Consumer expectations have quickly adapted to new technologies that strip the hassle out of shopping. We get used to solutions such as mobile payments or cashierless checkouts and become frustrated if they’re not there to make our lives easier.
Now we’re moving into the next era of in store mobility, as app-based scanning and self service technologies trigger new customer expectations. Amazon Go led the way, but Macy's, Target and Walmart are using their own versions. Where they venture, others are sure to follow. Alongside this, kiosks are being reborn as devices that save customers time, give them access to a vast amount of choice, and reduce retailers’ staffing costs.
Friction-free checkout procedures are the new norm, available to retailers through enhancements to systems like Toshiba 4690. With scan and pay, for example, consumers download a retailer’s app to their phones and use it in store to scan whatever they want to buy. As they leave they scan a barcode at the point-of-sale, with payment deducted from their linked account so they can leave without ever touching cash or a card.
Scan and pay apps
Omnico research conducted among 2,000 U.S. consumers, 86 percent said they are ready to adopt scan and pay technology and 52 percent are either already using it or will do in the next year. It’s a strikingly high level of acceptance for a relatively new technology. Perhaps the reason is that the majority of consumers (55 percent) are already using banking apps, according to the research.
The advantages for a retailer are obvious – customers love the convenience. But it’s also much easier to retain customers through personalized offers and dynamic loyalty programs using all the data generated by the app. A convenience grocer, for example, can put together menu choices and food suggestions based on the customer’s known preferences. It makes shopping easier and more interesting; each visit may lead to a discovery.
App-based loyalty programs are highly effective. In the research, nearly seven in ten consumers (69 percent) said they are more likely to use a loyalty scheme if it is integrated into a smartphone app.
Kiosks have undergone a transformation and the level of acceptance is even higher than with scan and go. More than nine-in-ten research respondents (92 percent) are ready to use kiosks for in store payments, and more than half (52 percent) agree that being able to do so will improve their experience.
Shoppers know from experience how kiosks help them avoid wasting time in lines. They open up a retailer’s entire stock range and it is easy for consumers to use them to customize products, compare styles and arrange for delivery or pick-up. Kiosk software that is well designed generates upsells and cross-sells more effectively (by as much as 50 percent). And again, after customers are recognized through log ins or their card data, loyalty programs swing into action, personalizing offers, making recommendations and offering rewards.
POS integration for revenue-generating solutions
Scan and pay, and kiosks – along with the ability to take payments via a tablet device – all these greatly enhance customer engagement. With POS systems such as Toshiba’s ACE on 4690, all it requires is integration of an engagement engine to analyse the data about individual customers in near real time. This generates offers, discounts and loyalty points or rewards that are instantly accessible.
With integration of advanced, centralized customer engagement platforms, data from POS systems such as Toshiba’s ACE, Retalix, NCR-ACS, IBM-GSA and other 4690 based POS applications, can be focused to transform the revenue generating potential of apps without major IT disruption.
Once POS is speaking to a single transaction and engagement engine, retailers can easily meet the changed expectations of millions of consumers who embrace technology. That in turn triggers greater loyalty and revenues.