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Customer at point of sale
Retail / Partnerships / Omnichannel experience

Get personal at the PoS

Andrea Feinberg
Director of Omnichannel Services Verifone UK & Ireland

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.

Omnichannel shoppers
3.5
Omnichannel consumers spend 3.5 times more

3. Connect shopping channels

Omnichannel consumers shop more frequently and spend 3.5 times more than other shoppers.  While visiting stores and restaurants, consumers increasingly have their smartphones at the ready to aid their purchase decisions. It’s important for merchants to tear down the silos between their online and physical storefronts. That’s why products such as Verifone’s Carbon are game-changers. Verifone Carbon enables retailers to modernise their in-store experience and provides a new way to glue together in-store and online services and allow consultative based selling.

4. Keep busting queues

Most people lead busy lives and really don’t want to waste valuable time queuing to pay for goods and services. Bluetooth Low Energy, 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity combined with mobile or portable PoS devices now allow merchants to extend the checkout beyond the counter and throughout the store. Verifone’s e355 is a great example of a mobile PoS (MPoS) that enables customers to pay wherever they want in-store and creates a more one-on-one, transformed shopping experience. In hospitality, pay at table, ‘pre-order and pay’ apps and unattended kiosks can expedite ordering AND lower overheads.

Woman drinking coffee
UK Millennials are more likely than older generations to visit retail stores.

5. Stay Safe 

Given the unprecedented growth in digital payments and the increase in new types of alternate payment options rapidly rolling out across Europe, keeping card data safe is crucial to avoid data breaches. Regulatory advancements like the latest standards of PCI PTS (Payment Card Industry PIN Transaction Security), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), PCI P2PE (Payment Card Industry Point-to-Point Encryption) and PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive) make it imperative for merchants to adopt advanced technological solutions that comply with the most up-to-date security standards. Multi-layered security helps protect sensitive information as it travels through the payment ecosystem. There are cost and resource effective outsourcing solutions available like Point-to-Point Encryption to reduce the burden on merchants.

6. Use apps to interact and engage

Payment devices can now engage with consumers using interactive service apps that can be seamlessly installed over the cloud. The merchant can choose the app relevant to them and easily download it from a ‘marketplace’ onto the device without the need to recertify the device. Verifone is already proving how popular apps such as Pennies (the digital charity box) are with consumers and is championing exciting new apps such as ‘gamification’ of loyalty, targeted promotions, different ways to pay and on-the-spot shopper surveys – which benefit the customer and increase revenue for merchants.

7. Find out the latest innovations that help merchants get closer to consumers

The pace of innovation within the payment industry is rapidly accelerating. Merchants should regularly discover the breadth of solutions and services entering the market that will allow them to differentiate themselves, help them engage with consumers, win and retain customers, and increase their spend.

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