Why “Anonymous Sales” are a Big No-no for Retailers (and What to Do About Them)

Is capturing customer details at the point of sale a priority in your store right now? If not, it’s definitely time to make it one.  While it can seem to be a mundane task, collecting and tracking customer information gives you more opportunities to re-engage with shoppers, and bring them back through the door.

“Anonymous Sales” occur when purchases are processed in-store with no recorded customer details. Putting through “Anonymous Sales” means you could be missing exciting opportunities to engage with customers everyday! And that’s a huge no-no when it comes to growing your customer database.

In this post, we talk about the benefits of collecting customer details at checkout, as well as tips to ensure you’re getting the best results in your store. Read below to get the full scoop.

Are you a Vend customer? Be sure to keep an eye out for the user tips we’ve sprinkled throughout this post, so you can learn how to put them into action in your business!

4 Benefits of Capturing Customer Details at Checkout.

1. You’ll be able to delight customers with personalized experiences.

Knowing who your customers are means you and your staff can identify regular shoppers in-store and provide tailored recommendations, special offers, or just some personalized customer service because they’ve shopped with you before.

Take Benjamin Barker, for example. Once they’ve captured customer details in-store, they use MailChimp to develop targeted email marketing campaigns. This has allowed them to increase foot traffic and stay in touch with their regular customers.

In this post, we talk about the benefits of collecting customer details at checkout, as well as tips to ensure you’re getting the best results in your store. Read below to get the full scoop.

Vend Tip: Easily collect customer information at the point of sale such as the customer’s name, contact details, or even their date-of-birth for a little something on their birthday! You can even create your own custom information fields like their shoe size, or preferred candle scent. To break down data even further, you can segment your customer database into special groups and create VIP lists. Find out more.

2. You’ll get more valuable reports and insights.

Collecting customer information can give you details on who your top spenders are, who is purchasing what, and who may be in need of some attention. This, in turn, can lead to smarter decisions around product choices, ordering, and customer service.

Dish the Fish, a Vend retailer in Singapore, uses reporting to figure out what products their customers like best, so they can order and recommend products to their wider customer base accordingly. Nothing fishy about that!

“I can see what these customers like and I can recommend other fish to them. You know what their tastes are like after a while. Sometimes they like it, so that’s good. If they don’t, they will tell me and I will suggest something else. This is really where data makes the difference. You know more about your customers and their spending and eating habits and you can go one step further to build a relationship with them,” Jeffrey, owner of Dish the Fish, told UOB.

Vend Tip: As your customer database grows, you can easily capture further data about individual preferences and add them to customer profiles, like Dish the Fish. Want to see what your customers have purchased, or how much they’ve spent? Simply create a report in Vend. You can easily export customer details from these reports to run targeted campaigns or promotions!

3. You’ll boost customer loyalty and engagement.

If you’re collecting customer data alongside a loyalty program, you’ll be in a great position to improve customer engagement. Offering loyalty dollars is a great way to reward your top spenders, and encourage repeat purchases!

Christmas Elves, a retailer in Australia, does this incredibly well. They run an easy-to-understand loyalty program that letscustomers earn Christmas dollars that they can use toward their next purchase. According to store owner Jason McIntyre, this program has helped them improve their customer service and retention.

Vend Tip: Have you checked out Vend Loyalty yet? With it your customers can earn loyalty dollars on every qualifying purchase. They’ll be able to see their balance on receipts and redeem it as credit against future purchases. Remind shoppers often about their loyalty dollars, so they’re encouraged to continue purchasing from you.

4. Tasks such as issuing returns or store credit become much easier.

Reprinting receipts, granting returns or issuing store credit are much easier when you have the customer’s information: all youhave to do is ask for their name or email to start completing these tasks.

This also means you’re able to provide a much better store experience in a potentially difficult customer situation. The last thing you want is to make your customers jump through many hoops to fix a problem!

Vend Tip: Easily collect customer information at the point of sale such as the customer’s name, contact details, or even their date-of-birth for a little something on their birthday! You can even create your own custom information fields like their shoe size, or preferred candle scent. To break down data even further, you can segment your customer database into special groups and create VIP lists. Find out more.

4 Top Tips on Getting Customer Details at Checkout.

1. Ditch the pen and paper!

If you’re using a pen and paper to collect customer information, save yourself the effort! Not only does it open you up to human error, it slows the entire process down and creates more work for you because you have to re-enter the details into your database.

Instead, consider using a digital method, such as entering the information into an iPad or via your point-of-sale or loyalty software.

Vend Tip: Adding customer information while making a sale in Vend is simple and speedy! Here’s how.

2. Incentivize customers to give you their details.

A great way to motivate customers into giving you their details is to offer special promotions, discounts, or exclusive perks. Perhaps you could run a monthly raffle entry, or offer a charitable donation for every customer that signs up to your loyalty program.

Vend Tip: In Vend, you can get your customers to sign up to your Loyalty program online. The Loyalty portal can be printed on a customer’s receipt, and you can even offer Loyalty dollars as an incentive to fill out their details. If you have time to collect a customer’s email address at the Sell screen, you can also incentivize them to fill out more details online! Just enable the Loyalty welcome email.

3. Motivate your employees to collect customer information.

An important part of collecting customer information in-store is ensuring that your employees are on-board. Make sure your staff are informed and held accountable if you’re still seeing a high volume of “Anonymous Sales”. Perhaps you’d like to motivate them with staff incentives too, for example running a monthly contest to reach the highest customer attachment rate!

4. Be real and genuine.

Avoid being robotic or generic when collecting customer info. Be genuine when asking people for their information. Hint: it helps if you connected and engaged with them before they hit the checkout counter.

Also be honest about why you’re getting their email addresses and what they can expect. But more importantly, highlight the benefits of signing up to your program. What’s in it for the customer if they hand over their email and contact information? Make sure this is clear to your employees too.

Over to you.

The first step to engaging your customers is capturing their information at the counter. This is super important as without their details, you can’t engage with shoppers until they come back to your store (if they ever do!).

If you’re a Vend user, make sure to check out our Customer Management features to see how you can engage with customers even more using Vend.

What are you doing in your stores to engage customers? Share your feedback in the comments below!

About Ashley Gilgrist

Ashley looks after product marketing at Vend — working hard to bring exciting product launches to retailers around the globe. When she’s not busy talking all-things-Vend, Ashley also has a love of tea, candle-crafting, binge-watching, and hiking the pointy peaks of New Zealand.