The growth of e-commerce is transforming the retail landscape, magnifying the importance of the customer experience in order to build consumer loyalty.
According to a new report from VDC Research, brick and mortar retailers are investing in point-of-sale (POS) solutions in order to increase efficiency as well as provide customers with faster checkout and some form of personalisation. While 80% of transactions still occur in physical locations, retailers need to adapt to the quickly changing landscape in order to keep pace with digital channels.
POS solutions such as mobile POS, self-checkout, and personal shopping systems are helping to deliver a compelling in-store experience to customers. “A perfect path to purchase means that critical consumer information is available exactly when needed, not only on the shoppers’ devices but also on the store clerks’ mobile POS units,” said Andy Adelson, Senior Analyst of AutoID and Data Capture technology at VDC Research. VDC’s research found that retailer’s investments in POS solutions are primarily focused on expanding self-checkout (SCO) in order to accelerate checkout and decrease wait times for customers. Retailers are also looking to their POS investments to improve the productivity of store associates. To this end, retailers are equipping their employees with mobile devices such as tablets smartphones, and handheld computers, in order to give them greater access to real time information to better support customers.
VDC states that new POS solutions have the potential to improve retailers’ top line revenues. However, many retailers are still maintaining older legacy POS solutions that cannot effectively integrate with other applications, such as order management.
According to VDC’s survey results, only 46% of retailers reported that their POS data is highly reliable and is being used to make decisions. “Retailers should look to further integrate the POS with other key applications such as order, inventory, and workplace management in order to leverage the most accurate data when making strategic business decisions,” said Adelson.
The report states that POS budgets will continue to grow during the forecast period, much of which will be used to implement 2D scanning technology at the point of sale. However, there remains a large installed base of legacy laser scanner and liner imagers, particularly among smaller retailers. UPC barcodes remain the de facto barcode for POS transactions, whereas the scalability of RFID and Digimarc are limited to niche use cases.
“As the percentage of retail sales made online continues to increase, brick and mortar retailers need to be strategic about their POS investments in order to ensure that their customers are getting the most out of their in-store experience,” said Adelson. From mobile POS to self-checkout and buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), the modernisation of POS infrastructure will have significant impacts on the future of retail.
Leading POS Investment Goals over Next 24 Months.