Customer Facing Displays: Benefits and How To Set Them Up

Customer-facing display

If you’ve ever gone shopping, chances are you’ve used a customer facing display. As a business owner, you might be considering one as part of your checkout process. 

A customer facing display is an effective way to collect payments and streamline purchases. It’s also an accessible way to keep your business competitive and up to date. 

First, it’s important to understand how the whole payment ecosystem works together to create a seamless checkout process. 

What is on a customer facing display?

  • Purchases
  • Pricing
  • Taxes
  • Payment prompts
  • Payment confirmation

A customer facing display is essentially a checkout screen that shows a customer all the relevant information about their transaction. 


A list of purchases makes up part of what shows up in a customer facing display. A POS system managed by the cashier will also display the same information as they process a transaction. 


Customer facing displays a list of each item’s prices, including any discounts or coupons that may be applied. 


Along with a list of each item and their corresponding prices, customer facing displays also show how much tax a customer owes on their order. 

Payment prompts

As transactions are finalized, taxes are added, and payment is ready to be made, a customer facing display contains payment prompts that customers can walk through as they choose a method of payment.

Payment confirmation

Finally, customer facing displays show a payment confirmation after a transaction has been finalized and paid for. The cashier facing POS system may also display the final confirmation prompts. 

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Benefits of a customer facing display

The digital nature of a customer facing display offers a list of benefits for retailers to improve the overall customer experience. It’s a way to increase trust with customers and add a level of transparency to transactions. A customer facing display also:

Improves checkout

A customer facing display makes checkout a seamless process. Cashiers can easily charge for a purchase and customers can keep track of what’s being added to their total bill. 

For example, if a customer added two sweaters to their cart assuming a special sale applied to them when it didn’t, they would be able to see the prices for each sweater as they’re being processed. Correcting the mistake and only purchasing one sweater can happen then and there. 

Mitigates returns

With a customer facing display you’ll end up making fewer returns, because it lets customers monitor their purchase as it’s being processed. Any questions or changes or errors in prices can be pointed out and discussed in real time, leading to lower return rates

Builds customer engagement

A customer facing display lowers the friction between signups to loyalty programs. It also makes it easier to collect customer emails and phone numbers as a point of contact to push sales and promotional campaigns. 

Let’s say you’re running a special 25%-off holiday sale in exchange for a customer’s email. A customer facing display makes it easier for customers to choose to enter their email address to claim the offer rather than having to dictate their personal information to the cashier.

Small operational changes like these can make a difference in the success of your retail campaigns and customer retention rates

📌 GET STARTED: Choose from hundreds of loyalty apps in the Shopify App Store and start rewarding shoppers for purchases they make both online and in-store.

Ensures compliance

Do customers need to sign off on a purchase? Or is there a specification customers need to know about before completing a purchase? In this way, a customer facing display makes staying compliant easier to do. Customers can immediately access any important information through a customer display seamlessly. 

Increases basket size

Displays are yet another avenue to connect customers with promotions, in-store offers, bundles, or limited-time deals. It’s a way to increase basket size and, ultimately, revenue. 

Processes contactless transactions

A customer facing display eliminates the need to pass cards, phones, or paper receipts constantly. By eliminating the constant hand-to-hand exchange of items, you increase healthier measures.

The recent onset of a global pandemic highlighted the need for contactless store interactions.

Instead of needing a customer to hand over their card or be forced to use cash, a customer facing display enables them to take care of payment on their own. 

Saves time at checkout 

Time is of the essence for both the customers and your business. A customer facing display shortens the time it takes to process an order, point out and correct purchase errors, and process payments. 

💡 PRO TIP: Shopify POS has a fully-customizable checkout experience. Create shortcuts to keep your most-used apps, promotions, and products at your fingertips so you can fly through checkout.

How to set up a customer facing display

  1. Set up point of sale (POS)
  2. Acquire hardware
  3. Test new setup

Properly setting up a customer facing display involves hardware, software, and some testing. Here’s a look at each step in more detail. 

Set up point of sale (POS)

Like many retailers, you may already be using a POS system to process transactions. If not, it’s necessary to set up a POS system that enables the use of an additional screen. This way, both the cashier and the customer are able to see the same data as it’s being processed through the system. 

Setting up a point-of-sale system involves choosing a unified POS system that’s compatible with a customer facing display. Your POS system can itself include several pieces of hardware that work together to help you process purchases. 

Acquire hardware

POS hardware can include a receipt printer, a scanner, a cash drawer, and a cashier facing display to look through each transaction as it happens. Yet your checkout setup can also be as simple as pairing an iPad with a stand and a card reader.

However, when it comes to a customer facing display, you can simply use a tablet. An LCD customer facing display or a pole display are also options, though they’re becoming increasingly outdated. 

Display size and advanced features can also come into play when deciding on hardware that will work for your type of business.

We needed a large display to show all of our products, but small enough to fit in our checkout area. We also needed a display that is easy to use and can be navigated quickly by our customers. After doing some research, we found the perfect display for our needs, and it has made a big difference in our sales.

Kate Zhang, founder of backdrop provider Kate

For example, if you were to use a tablet as your customer facing display with a POS system like Shopify, you’d be able to connect the customer facing display wirelessly. Once you download the Customer View app, which displays all your customer transactions, including prices and taxes, you’d be set up and ready for business. 

It’s important to remember that not all customer facing display hardware and the POS systems they integrate with are created equally. Some integrations might not work with others. If you’re a retailer that processes many transactions a day, a unified POS system that works seamlessly is the investment to make. 

💡 PRO TIP: When you use different platforms to run your online and retail stores, inventory discrepancies are more likely to happen as a result of both systems not being in sync with one another. This can lead to more frequent inventory counts to reconcile differences between your ecommerce platform and POS system’s inventory quantities and ensure stock levels are accurate.

Test new setup

Once your hardware is established and you’ve been able to integrate the software along with it, test your new setup to ensure it’s working properly. Check that it’s recording and displaying transactions correctly and that it’s able to process every type of payment you accept properly. 

Options for customer facing displays

There are two main options for customer facing displays: POS with swivel stand and a dedicated device.

POS with swivel stand

When on a swivel stand, a POS can be positioned for both cashiers and customers to use the same device to view totals and process payments. This way, you deal with less hardware. A swivel POS is also easier to travel with and use in pop-up shops or seasonal businesses. 

Dedicated device

Your second option is to use a dedicated device. That is, while the cashier might use their own device as the POS system to charge for items, a separate device is used as the customer facing display. 

Features to look for in a customer facing display

  • The ability to make regular updates
  • Wireless options
  • Portability
  • A customizable dashboard

Each of these features should be present in the customer facing display you choose. Let's take a closer look at them.

The ability to make regular updates

A robust customer facing display will work with software that can be updated regularly.

For retailers to stay competitive, it’s necessary to keep up with changes and ensure you’re offering customers plenty of ways to process transactions.

It’s yet another way to increase customer loyalty and set a positive brand perception. 

Wireless options

The best POS and customer facing display setups are wireless. Why opt for the use of extra cords to plug in and keep track of? A wireless customer facing display is easier to manage and handle. 


Today, we walk around with computers in our back pocket. It’s the same for displays. You don’t have to deal with clunky hardware. Often a tablet and a payment processor is all you need. 

A customizable dashboard

Along with regular updates, look for a customer facing display that enables you to customize its dashboard. Maybe you want to add the option to add a voluntary tip before finalizing a transaction. 

Or maybe you want to be able to accept store gift cards by having customers swipe their card when prompted. A robust customer facing display system enables you to do that. 

💡 PRO TIP: With Shopify POS, you can sell physical and digital gift cards that can be redeemed both in store and online. Sell physical gift cards in store, email digital gift cards to customers, and let them redeem their gift card wherever they prefer to shop.

Do you need a customer facing display at your store?

Adding a customer facing display to your checkout workflow can pay off long term. Not only are they easy to install, but they’re also easy for both cashiers and customers to interact with. 

Plus, a customer facing display works in any industry. If your business uses a checkout process, a customer facing display is yet another way to optimize the shopper experience. They make it easier to increase customer engagement, improve basket size, lower return rates, and increase revenue.

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Customer facing display FAQ

How do you use a customer facing display?

A customer display is typically used in a retail settings to display information to customers. It can show the current purchase total, pricing information, or promotional offers. In some cases, the customer display may be used to provide interactive information, such as a touch screen that allows customers to input their orders.

Can a customer see the POS?

No, customers cannot see the POS. The POS is typically located behind the counter and is used by employees to enter customer orders and process payments.

Do you need a POS system to use a customer facing display?

Normally yes you do need a POS system to use a customer facing display. This is because all the information you will display is contained within your POS system. To reduce confusion with customers it is better that your customer facing display is part of your POS system or at least linked to it.