Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Retail Terminology Explained: What is "Line Busting"?

A few retailers have recently contacted me asking what "Line Busting" is and how it works within a typical small retail store. Hopefully I can explain this in a way that makes sense!

Many point of sale systems like Microsoft RMS, Retail Management Hero, Cloud Retailer and NCR CounterPoint offer the option to use a mobile device (like a tablet or phone) to start a sales transaction.

This is helpful in multiple ways to both the retailer and the customer:
  1. A mobile device used for line busting is generally less expensive that a full point of sale station with a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, etc.
  2. Line Busting can be used for special events, peak sales periods, etc as needed versus having a additional point of sale station sitting around that is rarely used.
  3. This is also helpful with retailers that have a drive through window to keep the line moving or allow for order prep time.
  4. You can capture the customers purchases (and initiate the sales process) on the sales floor versus directing the customer to a check out stand.
  5. Keeps the check out line/queue moving.
There are a few disadvantages:
  1. You generally can not bag product or disable security tags since you are on the floor and not at a checkout stand.
  2. You can not fully tender the sale (there are exceptions but we are focused on Line Busting and not mobile check out).
  3. There has to be an easy way for the sale to be recalled at the point of sale checkout station that the customer can remember (eg: use their name).
  4. The mobile devices used rely on WiFi so you do need to ensure that you have a strong and secure WiFi signal (no publicly accessible WiFi should be used).
Typical Process:
  1. Whether in the checkout line or on the sales floor, a store employee would approach the customer and ask if they are ready to checkout.
  2. Customers items are rung up as a new sales transaction.
  3. Customers name is added to the sales transaction (if you track customer information/customer purchase history)
  4. Sales transaction is put on hold and assigned a name or number for recall.
  5. Customer then goes to the point of sale checkout and gives the cashier the name or number used to put the sales transaction on hold.
  6. Cashier recalls the sales transaction and tenders out the sale.
I've seen this in action at several retailers and it works quite well. Retailers like the lower expense and reduced lost sales due to long lines/queue's. Customers like being helped early and seeing that checkout line is moving quickly.

Here are some videos showing a few of the options available:

CP Mobile for NCR CounterPoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt8ZFoBYDPk

RMS iPOS/RMH iPOS for Microsoft RMS and Retail Management Hero: https://youtu.be/yPz7KpQNTxU

Mobile Device for Cloud Retailer: https://youtu.be/f6hVPkXipzg

As always, please do contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 with any Line Busting or related retail point of sale questions.

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