5 Ways Retailers Can Use POS Technology to Reach Their Target Consumer
As more technologies are being developed to supplement and enhance existing point-of-sale (POS) systems, it's becoming more important than ever for retailers to determine which types of software and applications are integral to reaching their end goals. While Google's recent emphasis on e-commerce indicates that the big players see growth in online sales and revenue, well-known e-retailers like eBay, Etsy andPiperlime, a division of Gap, are opening showrooms, pop-up shops or developing other strategies that make them relevant in the brick-and-mortar space. Regardless of the industry player, the battle for growth is raging as retailers duke it out to provide consumers the ultimate omnichannel shopping experience.
With POS systems growing more sophisticated, consumers are coming to expect a seamless user experience and tailored marketing offers, regardless of when and where they shop. Here are five tips on how to use POS technologies to their full potential:
- Lower the barrier to entry. Whether shopping online or in-store, customers want a checkout process that's quick, secure and intuitive. Companies like IGA grocery stores in Seattle are testing creative checkout methods to expedite the process and appeal to customer convenience. Some businesses allow customers who use self-checkout to scan items as they shop, while others allow customers to seek out associates for in-aisle checkout. Simple mobile apps prove POS technology doesn't have to be cutting edge. However, conversion rates will plummet if the technology isn't streamlined, fast and easy to use.
- Verify exclusive offers online. One major hurdle retailers face when interested in offering exclusive discounts across multiple channels is verification. While verifying ID in person isn't foolproof, it's easier to see whether a customer qualifies for a special offer. Validating affiliation with a special consumer group, such as students and military, online or via mobile is nearly impossible if there's not fraud-prevention software in place. Platforms such as SheerID allow retailers to offer the same targeted discounts, no matter the channel the customer chooses to purchase in.
- Use big data. It's been estimated that the amount of information on the internet doubles every three years. As retail technologies consistently advance, companies can collect additional data about customers. Data analytics is booming, but unless that data is actionable, big data is just another buzzword. There are various POS technologies that can help collect and analyze customer information post-POS campaign. This is beneficial, but there are other software providers that take it one step further by using authoritative data sources and API's to verify information provided by the customer against compiled big data to prevent fraud.
- Understand customer information. Connecting with customers on a more personal level lets them know their business is important and recognized. By using targeted POS technologies, chief marketing officers can create special offers that allow businesses to improve outreach to targeted segments like teachers, military, college students, nonprofits, small business owners, etc. A growing customer base in specific niches increases incremental revenue exponentially by cultivating brand loyalty and positive recognition.
- Encourage and reward brand loyalty. There are a number of apps and types of software on the market designed to encourage customer retention by offering patrons different types of incentives — e.g., exclusive discounts, freebies, loyalty credits. Regardless of how a retailer chooses to build customer allegiance, companies that use POS technologies to increase brand loyalty are at a distinct competitive advantage. These programs allow businesses to build their customer base, increase revenue and increase the lifetime value of each customer.
By taking advantage of the latest developments in POS technology, retailers can give shoppers a seamless customer experience across all channels. Using data, segmentation tools, loyalty programs and verification technologies at the point of sale allows companies to strengthen brand loyalty and increase revenue.
Jake Weatherly is the CEO of SheerID, a POS verification provider for retailers.