We received this note recently:

I am thinking seriously about opening a small bookstore. As I look at other small, independent businesses I use, I'm struck by the awkward point of sale. They don't want the expense of credit card fees, so they go backwards to the cash/check only, write-out-the-receipt mode. I'm encouraged by the promise of your business. I hope to make the point of sale very easy for both the customer and me. No loss of sale because a jogger/walker in the neighborhood wasn't prepared to buy, yet saw the perfect thing in my window!

Mary P. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Mary was kind enough to share the above thoughts with us after learning about Change. I liked this phrase in particular: “...I’m struck by the awkward point of sale.” Us too. Unfortunately, many mobile and tablet solutions aren’t much better. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty goofy handing my iPhone over to someone I’ve never met so they can scan in, say, a 50-cent coupon on coffee. Don’t even get me started on redeeming my last LivingSocial deal. Binders were involved. Binders. Full of paper. To redeem a voucher I bought on the INTERNET. Gosh darn rassin’ frassin’...ahem. Sorry. I got myself going there. Anyway…

Paper Bookstore Receipt - Used Under Creative Commons License Courtesy of Lainey Powell on Flickr

Astute observation of the retail experience is a trait we notice in many business owners. They’re curious, empathetic, and pay attention to the little things. They love people, not software and bookkeeping. I have no doubt Mary’s bookstore will have a phenomenal, people-centered checkout experience. We’re building Change for Mary and others like her and I hope she’ll consider being part of our pilot program if her bookstore comes together (and I hope it does).

At Change, we’re immensely curious to learn what others have observed about the checkout experience at their favorite local spots. Our survey for fans and supporters of independent businesses encourages people to share those very thoughts with us.

You can also join the conversation by commenting on this post. We’re listening.

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AuthorScott Kubie