I find POS (Point of Sale) fascinating. It’s the moment of truth. The shopper has purposefully, or sometimes mindlessly, selected items for purchase and is ready to make ‘checkout’ happen.
Retailers typically try to encourage last minute add-ons (soda, gum, candy bar). Despite their push for the impulse buy, retailers also need to ensure a hasty exit point. One of the last impressions that retailers DON’T want are long lines, irritable customers.
Being a curious shopper, I asked the harried, overworked check-out lady,
“I see you have a new system here. How’s it going?”
The lady responded: “Oh, alright, I guess. A number of people are complaining that they can’t reach the keys.”
Hmm. I now took a more informed view of the new device.
The design of the keypad is slightly awkward. Obscuring the keys on the left and right sides is a rubber barrier/bumper, designed to ‘supposedly’ prevent rogue identity thieves from stealing personal identification, such as PIN numbers.
I think the barriers make the keyboard unusable. Whatever happened to the old-fashioned, yet effective security protector of: one hand blocking view of key pad as the other hand types.
It’s a little sad that technology has introduced this ‘supposed’ impediment. I believe, however, that our paranoia over identify theft and personal data has caused us to make questionable design choices.
I want my checkout at HEB, or any retailer, to be swift, efficient, hassle-free. Let’s not introduce confusion points that would damage the delicate check-out dance. Identify theft and personal privacy is a BIG deal, yet a little common sense would keep our privacy intact while making it easier for consumers to complete their transactions.
Retailers must make ‘transaction time’ a swift, painless step. They must not lose sight of the goal: sell groceries while creating a satisfying experience for consumers from the time the shopping cart enters the store until the cart leaves full of the week’s necessities.
Until next time,