M2M: Reinventing the Point-of-Sale Experience
It’s no secret that many traditional retailers are struggling to compete with online shopping alternatives and keep customers engaged in stores. This trend may be even more prevalent for Canadian businesses: a recent study by eMarketer Research projected that e-commerce sales in Canada would outpace the U.S. through 2016, growing about 11% within the four-year span. Furthermore, online sales in Canada are projected to reach US$21.5 billion in 2014, and will continue to rise to reach US$30.9 billion by next year.
So what can traditional retailers do? There are a number of steps retailers can take in order to refresh their stores, improve the customer experience and streamline internal operations. One of these steps is replacing the conventional point-of-sale (POS) system with a more modern, more effective, wireless system.
This blog post will look at a number of advantages that wireless POS systems present, including:
They’re easier to use. Wireless POS systems give salespeople more flexibility, as they’re able to conduct transactions from anywhere in the store or even outside of the store. This is particularly helpful during special events, where a station or booth is setup outside. Previously, many of these types of setups allowed for cash-only transactions, but with wireless POS systems, customers can pay however they like.
They allow for more growth. With a proprietary, conventional POS system that’s typically expensive, you’re tied to the setup and have to go through a lengthy process (and/or high costs) to make changes or upgrades. You likely also have to lock into a long-term contract. However, a wireless system can be easily upgraded and expanded, and it makes for a natural synergy with other high-tech payment options, like Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows customers to complete transactions by simply holding their compatible smartphone up to a contactless payment terminal.
They can enhance the customer experience. One of the biggest frustrations many customers have when shopping is the need to wait in line. The ability for a salesperson to complete a transaction from virtually anywhere in the store, using a portable POS unit, helps speed up the process for both the customer and the salesperson and increases the likelihood that those customers will shop there again in the future.
They can increase profits. This, in turn, can lead to additional sales, as salespeople can tend to more people in a shorter period of time, and potential customers aren’t turned away by the perception of long wait times for help or to complete the transaction.
They enable retailers to refresh their store design. With a wireless POS system in place, the store no longer needs to be designed around a central cash register. Design can flow more freely, and additional space can be opened up to allow for displaying more products or facilitating more hands-on time with them.
They can enhance a retailer’s reputation. In this day and age of retail, perception and experience is everything. And employing a wireless POS system, which typically utilizes a user-friendly device like a smartphone or tablet, tells current and prospective customers that you’re in tune with new technology, understand their needs and respect their time.
The bottom line
Traditional retailers have enough to worry about in today’s competitive market. Switching to a wireless POS system is a great start toward keeping the in-store experience fresh.
What’s holding you back from upgrading to a wireless POS system? Tell us your concerns in the comments section below.