By David Russell, Sales Director at Secure Retail

Today’s consumer has never been more demanding. Their reliance on technology is higher than ever, and using it as part of their daily routine is now the norm for many.
As new technology continues to hit the market, these consumers are being swamped with new things to experiment with — and it’s something that they expect their favourite shops and restaurants to cater to.

The right technology can work wonders in providing a better experience for your customer, but with so much on offer, it can be difficult for small to medium enterprises to know where to start.

Pay your way

While many stores and restaurants are busy introducing the most high-tech solutions to their outlets, the importance of perfecting their current offering can go unnoticed. Payments technology is something that most businesses rely on every day, but something that very few utilise to its full potential.

As the last interaction for most consumers, its ability to either enhance or ruin customers’ experiences with you is extremely powerful — yet most stores and restaurants are still providing the bare minimum when it comes to ways to pay.

Do you want Chip and PIN with that?

Consumers crave convenience, so it’s essential the technology you provide contributes to this. Contactless technology has been taking over the transport industry recently, but is still something that many in both the retail and hospitality sectors are yet to benefit from.

Slow service is a frustration shared by most consumers, and offering contactless transactions can really help speed things up. Paying by card can often be quicker than hunting in your wallet for loose change to make a purchase. A fast transaction is the perfect way to end a customer journey, leaving them with a lasting good impression of your business.

Take a tablet

Tablets are another way of improving the customer experience in your store or restaurant. From a payments perspective, the tablet will serve as an alternative to the till point, meaning your staff can minimise long queue times by providing additional places for the shopper to pay. Yet, there are additional perks for both the staff and customers. For employees, the device can provide extra support when serving a customer, acting as a tool to both provide advice on products and to search for customer information relating to store orders for example.

Tablets are also one of the best forms of interactive technology, and are a great way to encourage customers to spend more time in your store or hospitality outlet. Today’s consumer is very familiar with tablets — most households have one after all — so they will be very comfortable using the devices themselves if it’s busy and no members of staff are available right away.

Online/offline experience

Furthermore, for businesses that have an online presence, it’s a great way to combine the web experience with your store. Online shopping is growing in popularity, and most businesses are coming face-to-face with multichannel shoppers every day. Integrating some of the benefits of online into your store - such as product search, price matching and home delivery options - are good ways to draw in consumers who normally stick to web spending.

While introducing new technology can be daunting for a business, meeting customers’needs is an essential part of keeping them happy. Although, investing in additional payment services may not seem the most obvious way of doing this, it’s a great place to start and can really help reduce some of the frustrations consumers have with stores and restaurants all the time.

Not only will they work wonders in providing an easy, fast service for these consumers, but a regularly updated payments solution will be far more secure for the customers making transactions — limiting the chance of data breaches which can be damaging for customer loyalty. Ultimately, all a business wants is to keep their customers visiting time and time again and perfecting the basics in technology is just one of the ways to do this.