Even if your business is complex your payments should be easy, both for you and your customers.
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In September 2017, the Swedish furnishing retailer Lagerhaus, together with Sitoo and Bambora, launched a new way to shop. By letting the customer take charge of the in-store checkout, they have created a more modern shopping experience where customers are in complete control. A year later, Lagerhaus can look back at a huge success that has led to higher average purchases and increased revenues. Now they are getting ready to take this experience to the next level.
How do you create a shopping experience that attracts picky, digital customers to brick-and-mortar stores? For Lagerhaus, a Swedish furnishing retailer, the answer lay in copying what e-commerce does best, and letting the customers handle the checkout on their own.
“We don’t want any queues in our stores, it’s as simple as that. We also realized that customers want to shop on their own terms and to be in control of their own experience. That, together with the customer needs that we had mapped out, made self-service checkouts an obvious choice”, says Bradley Coyne, IT Manager at Lagerhaus.
According to Bradley Coyne, customer expectations of the shopping experience have changed dramatically in the last few years. Through online shopping, customers have grown accustomed to speed, freedom of choice and having everything tailored to their preferences. Because of this, creating an alternative to the traditional checkout counter was an important step in Lagerhaus’ long-term strategy.
Quick decisions and an optimistic view of the future
In order to make their vision of self-service checkouts a reality, Lagerhaus teamed up with the POS supplier Sitoo and with Bambora. According to Bradley Coyne, Lagerhaus chose Bambora’s payment solution because they needed an innovative and flexible partner who wasn’t afraid to try something new.
“We felt that Bambora really wanted to invest in the technology of the future and not just stay put in the ‘old’ world of payments. We also felt that Bambora was able to make decisions a lot quicker, which is essential in these types of projects. Essentially, we just thought that Bambora was a little more exciting and fun to work with.”
The new self-service checkouts were launched in September of 2017, and during a six week period they were rolled out in all 44 stores in Sweden and Norway. Bradley Coyne explains that the new checkouts also meant that store employees had to take on a more sales-oriented role, which caused some concern among the staff leading up to the launch. That concern led to a bit of employee turnover, but today Lagerhaus can see that store employees have really embraced their new role.
“Now that the staff is actually working on selling and aren’t just manning the checkouts, we have increased productivity in our stores. One of the main objectives of this launch was to increase revenues in our stores, and by having sales staff “out on the floor” we have been very successful in that. It’s been really fun to see”
Apart from the increased revenues, Lagerhaus has also seen higher average purchases when customers use the self-service checkouts. In addition, reactions from customers have also been positive, with some stores showing a user rate of nearly 90 percent for the self-service checkouts.
Self-service is only the beginning.
Even if Lagerhaus is happy with the increased sales and the positive reactions from customers, Bradley Coyne points out that they are by no means finished. Replacing the traditional checkout counter is merely a part of a much larger strategy.
“Our goal is to work with unified commerce. This means that anything that happens, in-store or online, has to be mirrored in all channels, in real-time”.
As part of that strategy, Lagerhaus has launched a new customer club that attracted 15 000 members in its first week. The goal for the club is to grow to 500 000 members in 2019 and for the membership to act as the basis for personalized shopping experiences. By allowing members to log on to the self-service checkout, or the online checkout, Lagerhaus are able to collect more relevant data about each customer’s preferences. The goal of all this is for Lagerhaus to offer completely personalized shopping experiences even in-store, with customized offers and payment options, just like people have come to expect from online stores.
Following the success of the self-service checkout, Bradley Coyne thinks that Lagerhaus will be able to focus fully on developing this solution further, by adding new features and more payment methods. Creating an attractive shopping experience, he explains, is a job that is never finished.
“In this, Bambora plays an important role. If payments work well and are effortless, then everybody is happy. But if they cause trouble, then it’s easy to lose customers”.