customer is looking for and make recommendations. Staff can also bring attention to promotional items that aren't listed on the standard menu and may not be immediately visible.

Ex. I recently visited a coffee shop where the cashier gave me no acknowledgement and no help ordering. I was curious about some of their pastries and their sandwiches. I didn't know what was popular and was unfamiliar with some of the options. However, I received no assistance and even a bit of attitude. I was ultimately disappointed with what I ordered. I haven't returned since and don't plan to.

In conclusion, don't fail at the point-of-sale. These tips will help you set up an efficient, effective point-of-sale counter that can help boost sales and improve the customer experience.


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