A Guide to Cash Wraps & The New Retail Experience

The retail industry is shifting. The way that consumers shop and has changed from a largely product-focused activity to one that puts a higher emphasis on the experience. The same is true of customer service. The question that raises for retailers, then, is how do they still provide the standard services expected of them while also meeting the new needs of the modern shopper?

One vital tool in the retailer’s arsenal is the cash wrap. This area was traditionally the last stop in the brick and mortar retail store, one last chance for businesses to make an impression and maybe close on an impulse buy. Today, they are so much more. If executed properly, cash wrap counters can serve as the epicenter of a retail store that helps businesses redefine what “checkout” means.

What are Cash Wraps?

Cash wraps go by many different names – checkout counters, cash wells, counter wraps, store counter, store retail counters, and more. To put it simply, cash wraps are the areas in retail stores where customers check out and pay for their merchandise. Traditionally this was a very straightforward process, but today they are an additional opportunity for retailers to make an impression.

Cash wrap counters are experiential fixtures, not transactional. Yes, transactions are completed there, but the modern retail experience requires these areas to provide more than just an exchange of currency and products. They can be used to leverage last-minute sales, push marketing and promotional content, and to offer customers add-on services. Therefore, retailers need to be mindful of their cash wrap design, layout and features so they can provide everything a customer might need or want, such as

  • Easy-to-grab goods
  • Warranties
  • Rewards programs
  • Personalized services

Important Cash Wrap Guidelines

Let’s start with the basics – at the very least, a retail cash wrap needs to have a point of sale system (POS) where consumers can pay for goods. Today, many retailers offer multiple POS systems throughout their stores, so even these can be considered cash wraps. This also means retailers need to consider what kind of POS system they’re using, as this will influence what kind of cash wrap design they require.

From there, it’s time to consider physical logistics. Ask questions like:

  • What size cash wrap do you need?
  • What color should it be?
  • What shape will it be? (Single line, L-shape, U-shape, etc.)
  • Will it be mobile or scalable?
  • Is it functional for both sales and offering a positive customer experience?

Cash wraps are not a one-size-fits-all fixture, so it helps to work with a provider who can create custom cash wrap designs for the store. That way, retailers can ensure that they are making the most of this unique opportunity to connect with customers and leave a positive impression.

What are the Benefits of Good Cash Wrap Design?

Cash wraps in retail are an opportunity that when utilized properly, push sales, branding, and create return customers. The checkout line or queue is the #1 location to push impulse sales, so products they might grab easily should be readily available. Items in these quick-grab areas should be:

  • Packaged in eye-catching ways
  • Displayed at customer eye-level
  • Low price items
  • Timely for holidays or seasonal promotions

These small buys and last-minute choices can increase customer satisfaction and help retailers earn additional profits. A recent consumer survey showed that over 90% of people who shop today make occasional impulse purchases that they didn’t intend to buy initially.

How to Design a Modern Cash Wrap

When looking at potential cash wrap design, it helps to think of the cash wrap area as more than just a cash register. Modern retailers need to understand that cash wraps are now service areas, consultative areas and even design centers. Customers expect a total experience when they shop, and the cash wrap area is a great place to offer that service.

It’s best to provide service cash wrap areas for customers to learn more about products, order products directly to the store, customize their products and pick up items they ordered online. The service areas at the front of store require flexibility and modularity that can be integrated into various configurations but still have the same functional and operational component required of retailers.

Lastly, the queuing area needs to be considered when designing the cash wrap. These front-end enhancements are a vital touchpoint with customers, and physical touchpoints are hard to come by in the era of ecommerce. Self-checkout can also be considered a front-end enhancement and should be treated like any standard cash wrap would be. Modern cash wrap design is a new idea in the retail world, but they are the way of the future much like self-checkout was years ago.

As a custom retail fixture company, VCI works with retailers of all types and sizes to bring your unique cash wrap vision to reality. We help our clients create complete point of sale systems that also offer an enhanced experience for their shoppers. We’re here to help, so contact our team to exchange ideas about your next cash wrap design.

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