Many retailers prefer to postpone the switch to new POS systems. Attracting and retaining customers already requires enough attention and budget. More and more online channels are being added on which customers are active and expect you to act as a brand: omnichannel. Competitive pressure is increasing. What is the best next step to keep up?
It is it consumer era. The mobile has caused a true revolution: consumers are well informed, have little time or patience and, moreover, set high standards. Why would you tolerate a poor product with poor service if you find a better offer at the touch of a button? Internet has greatly expanded the playing field. 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 get into each other's way. And because everything happens digitally, everything can also be saved. Click behavior, interests, previous visits, purchase history, service questions, visited pages and opened newsletters. 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 cash register you register the customer and his purchases, for example for your loyalty program. By ensuring that you recognize your customers in the store, you can retrieve his online data and act directly on it in the store.
The challenge for retailers now is that consumers no longer see the distinction in channels. They expect a seamless experience regardless of the channel. They want one omnichannel experience. The primary reason? They have already gained this experience with other brands. Companies such as Coolblue, IKEA, Albert Heijn and Perry Sport set the new standard.
Personalization and targeted marketing
The most important application of data is adapting your message to your target group. This way you can ensure the right message, at the right time and through the right channel. On the one hand you do that by improving your overall marketing. By collecting and analyzing all customer interactions, for example, you can see in detail how many contacts are needed for a purchase. Or how much discount means how many sales.
On the other hand you do that by responding specifically to the interests of a person. Someone who has visited a product page a few times is considering the purchase. A targeted e-mail with a discount or a bonus can just be enough to convince the customer. This is called personalization (see also this online marketing trends 2018).
From cash register system to omnichannel: 6 opportunities
A cash register system is no longer just the means to start selling. It is the connection between the 'unknown customer' and the best that your store can offer. So with a good cash register system you can:
- See 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 himself.
- Have the product sent to the customer. They can pay directly in the store and receive it automatically at home.
- Walk in the store itself and help customers directly with questions about availability or additional options. Large telephones (phablets) or tablets are ideal for this.
- Digital payment in the store. You can also arrange payment directly on a mobile device. That makes sellers extremely mobile.
- Recognize the customer. With a physical customer card or an app on the mobile makes the customer known. Purchases are directly registered in the database and loyalty points are allocated. You can also address directly 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 that. Does your customer walk around with an iPhone 10? Then you can no longer arrive with a cash register system from the year jar. Certainly not if your direct competitor understands. Retailers need a change in thinking. In order to be able to serve today's consumer, you have to take your service 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 processes and how you can automate and improve them logically. You will find a good overview of this POS systems in the market.