The newest POS solutions are becoming a focal point to drive omnichannel sales. Consumers are more sophisticated than ever and they anticipate doing business with a retail brand, not just a store. The brand experience has to follow the customer wherever they shop. This means POS solutions need to be more flexible than ever to help retailers deliver on the brand promise of omnichannel marketing.
According to Integrated Solutions for Retailers, 2015 will be the year of seamless engagement. The “Any-Channel Revolution” is starting to take shape as retailers become disenchanted with current POS solutions and start looking for new solutions that will integrate POS, e-commerce, CRM, and other core components. The trend in the coming year will be to identify new technologies that will connect POS solutions with back-end business processes. The goal is to create a single, integrated solution that can power any transaction channel.
1. Promoting a Fluid Shopping Experience
The drive toward omnichannel is prompting retailers to find new ways to make their in-store shopping experience as seamless as online shopping. As a result, POS solutions are promoting more high-touch customer interaction. Sales associates want more access to back-end processes to check inventory and back orders. Retailers want to present more multimedia content to promote goods, either through in-store presentations or even delivered to shoppers’ mobile devices. Shoppers want access to product information, including comparative data. And the POS solutions also need to support customer loyalty programs.
2. Integrated Order Management
Retailers are increasingly adopting an Amazon sales model that brings together POS solutions and product ordering. Analysts have identified centralized order management as essential to the omnichannel experience. POS has to be the interface for order management across all channels in order to boost customer satisfaction and reduce the cost of sales.
3. Incorporating Legacy Systems
In order to create an end-to-end retail strategy that promotes an omnichannel experience, retailers are using their POS solutions as the bridge between new technology and legacy systems. Many retailers are still relying on outdated database and inventory management systems. Until these legacy systems are replaced, the POS system will serve as the interface between old and new systems.
4. Paving the Way to the Future
In planning out their omnichannel future, retailers are going to be looking to adopt open POS solutions that give them maximum flexibility and the ability to integrate new systems. Rather than adopting closed POS systems from a single vendor, retailers will be looking for new solutions that both meet their immediate needs and that can be easily integrated into emerging systems that power the omnichannel experience.
5. Migrating to Mobility and the Cloud
The coming generation of POS solutions will be driven by handheld devices and cloud technology. The combination of mobile and cloud provides the kind of extensibility and versatility that retailers want. Using cloud-based resources minimizes their enterprise investment and simplifies integration, making it easier to build an omnichannel infrastructure. Adapting mobile technology for POS provides maximum flexibility for retailers; since more online shopping is being done with smartphones and tablets it seems logical to use smartphones and tablets for in-store transactions as well. And the combination of cloud and mobile helps future proof POS solutions; the cost of investment is low and migration to the next generation omnichannel/POS solution is much easier.
These are just some of the trends shaping the market for POS solutions in 2015. As retailers consider to consider their omnichannel options, they will be looking for POS solutions that give them maximum flexibility and a path to open future sales channels.