WARMINSTER, PA, September 22, 2023 –
An ever-changing combination of external economic and social factors has kept and continues to support retail and hospitality business owners on their toes. Whether it be rising costs, a global pandemic, or changing consumer preferences, retail and hospitality businesses have had to evolve constantly in line with these various challenges (and opportunities).
One of the most notable challenges relates to customer experience. Nowadays, customers expect to receive a frictionless, enjoyable experience as standard wherever they go. As a result, organizations across the retail and hospitality industries are investing heavily in technologies and initiatives to achieve an optimum customer and/or visitor experience. As this blog will explore, investing in durable and secure mounting solutions for point-of-sale technology and other customer-facing devices is arguably one of the most essential steps a business can take to ensure the best possible customer experience.
Types of Mounting Solutions
Point of Sale (POS) mounting is a must-have for any modern retail environment and generally includes both the hardware and software required for taking payments. The checkout/point of sale area is home to various technologies, from payment devices and touchscreens to scanners and printers. As an integral part of the customer journey in retail and hospitality, a company’s point of sale can significantly impact the overall customer experience.
Self-service kiosks have become an increasingly omnipresent part of the modern retail environment. Experts predict that this trend towards self-service points of sale will only continue to grow. Direct feedback from customers across the retail and hospitality industries has shown that many now prefer to check out, order, and check in themselves without interacting with staff members. Self-service kiosks can range in complexity, with some featuring a simple combination of a touchscreen monitor, payment device, and receipt printer. In contrast, others add accessories such as bag hooks, bagging shelves, and loss-prevention security features.
Payment Terminal Stands
As merchants seek to provide an increasingly seamless checkout experience for customers while improving their valuable technology’s security, payment terminal stands have become an increasingly common element of retail and hospitality sales environments. As with the above two mounting solutions, payment terminal stands can also come in a range of styles and sizes and with varying levels of security.
The Benefits of Mounting Solutions
As this blog post will explore, technology mounting solutions play a central role in enhancing customer experience across the retail and hospitality industries. The mounting of valuable devices can be beneficial for the business itself and for customer journeys. If companies wish to reap the benefits of their chosen technology, it must be set-up correctly for their specific business (eg: its customers, products/services, business goals and so on) and considered in line with overall customer experience management.
Save Valuable Selling Space
With high overhead costs, real estate in retail and hospitality is extremely valuable, and as such, businesses must make the best use of the available space. By mounting technology (e.g., credit card terminals, touchscreens, printers) and getting devices off the counter, organizations can free up counter space for other, more valuable purposes.
In retail, for example, by reducing the amount of space used by tech at the point of sale, retailers can take advantage of extra selling space in stores. Adding products at the checkout area is a well-known tactic used in retail, given that this location is perfect for impulse buys.
Keep Checkouts and Workplaces Organized and Clutter-Free
Functionally, technology mounting solutions are great for keeping areas like checkouts and employee workstations organized and clutter-free. As mentioned, mounting helps to free up space on the countertop meaning it is generally easier to keep the space organized.
In turn, mounting solutions often provide cable management, which helps keep the area from looking messy and unorganized. The phrase “tidy space, tidy mind” could apply here as a clutter-free workspace is likely conducive to improved employee focus and productivity.
For example, if an employee can easily access the required tech and doesn’t have to dig around to find it (e.g., a credit card terminal placed loosely on the counter among the clutter), the checkout and payment process is faster and more streamlined.
Enhance Store Image
Not only does mounting point-of-sale equipment help to keep spaces organized and more conducive to employee productivity, but it also helps to present a better brand image to customers. Being one of the most critical customer touch points in retail and hospitality, if the point of sale is organized, professional, and appears to be secure and up-to-date, customers will be more likely to have a better impression of the business. This could have positive implications regarding repeat business, customer loyalty, and potential positive word of mouth.
Improved Cable Management
As mentioned, mounting solutions often include some cable management capability. For example, Havis’s payment terminal stands offer excellent cable management, allowing cables to be routed down through the pole. In line with the above point, routing cables through the pole helps to keep the workspace tidy and clutter-free, which again helps to present a positive brand image.
In turn, if cables are not exposed, general wear and tear can be lessened, and accidental disconnection can also be prevented. Likewise, managing cables effectively and keeping them out of view and/or the public’s reach also helps prevent tampering and other forms of criminal interference.
Reduce The Chance of Accidental Damage
As well as managing and protecting cables, mounting solutions can also help retail and hospitality businesses reduce the chance of accidental damage to the equipment itself. Given the significant initial investment involved in technology, it is in merchants’ best interests to do what they can to protect it and maximize its longevity.
Preventing damage is also essential regarding day-to-day operations and productivity, as any downtime could significantly impact sales, customer experience, and overall productivity in-store. From a customer’s perspective, broken or dysfunctional devices may also reflect poorly on the brand and, as a result, may impact brand loyalty.
For example, if a small retailer only operates with one pin pad and this single device is broken, the merchant may have to resort to cash-only payments which in today’s market, is not as readily accepted by customers. Nowadays, fewer and fewer shoppers carry cash and instead opt for card or mobile payments. As such, any instances of device downtime such as this may result in frustrated customers and lost sales.
Provide Customers With Self-Service Options
Self-service options, in particular have a vast number of benefits and, as mentioned, are increasingly popular amongst consumers themselves. In retail, it is increasingly common to see a sizeable self-checkout area and fewer ‘traditional’ checkouts operated by retail employees. Meanwhile, in hospitality, it is also becoming more common to see self-service kiosks whereby customers can order and pay for their meal without any staff interaction.
Clearly, then, self-service kiosks typically require fewer customer interactions and, therefore fewer staff, with one staff member able to oversee multiple kiosks simultaneously. Given that a smaller customer support team is required, this means that staff can be used for other value-adding tasks. In retail, this could entail inventory management, customer service and overall store maintenance/tidiness and in hospitality, it could result in more staff can being available for table waiting and general customer service throughout the venue.
To read in more depth about the merits of self-service, read our blog post here.
Ensure Comfortable Use of Technology
Ensuring tech is comfortable and ergonomic to use is vital, for both staff and customers. In the case of the former; if employees are able to use devices comfortably, they will likely feel happier and more motivated throughout their shifts. As such, it is probable that productivity will also improve and so too will customer experience if customers are not having to wait in long, frustrating checkout lines caused by slow checkout employees.
In the case of the latter, given that the payment process is one of the most important parts of the customer journey map, the set-up of a credit card machine or any other point of sale technology must be considered carefully vis-à-vis customer experience. For instance:
Are any customer-facing screens at the appropriate height and angle for the (average) customer?
Is the payment device securely mounted? Is the pin pad unobstructed for comfortable customer viewing and use? Can the credit card machine be rotated to face the customer more comfortably if required?
If the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’, then you are on the right track to ensuring a great customer experience at the point of payment. If a credit card machine is difficult or uncomfortable for customers to use and with the checkout process a key part of the customer journey, it is possible that it will result in a poor customer experience.
As such, given that customer interactions at the point of sale are some of the most important throughout the entire customer journey, it is important that a business takes the necessary steps to ensure the appropriate mounting of the pin pad and any other POS peripherals in order to create the best customer experience possible.
In any public installation of computers and similar technologies, security is paramount in order to protect your investment. Whether in retail or hospitality, organizations of all types and sizes must take the necessary precautions to protect any valuable equipment from theft, substitution and other forms of criminal interference. Given the negative implications of its absence, whether this be on the financial bottom line or on brand image, security is an essential consideration for any business.
Whether for a pin pad, monitor, printer or scanner, the mounting of all point of sale equipment is a proven and recommended way to improve security. For example, by mounting a payment terminal to an appropriate, well-fitting stand and then to a fixed location such as a countertop or a wall, merchants can have peace of mind that their device is protected from theft and other kinds of criminal activity.
Security measures are also a key part of customer experience management. As mentioned previously, the point of sale is a key part of the customer journey. So, if customers can see that a company has taken appropriate steps to safely mount and secure the tech at their point of sale, it is possible that they may feel a greater sense of trust in the business to safely and securely take their payment.
Comply with PCI SSC Standards
Leading on from this, it is important to note that mounting of payment technology is not only recommended but it is also required.
As such, a key concern of any business accepting payments from customers is compliance with PCI SSC standards. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is a global forum wherein all kinds of key stakeholders from the payments industry converge to develop and drive the implementation of security standards for safe, secure payments for customers worldwide.
Since their inception in 2006, the standards created by the PCI SSC have undergone a number of iterations and consist of six main categories. As such, it is crucial that businesses in the retail and hospitality industries keep up to date with the published standards so that they can make any required changes in a timely manner.
Most relevant to retail and hospitality businesses are ‘PCI PTS.’ This standard focuses specifically on security measures to prevent physical tampering, unauthorized access and other forms of criminal interference which could result in customers’ payment information being compromised.
A key way to protect valuable payment technology from these dangers is via durable and secure mounting solutions. For instance, by mounting a payment terminal to a stand and then to a fixed location such as a countertop or wall, businesses can protect technology from accidental damage, tampering, theft and/or substitution.
To explore PCI SSC standards in more depth, read our recent press release here.
Comply with Disability Regulations
Not only is it vital to comply with regulations pertaining to the overall security of technology and customer data, but it is just as important to consider the experiences of all potential customers and visitors. Essentially, it is written in law that everyone, including those with disabilities, should have equal opportunity and access to goods/services offered by ‘public accommodations.’ As such, all customers should be able to make payments easily and comfortably. Even without a legal requirement, ensuring a positive customer experience for everyone should be at the forefront of retail and hospitality organizations’ considerations.
Achieve Positive Customer Experience
Finally, given its impact on the bottom line and the ultimate survival of a business, customer experience should be a central focus of all retail and hospitality firms, big or small. As has been discussed, in many cases, the point of transaction can play a prominent role in whether the customer has a positive experience. As such, technology mounting can and should play a key role in customer experience management. Alongside customer service teams’ usual services and tactics, retail and hospitality businesses can also achieve enhanced customer experience by using the appropriate mounting solutions.
Havis Mounting Solutions
As a leading global provider of technology mounting and mobility solutions across several industries, including retail and hospitality, Havis is uniquely placed to help companies create and implement the ideal mounting solutions for their particular business.
At all points across the customer journey, maps, and Havis mounting solutions can help to make all kinds of devices and accessories much more accessible for retail and hospitality employees to utilize and manage.
Payment Terminal Stands
With an expansive range of off-the-shelf and custom payment solutions, Havis can consistently design and deliver the ideal product for even the most challenging retail and hospitality environments. Merchants can choose from an extensive portfolio of stands for the market’s newest and most popular payment terminals and benefit from excellent customer experience as a result.
The Havis portfolio includes an ever-growing selection of metal, composite, and charging payment terminal stands. Plus, with a range of security options such as locks, tethers, port blockers, and anti-skimming brackets, Havis payment terminal stands are an excellent way to improve security at your point of sale.
Havis recently launched the SC-1000 – a portfolio of universal self-service kiosk solutions that allow retailers to bring their own technology. In this way, merchants can maximize their investment in existing POS devices.
With the SC-1000 portfolio, merchants can choose between both pedestal and countertop kiosks; both of which are ideal for meeting customer demands for self-service. In turn, for those who wish to maintain flexibility and provide both staff-service and self-service, the countertop swivel version of the SC-1000 allows merchants to easily and quickly switch between manned and self-service checkout to cope with demand and/or customer preference.
Havis offers a robust portfolio of modular mounting solutions, from the MM-1000 Series and MM-1000 SP Line to our heavy-duty TechTower range. Easy to customize, both at the time of purchase and in the future, Havis’s modular mounting solutions provide a durable, future-proof investment. Ideal for use in busy retail and hospitality environments, Havis modular mounting products are compatible with leading technology providers and solve the challenge of securely and aesthetically mounting all POS technology while maximizing valuable, often limited, space.
Havis, Inc. is a privately held, ISO 9001-certified company that is the leader in providing robust and reliable end-to-end technology mounting and mobility solutions in demanding environments. The Havis legacy dates back over 80 years as a trusted designer and manufacturer of critical equipment that ensures critical technology is accessible, secure and reliable.
Havis’s engineering and manufacturing teams are committed to consistently researching and developing unique products and solutions for a range of industries worldwide. With headquarters in Warminster, PA, and additional locations in Plymouth, MI, Burnsville, MN, and in the UK, Havis currently employs more than 400 team members. For more information on Havis, please call 1.800.524.9900 or visit http://www.havis.com.