With 2020 wrapping up, now is a great time to reflect on the previous months and plan for the coming year. With this in mind, here are some retail technology solutions and services you should consider offering as a supplement to your existing line card in 2021. Not only will you position your customers for success, but by diversifying your portfolio, you’ll build a level of stability not typically achievable by selling data capture and POS only.
—Digital signage can significantly impact retail sales, especially when combined with cameras or sensors that drive messaging specific to nearby shoppers. Digital signage can also be integrated with POS software to drive messaging for products on sale or at low inventory levels.
IP video cameras
—By integrating IP cameras and video management software with the POS system, merchants can access a wealth of data useful in improving their bottom lines. Examples include:
Networking and security infrastructure
- Identifying loss at the POS. Retailers can stop employees from giving “sweetheart”/markdown deals to friends and accomplices, or voiding transactions, pocketing the money and nabbing refunds.
- Identifying training issues. Not every void, refund and markdown is the result of an employee trying to steal. Oftentimes, employees struggle with operating the POS correctly.
- Improving marketing. Using readily available video analytics, it’s possible to count customers, track how people move through a store and see where they dwell. This data can be married with a digital signage solution to push targeted promotions to customers passing by.
—The sophistication of today’s technology calls for commercial-grade networking solutions with additional security measures, such as malware protection and firewall. Additionally, many customers now expect free Wi-Fi when shopping, so having a purpose-built guest network is ideal.
Unified communications (UC)
—With UC, various departments can have their own virtual meeting rooms to plan and carry out corporate initiatives via text chat, videoconferences or voice calls. A UC solution can also be integrated into your customer’s website, allowing online shoppers to initiate text-based chats that can easily be routed for assistance. If your customers have multiple locations, UC can have even more impact as calls can be transferred efficiently between locations.
NFC tags, beacons and QR codes
—These technologies allow retailers to deliver targeted messaging to shoppers as they walk through a store. Uses and benefits include delivering personal offers and coupons, making it easier for shoppers to get assistance and even self-checkout.
—By deploying mobile POS and payment terminals, store associates can get out from behind a counter and interact with customers in meaningful ways. Additionally, checkout can occur anywhere in the store, improving the customer experience.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by some of these retail technology opportunities, don’t sweat it. Ingram Micro has a team of specialists standing by to help. To get started, contact Daryl Schuster
, Ingram Micro’s DC/POS expert.