Bringing POS up to Speed
With the huge popularity of online shopping, traditional point of sale techniques in physical stores are on hard times: the process is often slower than the digital counterpart, consumers often have to wait in a line before making their purchases, and physical price changes take more time and effort to implement than those in an online marketplace.
So what options does a business owner have to make this process more attractive and efficient, both for the consumers and the business itself? Take a look at a few modernization treatments that several companies have embraced:
1. Using mobile POS
A transition from the traditional check-out counter to a more adaptable and flexible method of payment such as the mPOS: a smart phone or tablet that can be made capable of scanning barcodes, printing receipts, and reading cards, allowing for each employee to be their very own POS.
This takes away the need for a physical POS desk, giving staff members more autonomy to assist customers, breaking the check-out bottleneck and eventually, increasing sales rates. The Seattle-based fashion giant Nordstrom is a very good example of how implementing mPOS devices can boost sales and improve customer happiness.
2. Customers checking out through their own smart devices
Through use of an application, a smart phone is capable of scanning barcodes, and going through a transaction; however, in an environment where customers often buy large quantities of merchandise, such an option might make the experience less enjoyable for the consumer.
3. The Amazon Go approach
Amazon's new checkout-less store has set a new bar for retailers regarding payment methods and the concept of convenience stores. By using a system of cameras and specially designed software, customers simply scan a QR code upon entering the store, grab what they want, and leave. The stores cameras monitor what they pick up and put back, digitally charging them upon exiting the store.
The easiest of these to implement is using smart devices as mobile point of sale. However, this only slightly alleviates large queues by providing more locations to check out from, and, along with the other mentioned options, may be an issue in transactions involving physical currency.
The second option, while a bit more difficult to implement, has the merits of giving a company the option to create a more personalized and streamlined shopping experience with each customer: inventory can be displayed through a storefront application, promotions are simpler to display/apply, and each customer's shopping habits can be tracked in order to create personalized promotions, and to readily supply data on the shopping trends within your business. The method used by Amazon Go is an impressive feat of technology, and certainly solves the issues of long queues, but is a daunting task for a smaller company to attempt.
Consider the merits of updating your POS with one of these techniques: it could make a large difference not only for the efficiency of your business, but more importantly, the satisfaction of your customers.