Retailers across India, including in tier II and III cities, are now shedding their not-for-us mind-set and are moving closer to automate their stores with the latest POS machines and technology;which help them to customize their business;operations, stay ahead in competition, reduce overheads and boost sales manifold.
So, how does it work? A typical grocery store owner can shift to POS by having a set of few machines- a computer or touch POS terminal with customized software application, a barcode scanner and a receipt printer, all these occupy very little space on a small table. Since these days, all products, from cosmetics to eatables come with barcodes, for all packed items, one can simply scan the barcode to prepare the bill straight away.
For some, who make packets of daily usable items at their store itself, they should have a barcode printer to print labels which carry details such as name of the product, quantity/weight, date of package and price in the form of barcodes.
"Since everything is pre-packed and labeled, the time taken for billing is considerably less which makes customers happy, and for store owners, more customers can be attended in less time. If they want to improve further customer experience, store owners can arrange items on racks, label them properly and allow customers to pick them up before proceeding to payment counters. This further reduces manpower and billing time while improving sales and services," says Lakshmi Das, the proprietor of Lakshmi Super Market in Chennai. His shop, Lakshmi Store, was a small grocery store a few years back, before he decided to automate the store and expand it further. ;
However, not everything is looking rosy for grocery retail sector as according to a conservative estimate, more than 90 per cent of the grocery stores across India are still to automate their billing counters and are following the traditional way, informs Bhaskar Venkatraman, a veteran in POS technology who founded JusTransact.com, the;first-ever exclusive e-commerce marketplace to offer Point of Sale (POS) products and solutions to Indian retail and non retail sector.
With supermarkets and hypermarkets offering enhanced shopping experience to people in tier I and tier II cities, retail businesses which are still following the traditional billing and shop management system are finding it difficult to hold their customer base.
Listing the advantages of having technology by their side, Bhaskar further says, "Installing POS products will not only help them to achieve fast billing, but also do a lot of in-store and back-end operations such as inventory management, sales and profit tracking on a daily basis, staff management, multi-store business management, information on customer loyalty and offers and discounts." So, then why should majority of retailers still be wary of adopting POS?
May be reluctance in adopting new technology, lack of awareness on POS and its advantages or fear of recurring cost is making them drag their feet against sophisticating their retail business.
The changes are gradually happening and the days are not far away to witness a retail revolution in India, concludes Bhaskar.
The article also appeared in Merinews.com.