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The National Grocers Association (NGA) and Balance Innovations have released its 2015 Grocery Retailing Payments Study, which was designed to understand industry payment practices, including cash, check, debit and credit management, mobile payment, loss prevention, e-commerce and payments automation.
"Shifting shopper preferences, payment security concerns and new payment technology drive an ever-changing payments landscape. Understanding the latest trends helps retailers optimize internal payment processes while providing shoppers with the best checkout experience possible," said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO.
The study, which established retailer and shopper benchmarks to quantify areas for streamlined operations, reduced shrink and improved inefficiencies, identified more than a dozen action areas where independent grocers can save.
Some of the action steps include:
- Establish procedures for recycling cash within the store. Nearly two-thirds of independents already have such procedures in place, which saves on the number of armored car visits that average $25 in costs.
- Weigh cashier accountability vs. lane accountability. Lane accountability reduces cash on hand and labor needed for balancing tills, but it complicates identifying sources of loss.
- Review cash back policies. Cash back can be a convenience to the shopper, but can unbalance the demand and supply of cash within the store, which can lead to additional expenses.
- Optimize safe management. Independents should set a customized maximum amount for each store’s sales patterns to cover store and customer needs but avoid tying up cash.
- Implement mobile payments based on shopper demographics. Nearly a quarter of independents currently accept mobile payments while another 40 percent are planning to implement the system in one to three years.
Copies of the study are available from Balance Innovations.