Ask people to name a sound synonymous with retail, chances are they’ll say the ringing of tills. But the point of sale has moved far beyond its traditional role as a fixed terminal for taking payments; today, tills are retailers’ most important customer experience technology.
Why? For starters, shopper journeys no longer start and end in the store. Now, by the time they reach the aisles, consumers will likely have interacted with the retailer online, potentially through more than one device, and will come armed with knowledge – and expectations.
Thoroughly modern multi-tasking
The point of sale has the power to bring those expectations into the store experience, by integrating shoppers’ digital and physical activities. Cloud-based solutions have the power to draw customer data through the till to add value to experiences, such as enabling them to redeem loyalty points earned online on a store purchase.
More than that, next generation customer facing devices can access operational information to extend the store’s capabilities beyond the shelf edge. Inventory information is a good example of this; if a product is not available, retailers can look up alternative locations from their point of sale device, and then order it for delivery or collection at the customer’s convenience.
The transformation of transactions
Even the till’s traditional role – taking payments – has changed significantly, and will continue to evolve at a rapid rate. Where once shoppers had the choice of cash or card, now they expect to have contactless as an option, and soon mobile payments will become commonplace.
Particularly with the launch of Apple Pay in the UK this month, retailers will need to start building greater flexibility into customer transactions, to give shoppers the ability to choose their preferred path to purchase.
With great power comes great responsibility
The good news is that retail has the technology to fulfil all these demands, however the growing number of tasks these devices are capable of fulfilling places a great deal of pressure on the point of sale. If the modern till is the heartland of customer experience, how devastating will the impact be if that device isn’t working at optimum capability – or worse, fails?
This is where cloud-based solutions come into their own. Moki has been privileged to partner with PayPoint recently, managing the deployment of its next generation point of sale terminals.
Implementing such projects through the cloud enables us to not only connect new devices to the store network quickly and seamlessly, but also manage those devices remotely throughout their lifecycle – including technical diagnostics and over-the-air updates to security and software.
With this long-term management structure in place, retailers can rest assured that their tills not only have the multi-functional capabilities to meet customer expectations today, but the technical set-up to keep delivering well into the future.