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POS Counter AKA Brand Temple

In bricks-and-mortar retail, the most critical moment of the customer journey is when browsing turns to buying - and without this key interaction, a store is just a showroom. 

That moment when a customer loves what you sell so much that they’re willing to give you money for it, should be revered. In reality, it's often the most dismal part of the shopping experience.

Big brands heavily invest in understanding their customer's journey and curating every touchpoint, from the consideration phase through to nursing the pain of buyer's remorse. But somewhere between the research and the insights, the theatre and reverence around the sale moment falls through the retail design cracks. Stores with a shabby cash-desks mine away all the hard work of the marketing and branding teams. 

A counter at a high-end bedding store was so small that when I approached the desk with my quilt covers and sheet sets, I had to stack them up in a wobbly tower so they all fit. The pile was so high I had to duck and weave just to be able to see the sales assistant. To pay, she had to perch the POS terminal atop of the stack, and to finish of the calamitous experience, she proceeded to bag up my purchases jamming everything on a sliver of desk left in front of the cash register’s keyboard. 

Another favourite store - a giant tech brand we all know and love - in a bid to revolutionise in-store sales, has developed a most underwhelming transaction experience. More than once I have anxiously watched my new laptop or phone be absent-mindedly placed perilously close to the edge of a display table, all while I'm shouting out my personal details, standing in the middle of the sales floor. 

I’m not saying we get all Rowan Atkinson/Love Actually about it, but I think the point-of-purchase moment does need to be elevated to a rose-petal level, metaphorically.


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