Are today’s POS solutions equipped to meet the needs of today’s empowered omni-channel customer? What functionalities are/will be most important in effectively serving this customer?

The answer is no! Most POS solutions in use today are not meeting the needs of this new customer-centric, omni-channel world. Traditional best-of-breed POS systems that are interconnected with disparate backend systems are a prescription for problems, especially with regards to latent information. Delivery of real-time visibility, usability, and manageability of customer, inventory, pricing and sales information at any point of business is the most important functionality required in any POS solution today. The traditional cash wrap and POS hardware configuration are a thing of the past. Store associates require a mobile tool kit of information driven by business processes that utilize today’s innovative workflow capabilities. To create store experiences that not only satisfy but delight customers, personnel need to have instant access to any and all information in an easily-consumed and repeatable format. This means total convergence of customer and product information.

Consumer-Driven Trend Offers Enormous Cost-Savings when Compared to Traditional Cash Register POS Systems

According to RIS News, “the most widespread trend that will be taking over in 2013 will be the integration of advanced-mobile options. Not only do tablet or smartphone POS systems streamline service and enhance guest satisfaction, this consumer-driven trend offers enormous cost-savings when compared to traditional cash register POS systems.”

The needs of today’s evolving technology and user landscape require the ability to connect to more than the functionality available through a traditional POS. They create a need to connect to any data source, and to easily feed that data out to the organization. Data must be aggregated from a variety of channels into a single user experience, and customer information should be driving all decisions and activities at the store level. This requires much need for hybrid solutions that can piece together all the elements required to build the perfect in-store experience, both for store associates and customers. Store associates must be armed with easily-accessible, in-depth customer information that facilitates up-selling and cross-selling by providing them with knowledge of the enterprise across channels directly on the store floor – at the point of decision.

POS Solutions Must Become Less Transactional and More Transitional

As customers grow increasingly accustomed to making online purchases, their in-store expectations are changing accordingly. Moving forward, POS solutions must become less transactional and more transitional, guiding the customer through the shopping experience in a seamless manner that fits into their omni-channel lifestyle. People, not product, are now at the center of the retail enterprise. Retailers who understand that concept and build their POS strategy around it will be well-positioned to capitalize on what the future has in store.