Posted: 21 July 2017
For decades, the transfer of sales from traditional brick and mortar retail stores to online retailers has seemed inevitable. Shipment speeds continue to get faster and doing an internet search to find a product is far more palatable for some consumers than wandering through a physical store.
Traditional stores, however, have managed to retain a purpose. That purpose can be the personal touch for customers wanting to be in physical proximity to the product and seller, or as a complement to the store's online presence. The key for the traditional to survive the digital, it seems, is for the traditional to embrace the digital.
New technology is fast becoming an integral part of the POS marketing process in retail storefronts, and with this new technology comes an opportunity for companies to connect with in-store customers in new ways. While you may think shoppers will insist that they enter a store with a list and a mission to stick to it, the reality, according to a survey from CreditCards.com, is that 84% of shoppers admit to having made an impulse purchase. A staggering 79% of those impulse buys were at a physical store.
These statistics suggest there is selling potential that is being underdeveloped due to many stores actively pushing their customers to online platforms. Because of this, retailers are beginning to look deeper into the POS technologies that best capitalise on the unique experience retail stores can offer.
Regardless of how or where a product is sold, there will always be one constant: shoppers want it their way. And when it comes to in-store shopping, research conducted by Interactions shows that 84% of shoppers expect technology in the store to create a better shopping experience. This coincides with 62% of shoppers wanting a personal greeting from a person. This provides more evidence that consumers aren't strictly looking for more human interaction or more digital interaction, but rather a combination of both.
One of the most promising trends for the future of retail technology comes from within the rise of "click and collect." This tactic, pioneered by pizza delivery companies, allows consumers to place an order online, then pick it up in the store. It translated easily to retail markets, where customers were happy to save on shipping charges and companies could save money by eluding "last-mile" delivery charges.
What does this have to do with POS technology? A 2015 poll conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ISCS) showed that between December 28 and December 30, 32% of shoppers used click and collect for purchases, and 69% of those shoppers made an additional purchase at the store when they went to pick their item up.
The opportunities available to create more sales in-store makes it clear that brick and mortar stores are now entwined with the digital needs of consumers. You can make a purchase on your phone on the way to the store from which you're making the purchase. The reason this is integral for POS technology is that click and collect does what regular online shopping cannot; it gets people in the store. Once in the store, the retailer is in an environment they can control far more efficiently to provide the customer with a valuable add-on experience through the successful utilisation of technology.