How these Point of Sale (POS) trends are creating new business opportunities in the retail industry

As technology advances, the retail industry is undergoing a transformation, unlike anything the industry has ever seen. New emerging Point of Sale trends is shaking up the retail space with retailers trying to keep up with the ever-changing needs of consumers.

POS systems have come a long way from just being a tool to record transactions to a dynamic platform that can integrate your marketing, inventory, accounting, and data analytics. Retailers who are leveraging the technology advancements are thriving and are finding new ways to interact with consumers. Here are some of the Point of Sale trends that are creating new business opportunities for the retailers:

Transition to cloud-based POS

According to Forbes, 61% of merchants have embraced cloud-based POS for their business. As technology advances, businesses are more connected than ever. Cloud-based POS has enabled various game-changing features for retailers like location-based discounts, real-time reporting, and customer management. To make the most out of technological advancements in the payment industry, it is necessary that POS systems are driven by agile, cloud-based software in order to enjoy the full benefits of today’s cutting-edge technology.

The biggest advantage of using a cloud-based POS solution is that retailers can do everything from easily accessing their data to upgrading their software across all the stores at the same time. Multiple stores can be updated and upgraded in just minutes, which makes doing business easier for retailers. Cloud-based POS systems are able to keep up with the retailer’s daily operations and are also able to scale up if the situation arises in the future. Cloud-based POS solutions also provide crucial features like CRM solution, guest feedback, reporting & analytics, and payroll. It also gives you an option to add a feature vital to the success of your business should the need arises in the future.

Mobile Payments                               

Gone are the days when cash was the preferred medium of the transaction at retailers. Customers want to spend as little time as possible while making a purchase. So, those long queues at the checkout line are doing anyone any favors. According to Harvard Business School professor’s research paper, Americans wait in lines 37 billion hours a year.  Advancements made in the payment technology space have amplified the customer experience, driven loyalty, and boosted the overall success of the retail business. Mobile wallets are increasingly being embraced by consumers to easily pay for things in person or online.

Today’s consumers love the convenience, the security and authentication features of mobile payment options. Mobile payment offers a wide variety of advantages over cash with a range of options from credit cards to contactless payments. Cashless payments provide speed, convenience, guaranteed payment for merchants, and security and transparency for both consumers and merchants. Recent trends indicate shoppers using less cash than in the past and eight of 10 customers worldwide use a tablet, smartphone, a computer, or some form of digital technology within the store as they shop.

AI Integration

The influx of disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence is bringing exciting change to the retail industry and transforming the industry for better. ABI Research projects the total installed base of AI-enabled camera systems in retail is expected to grow from 420,000 in 2020 to 2.37 million in 2024. AI integration is helping retailers keep their customers engaged, delighted, and convert the majority of opportunities into sales.

The younger generation is more receptive to the inclusion of AI in their day to day lives. AI enables various features like better shopping experience, fraud prevention, and real-time tracking of inventory. Artificial Intelligence is extensively being used to collect crucial data points into customer’s behavior and offer relevant products based on their preferences and past purchases. AI-Integrated POS solutions have proved to be a crucial tool in targeted marketing campaigns. Retailers can now gain valuable insights from tons of customer data which is being used to reach the right set of customers. AI algorithms have paved the way for a better understanding of consumer preferences which in turn is used to create more personalized and relevant promotional campaigns leading to improved customer acquisition.

Usage of Big Data & Analytics

The retail industry has never seen this amount and variety of data being produced across various domains of the business. POS systems are evolving to provide an abundance of data and analytics solutions that can help retailers make smarter, data-driven decisions about their business. In order to personalize and enhance the customer experience, one has to understand every aspect of the customer buying journey, and that can be done through analyzing data and analytics through your POS.

Retailers are observing increased sales per visit with a deeper understanding of consumer’s purchase patterns, cross-selling, and up-selling trends along with improved inventory management. The data gathered from social media is used to identify changes in customer demand for products and new emerging trends. Retailers are actively looking to correlate their products and services to viral events and social topics. All these insights into customer’s purchasing habits have dramatically improved the efficiency of marketing campaigns.

For instance, restaurateurs in high-end establishments now have pre-built dashboards and individualized reports to their disposal which has helped create a more personalized customer experience for their frequent visitors.

Unmanned Retail

The scale and pace of the unmanned or automated retail have picked up a lot in recent years. Earlier it was only limited to vending machines but now we see unmanned kiosks and unattended grocery stores all around us. Experts predict that the interactive kiosk sector in the US will be worth more than $1 billion by 2020. The current epidemic is only going to push this trend to greater heights with consumers having the chance to experience the unmanned retail service in full capacity.

The popularity of zero-touch shopping is going to dramatically increase especially for food retail. Supermarkets are experimenting with cashier-less stores with core functions such as store monitoring, checkout, and payment is handled by AI technologies. According to a recent survey, 8 out of 10 Americans would prefer fully-automated stores to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. There is a clear business case for unmanned retail when you take into various driving factors like lower labor costs, new data collection capabilities, and improved operational efficiency.

As a tech services company, Sankey Solutions have architected POS  solutions for multiple retailers across Europe and Asia enabling real-time tracking of inventory, storing customer profiles, and keeping the retail operations running like a well-oiled machine.

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