How Retailers Innovate with New Generation POS
We are experiencing a new consumer omnichannel age where innovation is no longer a nice-to-have in any sales channel, but a must-have. This innovation must be especially leading in physical stores, where sales will count for over 95% of total sales worldwide in coming years. Therefore, POS solutions need to evolve and lead this transformation. They are no longer just cashiers but the real store brain and executing arm, responsible for delivering the promise of seamless omnichannel shopping experiences that we were talking about in our last blog post; we are trying to stress that stores will not continue playing the same role and it is precisely doing the same as before that will kill them in the future.
We believe that stores must transform themselves and become smart, interactive destinations for customer interaction and engagement. Before they were the final stage of many buying journeys, today they have a major influence on the final buying decision, whatever the final channel is (where the item is finally purchased) either the store, another store or online.
For brick-and-mortar retailers it is critical then to adopt new generation POS solutions that will enable stores to act as fulfilment centers to drive revenue and to ensure a seamless customer experience. This will also require a big change in retailers´ store operations, and as Gartner states, the executional excellence in the store will be the key multichannel differentiator. This transformation will not happen immediately as it will require top management support, vision, and eventually, a company investment.
On the other hand, new generation POS will also help in boosting sales. How? You can download our ebook for the complete rationale, but let me summarize the main concepts here for you.
Enterprise-wide inventory visibility allows store associates to rapidly check system-wide available stock, locate an item and make it available for delivery or pickup, or to fulfill an order generated in another store or through the online channel. It can also reduce markdown costs and inventory write-off by enabling mislocated items to be sold, either online or in other stores.
Without a doubt, mobility has become one of the driving forces leading the omnichannel transformation in stores. The adoption of mobile POS solutions has a positive impact on the brand image as it provides the opportunity to deliver new in-store shopping experiences for both associates and customers.
According to Business Insider, beacons are considered one of the most important technologies in retail since the mobile card reader, and will see triple-digit growth rates over the next few years. Location-based app notifications powered by beacons increase user engagement in apps and drive more in-store sales. For this reason, retailers are increasingly looking to beacons to enhance the in-store shopping experience while simultaneously bridging their physical and online experiences. We will talk more about beacons soon… just stay tuned!
Clienteling is the set of business processes retailers use to increase customer lifetime value through the delivery of a personalized shopping experience. It means having a single view of the customer, with data like customer profile, summary of activity across all channels, purchasing history, etc. As a result, Clienteling helps to increase cross-selling and up-selling possibilities and provides powerful save-the-sale tools that will all help to increase sales. And a step further we find Loyalty Programs that aim to create lasting and profitable relationships by rewarding customers for their loyalty.
Retailers today rely on tools that provide actionable insights into each process around the shopping experience and that provide them with in-depth knowledge about customers. This includes detailed visibility across different channels, promotions success rate, detailed follow up of all related supply chain management activities, etc. At the stores, managers require detailed information about sales per associate, per hour, best selling products, total discounts, payments, etc. Easy access to this kind of information in near real time will facilitate a greater understanding of how well a store is performing and can make a huge difference in meeting sales targets. New generation POS solutions provide powerful embedded analytics capabilities that will allow store managers to get a clear picture of the store performance in near real time.
Technology is dramatically changing the way retailers do business and interact with their customers. Therefore, they must be ready to embrace change and innovation as a way to stay competitive, while being ready to serve increasingly demanding consumers. POS solutions have evolved from being a simple machine to being the real brain in the stores, responsible for delivering the promise of a seamless store shopping experience, a must in today’s omnichannel retail landscape.