Digitalization has impacted the retail industry big time! And it has completely changed the practices and approaches of retailers. These changes have been forcibly adopted by the retailers because they were left with no other option otherwise they would have vanished. Basically, what digitalization has done is it made all international and local brands competitors of each other and made it compulsory for them to provide exceptional customer experience regardless of their size in order to sustain their market share. This trend has extended the responsibility of retail POS from accountancy and operational management to the source of sustainability in this connected age we live in. Do you know what type of connectivity is required in the retail industry? Let me help you! It includes,
- Connectivity with the information
- Connectivity with the people
- Connectivity with the Devices (Internet of Things)
But how can retailers use these web-connected technologies? See the picture below! The majority of international retailers are expecting more than just cloud computing features because they are using it as a technology rather than software. This means, they are not only using POS for managing their store operations but the system is helping them in developing a specific and customer preferred business approach. This connectivity helps the shoppers to shop smartly while also making it easy for the retailers to sell smartly.
These cloud-based POS systems have three main functions that including ACT (Assistive Consumer Technology), ART (Assistive Retailer Technology) and Retailtainment (Consumer Entertaining Technology). These functions have completely transformed the retail industry in a positive way. It can be stated that the retail industry has become more responsive, engaging and professional at the same time because of the technology intervention. How these functions are associated with the above-listed web technologies? You can have the answer to this question from the below discussion.
Connectivity with the Information
Why retailers have been recording their expenses manually in the past even when they have to hire individual resources for data recording? This is because information has been important for them since always! However, the traditional barriers have limited the recording, accessibility, and consideration of all the important information at the time of decision making for the retailers. The new and updated cloud base POS solution ensures the connectivity of the POS with information. In particular, to the cloud POS solutions, the term of Assistive Consumer Technology (AST) is used that basically an updated feature of Online Retail POS systems. It enables the retailers to provide the high-end customer experience that won’t let them forget the brand and also making it easy for them to shop smartly. But how? The feature of ART makes the past history, preferences and all related information of the particular customer access to the shop-floor sales team. In simple words, ART is the technology for retailers that help them in selling smartly with the help of the stored real-time data like Sephora. While tracking the sales in real-time and considering the contribution of individual products in that generated revenue enables the retailers to remain professional while selling.
Connectivity with the People
The main idea behind Cloud-based POS solutions in the retail industry is to maximize the accessibility of the retailers as well as of the customers with the store. The past researches have evident that online shopping has extended the sales record of traditional sales. Other than this, people have made this a habit of checking their followed fashion or another retail store before going to sleep. The ACT is using this habit as an opportunity of attaining the desired sales targets. POS is connected with the people (Customers) for remaining responsive. Retail stores have shifted all the related information on the web for making it convenient for the customers to find their needed products and solutions without actually visiting the store. Like, Diesel has replaced the trend of the traditional changing room with connected changing rooms with ACT supportive cloud base POS systems. Just think for a second, how can you compete if your POS solution does not let you connect with your customers?
Connectivity with the Devices
One of the main concepts especially for retailers is brand engagement with the customers. If your potential buyers do not remember your brand/store at the time of searching and purchasing, then how connectivity with the people and information can help you? Therefore, technologically updated cloud POS offers the connectivity of the retailers with the devices of the customers. The main purpose of retailtainment is to maintain the connection with the consumers by entertaining them. This technology is not designed to assist the retailers or consumers but to make shopping a fun and easy experience. Let me explain you with the example of Walmart that uses Mobile applications supporting Augmented Reality in their store for revealing the life-size toy characters that are available in the toy aisles, enabling people to play with those toys before buying them.
You as a retailer might get frustrated because of the constant updates in the industry as you cannot avoid technology. And this is just the beginning. You can have a better understanding of these digital transformations that are predicted in the near future after digital POS according to the report of the BBC from the below picture. These are the different areas of focus that are predicted to bring change in the retail industry.
Cloud computing based retail POS has made the retail store dependent on them for remaining productivity as well as profitability. The connectivity of information, people and devices has made the retailers powerful. This is because cloud base POS makes the retailers well informed that they develop the ability to determine the most popular and demanded products at a particular time. They can use this information as an opportunity of maximizing their sales and revenues by remaining responsive to customer’s needs.
It can be concluded that digital POS provides three types of connectivity to the retailers that make them their customer’s favorite. And the article has also indicated the future developments in the retail industry that will further evolve the operations and working standards. We can call it a customer-centric approach but do you know the actual reason for its success? This well-informed behavior of the retailers reduces the expenses of extra assumed products and services that are being offered to the customers with the expectations that they might need it. Now with digital POS, retailers get the idea of the kind of products that specific customer is interested in, giving them the opportunity to place those products on the front shelf. On the other hand, the connectivity with the people of this cloud-based management software has eliminated the time barrier that was restricting the shopping of the customers. They now have access to the store 24/7 while Artificial Intelligence has also made product search easy and convenient. In general marketing concepts, retailers have used technology for taking advantage of customer’s weakness i.e. impulsive buying. Making the products available on their devices along with the reviews and open end conversations with other customers has managed to gain the trust of the customers. Therefore, it is not wrong to say that retailers have smartly used technology for implementing the marketing concepts in their stores.