Mobile POS is the way of the future. This is due to all the reasons that have been said many times before, such as helping to bust queues, creating greater customer engagement, and so on. However, the one aspect that is so often overlooked is the necessity for businesses ensure the strength of their bandwidth and infrastructure before deploying any new technology – otherwise it can be worse than not having advanced technology at all.
I recently visited a national restaurant chain and when it came to paying, rather than remaining seated at my table as was originally planned, I had to walk near the door to use the Wi-Fi payment terminal because the Wi-Fi hadn’t been specified properly. While this didn’t exactly ruin my evening, it was an unnecessary annoyance, and one that made the restaurant’s new equipment redundant.
If a company promises a fun, interactive, revolutionary new technology that they then aren’t able to deliver, their customer experience is damaged. That’s not just conjecture – 70% of UK customers said they were unlikely to return to a store if they were made to wait in a long queue on their last visit, and 38% of them said they have given up trying to make a purchase because of long queues.
Retailers mustn’t get lost in the desire to deliver the latest technology without considering the store and its layout, otherwise customers can easily be put off their brand in the future. In 2017 we will see key changes in the way payments are made, such as invisible cards, which don’t even need to be taken out of your wallet, and with retail technology developing at such a high pace, it’s likely we will also be seeing many more store refurbishments to accommodate new hardware.
Making the best use of new digital signage
When it comes to investing in digital signage during the next twelve months, retailers need to consider the total cost of ownership and the ROI. The clever part of the signage is the content, not the hardware itself; the screens rarely fail and the data box is robust. There is no point in a retailer deploying a £5m system that makes some customers happy but only brings in £0.5m of extra business – and the same goes for other technologies such as mobile solutions. Retailers need to make proper use of new digital signage hardware by creating unique content and experiences that appeal to their individual customers, rather than taking the easy route without getting the most out of the equipment they have invested in.
The return of the till
Recently supermarkets have been exploring new ideas when it comes to different kinds of tills, such as installing slow lanes which are ideal for older customers who prefer to take their time when shopping and interact with the sales assistant. This suggests a return of the traditional till lane, but also for the inclusion of tills with a specific purpose. Not every customer is the same, and during 2017 we are likely to see more supermarkets, and high street retailers, experimenting with varying till options to suit the different kinds of customers.