Retail POS Innovations to Lookout for in 2019
The retail industry is a spectacular example of commercial evolution for the modern world. From inefficient manual checkout processes in the 60s to digitized POS-based operations, retail stores have come a long way. In fact, POS technology has been a catalyst for retail growth as it gave the capability to handle growing sales figures across multiple locations.
According to an industry report, the market value of the POS terminal industry is expected to touch $98 billion by 2022, growing at a healthy CAGR of 13.5 percent.
But what’s still driving growth in a sector that has seemed to have achieved everything in the past two decades Innovation? Though retail operations have become more efficient and productive over the years, there is a huge scope for making them better. When it comes to retail, the core focus should be on attracting, retaining and satisfying potential customer base. And according to experts, the key to success is offering a personalized shopping experience.
Retail consumers seek a personalized experience, nowadays. And the evolution of POS through technological innovations is enabling retailers to be more efficient in delivering highly-personalized customer experiences. Here are some of the top innovations that are transforming POS systems and giving an impetus to the retail industry:
AI-powered Intelligent Solutions
According to modern retail trends, consumers are looking to connect closely with brands that offer customized shopping experiences, in and outside stores. With the help of AI, retailers can tap in customer’s desires by learning from their past behaviors and providing them exactly the things they want.
As discussed above, visual search is one way of making shopping experiences more personalized. Retailers are also leveraging the AI technology by creating recommendation engines for their websites and in-store kiosks. Even the POS systems are using AI to become more efficient at data analysis and reporting useful metrics.
Retailers are also adding intelligent chatbots to their customer engagement cycles. Retailers can build smart POS kiosks that can recommend products based on your answers giving consumers freedom from mindless searching across product categories.
Read: How Azilen Helped Adega Build Next-gen POS Solution Powered by Advanced Technologies
POS systems have transformed from a standalone cash register to powerful, networked solutions that can provide services, data and solutions, on-demand as and when required. As a large part of the retail industry is dominated by small businesses, the infusion of cloud technology in the POS domain has come as a breath of fresh air.
Small players cannot afford to spend a large amount of working capital on network infrastructures. With a cloud-as-a-service operational model, they can scale as per their need, giving them access to enterprise-grade solutions at an economical cost.
The cloud-based approach has brought down the upfront installation cost significantly. Nowadays, tablet-based cloud POS systems have eliminated the need for investing in dedicated servers and hardware, thus making POS software an important aspect of modern retail operations.
Also, such a solution makes a retailer more efficient in managing customers, orders, sales and deriving valuable insights, that was not possible before. These insights help in understanding consumers better, position the brand effectively and the creation of targeted marketing strategies for rapid growth.
Self-scan & Go Automation
In 2016, Amazon launched a revolutionary concept store Amazon Go that allowed shoppers to shop and walk out without having to stand in checkout lines. Touted to work on the Just-walk-out technology, this new technique completely changed how everyone saw the retail ecosystem.
The self-scan and go automation domain have been bustling with activity ever since. The concept enabled shoppers to add products to their carts at a physical store. When they leave the store, the exit point automatically scans the cart without waiting and charges the final bill amount from their digital wallet/credit cards/preferred mode of payment.
The automation technology is eliminating the need for human interaction at stores and reducing time wasted on waiting in checkout lines – a welcoming change from the perspective of the modern consumer.
Visual Search Technology
The world is increasingly becoming visually-stimulating and the retail industry isn’t untouched by the phenomenon. Consumers look for a product on their mobiles, billboards, social media or eCommerce websites and search for them at local retail stores.
Though visual search technology has been on the digital landscape for a while now, it has finally become potent to mention as an innovative trend. In a world dominated by imagery, retailers can enhance the in-store experience by giving them the option to visually-search. Customers can walk-in, upload photographs of a product they are looking for and get information instantly if a product is available in the store or not.
When conjoined with the POS solution, visual search technology can be a revenue booster. It opens a spectacular upselling opportunity for in-store staff members, at one hand and giving the customers exactly what they want without having to explain everything and showing pictures, instead.
Big Data Analytics
Data analytics has been the hot buzzword among entrepreneurial circles irrespective of the industry segment. For the POS and retail industry, big data analytics is enabling retailers to make smarter, data-driven decisions regarding inventory management, marketing and customer engagement.
When big data analytics is linked with the power of Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI), it becomes more powerful. A POS software that captures valuable business data can also extract valuable insights from the data itself. As AI is a dynamic technology capable of dealing with vast amounts of data, it can make it easier for retailers to evaluate their initiatives and transform shopping trends into data-driven actions.
As retailers shift towards delivering a highly-personalized experience, new trends and technologies will continue to disrupt the industry. More focus will be on closely tracking customer data and derive data-backed insights. With a powerful POS system capable of capturing, analyzing and reporting data, retailers can be ready for future challenges. At Azilen, we have always been a proponent of innovation and can help your retail operations become more efficient with a next-gen POS solution.