Looking ahead, do you see the POS as we know it continuing to play as central a role in the customer experience as it does now?

The traditional POS is dead. Today’s customer expects an experience when they walk into a store – and that extends to the POS. Gone are the days when the POS was simply a transactional device that served to process a payment and usher customers out of the store as quickly as possible. With retailers increasingly focusing on customer centricity, today’s POS serves as a valuable tool that store associates can and should be using to build relationships.

Engage with Customers at Each Stage of the Purchase Process

According to RIS News, a major development in the POS space this year is the integration of more loyalty programs and customized advertising and marketing promotions. The goal is to engage with customers at each stage of the purchase process; from driving impulse consideration, all the way to the final purchase.

As customers grow increasingly accustomed to making online purchases, their in-store expectations are changing accordingly. If brick-and-mortar retailers are to successfully compete with their online counterparts, they must offer customers incentives to visit their stores. Often short on time and looking to make the most sensible purchase, customers are more likely to shop in stores that optimize their experience-to-value ratio. They are interacting with a brand through many different channels, and store associates are expected to have instant access to customer and product information stemming from each of these channels. As the POS moves away from its traditional, centralized position towards becoming a mobile customer service tool, it must be truly integrated into the rest of the organization. By providing knowledge of the enterprise across channels to associates on the store floor, at the point of decision, those associates become empowered to provide the type of information and service that leads to customer retention, upselling and cross-selling.

The POS is Moving Away from Simply Being a Transaction-Processing Solution

Offering promotions and conducting suggestive selling at a centralized register when the customer is ready to pay and eager to leave is a missed opportunity for enticing them to select additional items before they are ready to perform the transaction. Moving forward, different verticals will each have their own unique deployment of in-store devices. This will be dependent on the supporting business process required to create the ultimate experience for customers in that space. However, regardless of the vertical, the POS is moving away from simply being a transaction-processing solution towards becoming an added touch point retailers can use to enhance and solidify their customer relationships.