Can there be anyone who hasn’t noticed the incredible change sweeping through retail? Social media companies are turning themselves into marketplaces while new direct-to-consumer and online-only firms grab increasing amounts of business. As this happens, stores work harder to get shoppers through the door. It’s tough – consumers now want far more from retailers in terms of personalization, convenience and loyalty.
If the physical store is to flourish and evolve it’s important consumers don’t miss out on the choice, ease and simplicity of online shopping. Retailers need to stitch together the online and physical worlds so consumers always have the best experience possible.
Technology is central to this. Research by Omnico among 2,000 U.S. consumers this year found nearly three-quarters (74 percent) believe technology will make life easier by removing irritations in store. More than nine-in-ten (92 percent) say shopping frustrates them.
The solutions retailers need include endless aisle capabilities so consumers can use a laptop or kiosk to view the full range of stock, never missing out on anything because they are in store. Retailers also need to use easier payment methods, because 52 percent of those surveyed regard waiting in line to pay as a major irritation.
Many solutions vendors will tell retailers how necessary it is to adopt expensive data analytics systems. However, a far more effective approach that delivers faster results, is for retailers to transform their point of sale (POS) systems into engagement centers so they can optimise customer experience.
POS is the key to enhanced engagement. Retailers who integrate advanced digital and mobile technologies into their POS see revenues head upwards in big steps. Out-of-the-box systems enable them to layer in new capabilities, such as in app and tablet payments that meet the requirements of today’s savvy, but impatient store shoppers. Easily integrated with a retailer’s existing IT infrastructure, customer engagement technology brings all the data together in one place, using machine learning and real time segmentation as the turbo-boosters for far more effective promotions, loyalty programs and refunds.