Global impact: goodbye oldschool Point of Sales
Why wait in line at the cash register when your payment can be processed all over the store?
This is part 2 of 4 in our new mini-series about the future of commerce in London.
goodbye oldschool point of sales (POS)
What does the future of omnichannel commerce hold? Karoline Lotz Jonassen went to London to gain inspiration on how retailers are meeting customers’ needs in Europe’s biggest shopping mecca.
This is the second article in a mini-series about the future of commerce. In this episode, she dives into omnichannel POS.
point of sales in London
It should never be difficult for me to give a company my money. It is really that simple.
If paying comes with troubles or obstacles, I will start to reconsider the purchase itself.
After experiencing how brands use digital POS in London I am left with one thought; This should be implemented in every single omnichannel company!
What is a POS system?
Point of sales (POS) is no longer just a cash register, it holds capabilities within automated inventory management across channels, helps you get a single view of your customer and data and makes it easier to provide a personalised experience in your omnichannel setup.
According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experience.
There are several different POS systems. Cloud POS, mobile POS, traditional POS – you name it.
Omnichannel POS is the common term for modern, digital POS systems.
Where an oldschool POS system stores your data on-premise, an omnichannel POS is a digital setup that centralises all sales channels.
This means you can access and track orders, customers and inventory automatically and in real-time.
what is cloud pos and mobile pos?
Data from a cloud POS (cPOS) can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Mobile POS (mPOS) is simply digital POS in a mobile setup which can be installed on both tablets, smartphones and computers – freeing in-store staff from the checkout counter and enabling smooth transactions.
For me as a customer, POS means that I no longer have to waste my time in line at the cash register. Instead, the payment process is more seamless and spread out over the entire store.
Let’s take a look at some of the stores where I tried POS.
mobile point of sales
One of the first stores I enter on Oxford Street is Schuh.
Schuh is a Scottish footwear retailer with 132 stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Upon my visit, I read about the footwear chain whose strategy reportedly is to deliver a superior omnichannel experience that comes to life in the stores. Which it does!
According to Practicology and Google’s European Omnichannel CX Review, Schuh provides the best omnichannel customer experience in the UK and the third best in Europe.
Schuh has implemented mobile POS, and the in-store staff have adopted to the new technologies.
As I enter the store, it is clear that mPOS makes the job easier for the staff when it comes to inventory management and customer service. And even better, they understand what I and every other customer get out of the mobile POS – a smooth experience without friction and frustrating time wasting.
The wait time is almost eliminated. The employees in the store tell me, with great enthusiasm, how they use the system to create a seamless experience between channels.
The organisation’s adaption is always a great pitfall when it comes to digital transformation, but Schuh seems to be nailing it.
Browsing through the stores of London it is clear that Schuh is not the only retailer who has implemented omnichannel POS. Nike, Adidas and others have it as well.
Although there is no doubt that the UK is a bit ahead in the journey of creating a single view of the customer, eliminating in-store wait time and optimising store operations.
stockroom requests and mobile inventory
My POS focus takes me to Adidas' flagship store - their most digital store to date with more than 100 digital touchpoints.
The store is rewarded with a NPS score of 94-97%, which is one of the best in the world, according to Hannah Mercer, vice president of global retail and franchise operations at Adidas.
This is without a doubt thanks to the immersive experience with well-thought-out use of technology. One being their POS.
The in-store employees are equipped with a mobile device with which they can handle the entire payment process and perform real-time stock checks.
Furthermore, they can use the inventory app on mobile POS to send an order to the queue. In no time, my order gets picked up by another employee and the product is taken to the shop floor, straight to me.
In London, I experienced how the omnichannel POS creates a much better customer experience, and there is no doubt that it is relevant in all cases where you wish to access data on sales, stock and customer behaviour as well as delivering a great customer experience.
Omnichannel POS plays an important role in securing a future proof omnichannel setup with a single view of data – I will touch much more upon this area in the fourth episode of the London series.
3 benefits of omnichannel point of sales
After visiting London, I have reflected and discussed the importance of prioritising your point of sales with my colleagues. Therefore, I present to you: Why you must implement a POS.
Here are three benefits:
With a cloud POS your data floats between your systems. This means that you are provided with all relevant information across channels and teams. This creates a unique opportunity to offer excellent customer service in all channels.
You can utilise in-store data on stock, customer behaviour and intent online as well as the other way around.
You can activate and empower your team with the visibility of relevant information.
As an example, POS makes it easy to find customer’s design choices or the size and fit they usually buy or to create returns, change, cancel or modify orders no matter how and where you are in contact with the customer.
When it comes to stock data you can provide this information wherever it is needed. Whether it is showcasing in-store stock online or offering a great service when a customer asks for a size that is not merchandised on the floor.
The staff can easily access their own store, their sister stores and the online inventory in the POS system. This saves time on calling sister stores, the warehouse or even having to run to the stockroom to check availability.
All of what that provides the customer with a smooth and service-minded experience.
Agility in your setup
With oldschool analog technologies, you can almost be sure that your tools are outdated before you have even implemented them.
Where as cloud-based services help you make sure that you can quickly adapt to new trends and get the latest updates. A great example is the opportunity to accept all current and future payment methods.
Modern POS systems are much more user friendly for your staff and will provide a better customer experience.
Automation and efficiency
By tracking sales in real-time, you get an easy overview of performance and inventory levels, while accounting and reporting are made much easier with automation and cloud software.
Stock control is often a huge pain for retailers and brands using an outdated POS system – with stock accuracy as low as 60%.
With omnichannel POS, stock control is made both easier and more accurate.
In IMPACT we have seen our customers lift their stock accuracy to as 98% after implementing omnichannel POS.
Another way omnichannel POS makes the life of a brand easier is by providing features to set up automated triggers to reorder products when stock levels reach a certain low.
With a mobile POS system, the store staff is no longer tied to the cash register. This is a great way to remove unnecessary expenses on staffing, and it allows the employees to focus on helping the customer decide on the right products while providing a seamless experience.
ABOUT THE LONDON SERIES
Karoline Lotz Jonassen is an E-Business Consultant at IMPACT and helps our clients develop their e-commerce strategy, digital concepts, and roadmaps to optimise their returns on digital investments.
As part of the Omnichannel Index 2020, Karoline went to London to gain insights and inspiration on how retailers are meeting customers’ needs in Europe’s biggest shopping mecca.
She has tested in-store apps, conducted self-checkout, and spoke with staff regarding their digital touchpoints in-store.
In the next segments, Karoline will look at digital self-checkout and single-view of data.