I went into a store this week. It was a quick stop. I ran in to grab something.
I should note that I don’t like shopping all that much. I liked it a lot less on Monday. I picked out my merchandise and stood in line to pay. I thought (while in line) how we have worked with other retailers recently to build ‘wireless’ queue lines. This is where a sales associate on the floor is able to ‘check out’ your purchase at any location in the store. There is a strong movement toward this. It is awesome. But alas, I was not roaming free – I was in a line.
My turn had finally arrived. I placed my purchase on the counter and voila – a network failure. Apparently this has been happening ‘all week’ said the sales associate.
So what happens during a network failure? First off payment processing for both debit and credit fail. You cannot pay for your purchase. No worries though… you can pay cash (nope) the POS system are also cloud hosted and it was down too.
But the day is about to be saved. They can process my payment manually. The sales associate who appeared out of the back of the store like a super hero was carrying an old carbon slip and swipe machine.
I have not seen these in years. It was exciting. My first off-line transaction in over two decades it seemed. The sales staff actually had no idea how to use it. I watched them fumble with it like it was a prehistoric dinosaur that was just discovered. Out came the carbon paper. The sales associate started itemizing all the items on the carbon slip, it was painful to watch. I suggested that they simply ‘put the total’ on the little ‘box’ and not worry about itemizing on the slip. I lost, she itemized it. At this point there were 6 people behind me.
From start to finish my quick store visit took 34 minutes. 22 minutes was spent hammering through a sales purchase.
How to avoid this?
Frontier in our retail offering has always promoted and now mandates the use of a diverse or secondary connection. The idea is to promote 100% POS and Payment Availability. It is the right thing to do. It costs very, very little to deliver a secondary path and it can save retailer hundreds if not thousands of dollars per minute of lost sales transactions.
It looks like this:
I likely would still not like shopping that much.