In today’s highly competitive and consumer-driven retail market, technology plays a crucial role in engaging with customers who wish to complete transaction across all possible channels as per their convenience.
Though quality, price and range are given importance for success of any retail business, data available from various research findings show that customers give high value on loyalty, in-store experience and quality of services.
Retailers are able to attract more customers while retaining existing customer base only when they promote customer experience at their stores and open up optimum POS channels for them to transact with elan. Omni-channel POS technology, which has several advantages, can transform retailers’ operations and improve customers experience.
Consistency in Omni-channel Transactions
Uniformity and transparency in prices, product details and offers are important to win customers’ loyalty. So, a centralized POS system or engine needs to maintain peak consistency level. No matter what kind of channel customers choose, their basket total should be same even if they start their purchase with online and complete with in-store.
It is important that an efficient POS transaction engine integrate all of the available retailer’s channels, which include, online, mobile-assisted services, mobile app, self-checkouts, kiosks, or fixed devices at physical counters.
Multiple touch-points payment option
Retailers have found the tremendous usage of Android devices and Tablets at POS which are helping them to transact with customers wherever they are offering them with high-level of in-store service.
Customers too are happy to scan and pay themselves when they make purchases as it offers them convenience and speed, while avoiding them getting stuck at long queues at POS counters or checkouts.
Several retail stores in India are gradually transforming their fixed POS counters into mobile POS for shear convenience and also to improve operational efficiency and maintenance.
Give customers what they want
In the omnichannel environment, customers should know the availability of stock, whether he searches online or offline mode. It should give them real time information about the stock availability and other details. No matter which channel they use or switch to, it is important that basket should always follows the shopper.
Retailers should have intelligent POS system which can enable processes such as ship from store, click and collect, ship to store, reserve and try, buy online and return to physical store etc, to ensure that customer gets what they want and when they want.
In omni-channel setups, POS engines, which are the backbone of all touch points, should operate on cloud. However, for any eventuality, there should always a back up available for smooth operation. For example, a website failure would cripple the operations at physical store. So it is imperative that stores have resilience in place to help shoppers make their purchase seamlessly.
POS solution should automatically switch to stand-alone offline business environment when there is a network failure. Present day’s technology facilitates cloud POS systems choose automatic switchover to locally powered POS devices, and then transfer data back to cloud when network connectivity resumes.
Know your customer
Customers always prefer stores which offer them personalized services and also provide them with timely, relevant and promotional information.
Customers also expect that omnichannels maintain the same offers or recommendations whether it is through online or via email, and can be redeemed regardless of the type of shopping channel they choose.
The solution must have in-built scalability
Variable demand is always a source of concern for store managers. To manage this problem, stores should engage POS in the cloud. This would allow retailers scale up or reduce their processing power and resources based on customer transactions and demand.
Retail businesses can easily manage huge transactions coming simultaneously through various channels during peak seasons or periods such as festivals and school holidays, and scale back the technology during lean period.
As tax pattern, languages and payment methods differ across nations, a modern omni-channel POS should support all kinds of legal formalities effectively.
Plug-in technology can be the right solution for this issue. Travellers can shop at an airport and pick up their merchandise later at home or at hotel in a different country. The same is applicable for resorts and theme parks, where visitors or guests often purchase souvenirs or gifts, and instruct hotel staff to send them to designate addressed as they don’t want them to increase their luggage space.
In short, if retailers follow these rules, they can drive the omni-channel retail successfully and can adapt to any future technology changes or consumer shopping behavior. Others who have non-competent systems should quickly switch over to latest POS technology. This will increase customer satisfaction level considerably and will pave way for retaining existing customers and bringing new customers to stores.