SMART POS: Moving From Point Of Sales To Point Of Experience And Satisfaction

Amit Shrivastav, Project Manager, Kellton Tech | Monday, 14 January 2019, 11:36 IST

He is passionate about delivering superior customer experience and has helped organizations jump start their digital transformation journey. Amit believes in creating sustainable experiences using latest trends in technology.

Retailers today know more about the purchase journeys of customers on digital channels than inside the physical retail stores. It’s ironic because physical stores should know more about customers’ behavior attributes and shopping patterns than the systems tracking them virtually. Thankfully, the smart Point of Sale platforms, are cementing this wide gap with pace and precision.

More than being merely a transaction facilitator, the modern day POS terminals are about offering seamless omnichannel experiences to customers and merchants. They boost the flexibility and agility of retail organizations and helps with intelligent reporting on constantly changing trends and customer behavior. Not only do these platforms facilitate cash and inventory monitoring, but also generate valuable customer insights and integrate diverse business transactions across locations, platforms, and devices.

Evolution of POS

James Ritty embarked on the POS journey in the year 1879. Initially, the platform was just an “incorruptible cashier” that helped him in registering transactions performed for his saloon business. Years later in 1906, Charles F. Kettering powered the incorruptible cashier with an electric motor. And finally, in the year 1970, the stepping stone for the modern day POS was kept, when it was computerized. At present, the POS systems are a complete retail management solution.

"More than being merely a transaction facilitator, the modern day POS terminals are about offering seamless omnichannel experiences to customers and merchants"

The Role of POS in the Contemporary Business Environment

It was only recently when industries started seeing the impact of digitally revolutionized PoS, so much so that a study by IHL figured the mPOS (mobile Point of Sales) software installs are up by 41% in NA (North America) YoY (year-on-year) basis.

Over the years, a trend is observed where PoS systems have evolved from mere cash registers to complete retail management solutions. This has enabled retailers to stay on top of their inventory, CRM, reporting, and E-commerce from a single platform. The PoS systems of today are more portable, affordable, and digital. However, there’s still a huge scope for disruption at this stage.

With the internet sales rising continuously (i.e. over approximately 15% each quarter) and the ecommerce share estimated to reach 17.5% of the total global sales by 2021, the stage looks all set for a ‘change’.

What should businesses aim for?

Off late, Digital POS systems have simply meant an electronic checkout system or at max an in-store screen for brand display and signage. However, this notion is gradually changing. With the continuously evolving technologies, the POS terminals have scaled too. To put more appropriately, the mPOS should no more only be defined as a point of sale, rather it is a "point of experience and satisfaction.”

From being merely cash registers to integrating barcodes, credit card transactions, and further to mobiles, tablets, mobile POS systems, digital wallets, and more, modern day POS terminals allow retailers in being customer-centric, besides offering operational benefits.

In other words, it primarily helps shop-floor sales teams in deploying smarter approach to selling products and services. Moreover, it adds to the customer satisfaction level by delivering an enriched experience, and keeping them encouraged to come back again and again.

The 'touch' to 'technology' paradigm is ushering in the era of 'connected digital POS’. This is a junction where information about people and devices will help retailers sell better and customers shop smarter.

Questions and challenges for defining Digital PoS strategies:

• How can businesses deliver an instant customer value by using the digital POS systems?
• How can shopping experience be personalized through unified POS?

The digitally-powered POS plays an imperative role in offering a seamless customer experience to, but at the same time, it also provides real-time data and information from disparate touch points spread across locations. It's not just about creating a future-proof POS system, rather about creating a unified experience.

Furthermore, as future-proofing exercises of POS, the collaboration between Pay by Voice, Pay by Face, integrated cross outlets, mobile shopping, and various other evolutions can pave way for greater experience.

mPOS Transcends Beyond the Conventional Aspects

In the digital economy characterized by agility and ubiquity, customers demand a personalized experience that can take them by surprise and delight them every time they communicate and interact. To drive this, businesses must implement measures to offer an omnichannel experience. The thoughts and strategies should transcend conventional parameters, such as product and price.

The current and future success depends upon whether or not businesses are focusing on providing convenience, curation as well as an immersive experience. The retail experience in this dynamic business environment is directly proportional to the brand's promise, and hence, it is the core to building consumer loyalty.

In order to win consumer loyalty and advocacy, businesses must focus on the qualitative aspects of customer experience; retailers must strive for enhanced, scalable, and sustainable POS systems, which are not just limited to monitoring 'sales' but also leave an ever lasting impression on customers buying across platforms and devices.