This article was first published in Retail Systems.
If we’ve discovered one thing from this decade’s digital revolution, it’s that despite the explosion of channels, payment types and services, retailing is still all about consumer behaviours and experience. The customer remains at the heart of every retail transaction – but their expectations have shifted. They expect things to be faster, seamless, always on and to be in more control wherever and whenever they want to shop. Above all they want less friction and more pleasure from their shopping experience. To grow in this highly customer-centric world, merchants must make their sales points work even harder and deliver the smooth experiences that consumers expect. Providing flexible and highly personalised services will help merchants keep close to their customers and encourage them to come back for more. Today, merchants must engage with customers in ways they could never have imagined ten years ago. Here are seven ways merchants can enhance the point of sale for modern consumers:
1. Get up close and personal
Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience, simplicity and security of the online experience, and they want the same personalised services in-store. Tokenisation, which uses code to represent the customer’s card payment data, can be used by retailers to track how consumers are spending without impacting PCI scope or compromising sensitive payment data. Tokenisation can also be used to facilitate personalised messages, individually targeted promotions and digital loyalty programmes.
2. Make buying fun for Millennials
More and more Millennials are entering the workforce every year, and their buying power continues to increase. UK Millennials are more likely than older generations to visit retail stores (35 per cent vs 22 per cent) and are more than twice as likely to use mobile devices to find items (44 per cent vs 18 per cent).
Many are drawn to in-store experiences that are digitally-connected and merchants can use this to boost sales conversion. For example, merchants can engage with fun and interesting digital ads (‘pop-ups’) at PoS throughout the store, at the table, or on a consumer’s mobile device, using beacon technology.