How to Speed Up Your Checkout Process this Holiday Season

Written by Square, Inc. for Retail Minded.

A faster line means more sales in a shorter amount of time. And especially as we head into the holidays, moving your line along quickly is something you want to get down pat. Here are some ways to make sure you’re ringing people up as fast as possible this holiday season.

Have a simple point-of-sale system.

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of moving your line quickly is having a point-of-sale system that’s as fast and easy as possible. Your employees should be able to find items and ring people up in seconds. That means your point-of-sale system should be intuitive and have pictures of all your items loaded in before the holiday rush hits. If you haven’t cleaned up your item library in a while, now is the time. Delete any items you no longer carry, update photos, and remove duplicates. With the Square Register app, you can quickly add, edit, or delete items straight from your mobile device. (This also makes things easy if you get a last-minute shipment of something.)

Plan ahead.

You’ll be able to handle your busy season a whole lot better if you plan ahead for it. Take a look at last year’s sales data to get a sense of when you were busiest. In Square Analytics, you can drill down pretty far and take a look at your busiest weeks, days, and even hours of last season. Use that historical information to help you decide when you need to have more hands on deck. Being adequately staffed for your busiest days will help you move your line quickly — and make a lot more sales. If you need to staff up for the holidays, look to hire some seasonal help. Read our tips on how to find qualified seasonal employees whom you can onboard quickly.

Accept credit cards and new forms of payment.

Not only are fewer and fewer people now carrying around cash, it’s also a pretty slow form of payment. There’s all that wallet fumbling on the customer end, and all that math to figure out the exact change on yours. Having an easy, intuitive way to accept credit cards moves your line a whole lot faster. Square Stand and Reader let you ring people up in seconds. And as you look forward to 2016, consider setting your business up to accept mobile, contactless payments (like Apple Pay), which are hands down the fastest way to pay and accept payments.

Train your staff.

Well before the holidays, your staff should know the ropes, especially your seasonal hires. That goes for all aspects of the business and making sales, but it’s particularly important to make sure they know how to handle the register. Hold an all-hands training before your busy season hits to make sure everyone is well versed on how to ring up payments, find items, send receipts, and issue refunds. You might even hold a friendly competition to see who can do tasks the fastest.  

Get in front of the line.

If your shop is super-busy or you have a line out the door (a good thing!), it’s time to mobilize. Order a few extra Square Readers so your employees can get out from behind the counter and take payments throughout the store. That way, if they’re helping a customer out, they can say, “I can just ring you up here if you’re ready.”

Send digital receipts.

When things get crazy over the holidays, every second counts. And printing out a paper receipt each time you ring someone up can eat up a ton of time. Square allows your customers to opt in to receiving digital receipts via email or text message, all within the Square Register app. What’s more, Square digital receipts are beefed up with extra features, including a place for customers to leave you a personal message about their experience.

Learn More About Square

Square creates tools that help sellers of all sizes start, run, and grow their businesses. Square’s point-of-sale service offers tools for every part of running a business, from accepting credit cards and tracking inventory to invoicing and real-time analytics.

The article was provided by Square, Inc., a payment processor that enables businesses to accept payments every way their customers want to pay. Businesses can get started with payments, grow their daily operations with inventory, analytics and staff management, and expand their reach with marketing and financial resources. Find out more at

Photo Credit: Provided by Square with permission to use. 


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