Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale
Many retailers often focus on various cost saving measures their stores that could actually end-up doing the opposite, generating increased costs instead of a savings.
For many brick and mortar retailers, Internet competition is eating away at both market share and profit margins, as many businesses are looking for ways to reduce overall operation costs. Just one way that this is being done by many retailers is to cut down on material overhead at Point of Sale.
To accomplish part of this, one simple thing that some Retailers have resorted to is not printing or giving out receipts to customers unless they ask for one. For many of these business owners, the most often used logic for allowing this could be any or all of the following:
- I’ll same money on receipt paper.
- There will be less wear and tear on my printers, so they will last longer.
- If I don’t hand out receipts, I can get more people through the registers faster.
- If people don’t have receipts, they can’t return items. So less returns equates to a savings.
Some of the unintended consequences of this can be:
Theft at the Till – For cash transactions, employees may not ring up the sale, and subsequently bag the items, and pocket cash at the register. This is especially critical risk area in businesses that do a lot of cash transactions.
Irate customers – If the stores return policy states that you must have a receipt, and the customer was never given one, they may be angered when they find out that they can’t return the item. So this could end up actually costing you customers. This is one such reason why I personally ask for a receipt for ever purchase that I make.
Customers being erroneously charged with theft – I know of multiple situations involving Credit Card transactions where the clerk printed a receipt and charge draft for the customer to sign, but never gave the customer a copy of the receipt. Later that, the customer was forcibly detained for shoplifting by store security, and held for several hours while being berated by the security people, and being continually being threaten with arrest for theft for something that they had legitimately paid for. However, these customers were later vindicated when the security personnel reviewed the stores video surveillance footage. The video clearly show the customer paying for the transaction. as well as the failure of the clerk to give the customer a receipt. This scenario’s later involved the customer taking legal action to sue the store for violating their rights. The end result was a lot of legal fees and an undisclosed out-of-court settlements, plus the loss of a long time, loyal customers.
Shrinkage/Inventory Control Issues– Items bagged for customers that were never rung up in the register. In these cases the customer leaves with merchandise for which they were never charged. Since there is no paper receipt to verify what is in the bag, the customer could also end up walking out without some of what they legitimately purchased.
You got my order wrong – This I really common in the restaurant and fast food arena. You order something very specific, and you get something completely different than what you ordered. In most cases, the customer having a receipt ends the debate over what was actually ordered.
If you would like assistance in reviewing your existing Point of Sale register procedures, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.