Guest Column | May 11, 2016

4 Ways Retail Technology Can Take Your POS Customers Where They Need To Be

Avoid The Retail “Paparazzi”

By Paula Da Silva, senior vice president of sales, CitiXsys

As a point of sale (POS) reseller, you work with clients that have different perspectives when it comes to retail technology. Chances are you could characterize some of them as merchants who recognize technology as a valuable tool that helps them stay competitive and profitable. Others, though, are still hanging on to legacy systems that could be crippling their ability to attain the productivity, efficiency, and level of customer service they need to survive.

Regardless of which category a retailer falls into, POS resellers — as trusted advisors — need to show them how they can leverage technology to take their businesses to the next level. Here are four conversation-starters you can use with your retailer clients who may have the right goals, but need some technical expertise to help them get there.

  • Omni-channel: Whether clients are already engaged in eCommerce or are just starting out, it’s important to understand that consumers have an expectation that their experience with a retailer will be consistent across channels. Whether in-store, online, or through other channels, customers will expect uniform pricing, inventory, and service.

The Solution: An eCommerce platform integrated with the retailer’s POS system provides the ability to build storefronts on different channels. This retail technology can even enhance the in-store experience with characteristics of an online shopping experience that customers crave, such as personalization and convenience.

  • Inventory Visibility And Order Fulfilment: Retailers are constantly challenged to fulfill demand. It’s one of the simplest principles to understand: if a retailer can’t provide what customers want, customers will make their purchases somewhere else.

The Solution: Inventory management solutions are vital to keeping popular items in stock, accurately shipping orders in a timely manner, and controlling inventory costs. Your retail technology clients could benefit from moving to a single stock pool model to manage inventory, which allows fulfillment from stock on any channel and can cut safety stock by 20 percent of total inventory.

  • Enhancing The Customer Experience: Brick-and-mortar retailers are in a tough battle for customers’ loyalty at a time when large online retailers can deliver what customers want quickly, conveniently, and at the right price. The vast majority of purchases, however, are still made in brick-and-mortar stores. The U.S. Census Bureau reported 2015 eCommerce sales totaled 7.3 percent of total sales. Retailers need to make sure when customers arrive at their physical locations to see, try, and gather information on products that they receive the service they’ve come to expect based online experiences.

The Solution: Mobile POS solutions equip retailers to take POS system functionality anywhere sales associates need it. When educated consumers want additional information on availability, product specifications, and promotions, this retail technology will give sales associates access to the information they need without ever having to leave the customer’s side to find it. Customer data and purchase history can also help sales associates engage customers as well as upsell and cross-sell. Mobile POS can also provide line busting capabilities, enabling sales associates to complete transactions on mobile devices.

  • Smarter, Data-Based Business Decisions: Brick-and-mortar retailers have been at a disadvantage competing with online retailers that can leverage data collected each time shoppers log into their online accounts. Data collected on a shoppers’ purchase and browsing history can help retailers tailor personalized offers and targeted marketing campaigns. In addition, business performance data measured against key performance indicators (KPIs) can help retailers refine processes, cut costs, and measure employee effectiveness and productivity.

The Solution: New analytics tools compile data from retail technology sources such as the POS system, mPOS, payment transactions, loyalty programs, and even customers’ mobile devices. These tools provide retailers with reports showing the metrics that they track, in report formats that display the data in clear, understandable formats.

Our e-book What's Next for Retail: Navigating Your Business from Now into the Future includes more insights on where retail is today and where retailers need to be.

Paula Da Silva is the senior vice president of sales for CitiXsys, a provider of retail consulting, retail management software, and point-of-sale systems.

About iVend Retail

iVend Retail is an Omni-channel retail management solution that delivers a fully integrated solution designed to enable change, not just built to last. iVend Retail offers open APIs which can be integrated broadly with leading ERPs and customer-facing applications. For more information about iVend and CitiXsys, please visit www.ivend.com.

About CitiXsys

With more than 1,000 customers in over 46 countries using its products and solutions, CitiXsys is a provider of software products for the retail sector. CitiXsys has its corporate headquarters in New York and offices in Toronto, Mexico City, Panama City, London, Dubai, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney, and Melbourne.