Adding Speed to our Checkout

So…

you might remember that last Fall we extended our stay in Houston following the Quilt Market in order to participate in our first EVER International Quilt Festival, and even though it was a success for us, there were a few things (as always) that we wanted to improve upon as we head into this year’s round of retail shows, (in Charlotte, Chattanooga and back to Houston).

Perhaps the area that caused us the MOST concern, was the amount of time it took for us to process many of our sales. Simple transactions involving only a few patterns were of course no problem since we could easily record the patterns for our records, total the sale in our head, use a calculator for the sales tax, and then process the sale with a SquareUp device on our Smart Phone.

But here’s the thing… whenever a sale involved several different zipper styles  and/or sizes, or an assortment of notions along with a few patterns, it totally complicated SLOWED DOWN the checkout procedure! There were all those prices to remember (or look up)… all those items to record, and then enter correctly into a calculator… then process! I wanted to do things accurately for both us and the customer, but I know it was sometimes frustrating to those who were waiting in line. And you know what? Some folks got tired of waiting… and I can’t say that I blame them. We did the best we could, but I was determined to do better this year.

So… I’ve spent a good deal of time researching my options, and it seemed as though a bar code scanner could be the perfect solution for us since ALL of our products are bar-coded, but let’s face it… bar code scanners are not stand alone items! barscanner2While some vendors take an actual cash register with them to these shows, it seems this would be a less than ideal solution for us since we ship our supplies to a hot warehouse several weeks in advance of Quilt Festival.

But, then I found out that SquareUp now offers an application called Square Register which along with a Smartphone can be used for checkout & inventory purposes, and get this!… if you’re using an iPad, a wireless barcode scanner can be added to the mix (see above)!

barscannerThe SquareUp website listed the Socket Mobile bar scanner (Model#7CI) for use with there Square Register software, indicating that it was easy to set up and provided reliable scanning… so I picked one up on Amazon, figuring that if I couldn’t get it to work correctly, I could just return it.

But you know what? Just like the website promised, it was a snap to “pair-up” with my iPad Air. As a matter of fact, it “pairs-up” easily and immediately each and every time I turn it on! Not only that, it took less than 2 hours to import all 64 of our products, and that includes the individual bar codes and a thumbnail picture of each & every product! So now the only thing left to do is…

Take it for a spin in Charlotte!

squarestandOur plan right now is to set up our iPad on a lazy Susan so we can just spin it around for our customer’s signature after swiping their card thru the SquareUp plug-in device that we normally use. We considered switching over to the new Square Stand (at left) in lieu of our plug-in device. I love the way it looks but it’s sold in a very large box, and even though it seems very well padded, it would take up a LOT of room in a shipping container and if for any reason the box gets crushed, the stand would be toast! Seems to me that the stand would be an excellent solution for an actual store owner, but as a portable device, I’m afraid it could have a relatively short lifespan.

So, in conclusion,

I’m REALLY excited about the speed and efficiency the SquareUp Register will provide for us! I’m counting on it significantly reducing both my level of stress AND the waiting time for our customers! The proof is in the pudding though, right? So stay tuned for our post show reports to find out if the SquareUp Register was all it was cracked up to be!

**************************************************************************************************************
And don’t forget, we actually LOVE questions and comments too, so if you’d like to share yours, please feel free to do so the section provided below! And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it via FaceBook or Twitter!

 

7 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I love hearing how people are able to make technology work for them. Hope this works as well at the show as it does in theory and test practice. Good luck!

    • ME too! Square has really been a “game-changer” for small business so far, and we’ve been very pleased with their products to date, so we have great hopes for this system! 🙂

  2. How wonderful that this new technology is going to speed up your checkouts! It sounds far more efficient with much less stress! Have a wonderful round of shows this season!

  3. Are you using these with a printer? I am in a similar situation as I sell digital and paper quilting designs for longarms and would love a faster option than hand writing a receipt.