Convenience Store Decisions – In its earliest incarnation, a point-of-sale (POS) terminal was little more than a computerized substitute for the traditional cash register. It reduced human error by introducing barcode scanning and eliminating the need for price tags.
Since then, POS technology has added abundant functions ranging from sales reporting and analytics to employee and inventory management. Add appropriate applications and a retail POS can administer customer profiles, tracks histories, manages formal loyalty programs and rewards customer consistency.
A recent survey from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), a technology consultancy, found that retailers want POS to improve the customer’s overall experience. A major focus is on customer identification and an improved shopping experience (70%), customer mobile experience alignment (57%) and giving sales associates mobile tools to better perform their jobs (46%). Other concerns include managing data in real time (33%) and the customer’s in-store experience (26%), which includes everything from digital signage to “smart” dressing rooms with an RFID reader that scans items taken into the dressing room and then provides customers with additional product information.
Perry Kramer, vice president and practice lead at BRP, believes customers now expect the benefits that a robust POS systems provides, and as a result, even small, independent operators need the basic technology.
“Core features include in-stock inventory visibility, loyalty rewards redemption on the POS or the customer’s phone, product information and consumer reviews and automate reordering,” Kramer said. “Many of the newer POS systems designed for small retailers will facilitate the advanced customer experience consumers expect. Smaller retailers must compete to remain relevant with the evolving expectations of shoppers from multiple demographics.”
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