Why stores are switching to modern POS systems en masse
Many retailers prefer to postpone the switch to new POS systems. Acquiring and retaining customers already costs enough attention and budget. There are more and more online channels on which customers are active and expect that you as a brand also act: omnichannel. Competitive pressure is increasing. What's the best next step to keep up?
It is it consumer era. The mobile phone has brought about a true revolution: consumers are well informed, have little time or patience and also make high demands. Why tolerate a mediocre product with bad service when you can find a better offer at the push of a button? The Internet has expanded the playing field enormously. That means more opportunities for companies, but also more threats.
Data is the new gold
Everything that can go online, goes online. That means scale and automation. Companies can appeal to a larger audience and thus come into each other's way. And because everything is done digitally, everything can also be stored. Click behaviour, interests, previous visits, purchase history, service questions, pages visited and newsletters opened. But you can also collect customer data offline, physically in the store. With free WiFi you ask customers to log in and with iBeacons you give targeted product information or discounts. At the checkout you register the customer and his purchases, for example for your loyalty program. By making sure you recognize your customers in the store, you can retrieve their online data and act on it directly in the store.
The challenge for retailers now is that consumers no longer see the distinction between channels. They expect a seamless experience regardless of the channel. They want a omnichannel experience. The main reason? They have already gained this experience with other brands. Companies such as Coolblue, IKEA, Albert Heijn and Perry Sport are setting the new standard.
Personalization and targeted marketing
The most important application of data is to adapt your message to your target group. This way you can provide the right message, at the right time and through the right channel. On the one hand, you do this by improving your overall marketing. For example, by collecting and analyzing all customer interactions, you can clearly see how many contacts are needed for a purchase. Or how much discount results in how many sales.
On the other hand, you do that by specifically responding to a person's interests. Someone who has already visited a product page a few times is considering the purchase. A targeted e-mail with a discount or a bonus can then be just enough to convince the customer. This is called personalization (see also this online marketing trends 2018).
From POS system to omnichannel: 6 opportunities
A cash register system is no longer just the means to start selling. It is the link between the 'unknown customer' and the best your store can offer. With a good cash register system you can:
- Check if the product is in stock in the store. Or that it is available elsewhere in another branch or warehouse.
- Reserve a product regardless of location. So that the customer can pick it up themselves.
- Have the product shipped to the customer. They can pay directly in the store and receive it automatically at home.
- Walk into the store itself and help customers directly with questions about availability or additional options. Large phones (phablets) or tablets are ideal for this.
- In-store digital checkout. You can also arrange the payment directly on a mobile device. This makes sellers extremely mobile.
- Recognize the customer. With the customer identifies himself with a physical customer card or an app on the mobile. Purchases are immediately registered in the database and loyalty points are awarded. You can also directly address open service questions.
The real challenge for retailers
The consumer is automating at a rapid pace. As a retailer you have to go along with this. Is your customer walking around with an iPhone 10? Then you can no longer come up with a cash register system from the year jug. Certainly not if your direct competitor understands. Retailers need a change in thinking. In order to serve today's consumers, you have to raise your service level to a higher level. Think in terms of experience: how can you give your customers more convenience, lower prices and a better experience? Then you automatically start thinking in terms of processes and how you can logically automate and improve them. Here you will find a good overview of cash register systems in the market.