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When today’s consumer walks into a store, they expect an “experience”. They expect to find the exact product they are looking for in the exact size, colour, model, etc. they want. If they’re taking the time out of their day to go to the shopping mall, why would they expect anything less, when they could have gotten what they wanted online?
Today’s shopper has come to expect an experience and all the benefits of online shopping from the brick-and-mortar stores they walk into. This requires the modern retail space to seamlessly blend their physical store locations with their online, digital offerings. If a customer’s expectations for accessibility, efficiency, and an “experience” aren’t met, they’ll simply take their business elsewhere, which is the risk retailers who refuse to come on board take.
The Digital In-Store Experience
One of the key ways retailers are offering customers a digital experience is through the integration of various touch screen point-of-sale (POS) solutions, such as large signage displays and interactive kiosks. This not only allows customers to take full control of their experience and checkout, it also introduces the concept of the “endless aisle” to the modern retail outlet. There’s only so much space on any retail store’s shelves for its products and, oftentimes, they simply cannot stock their full inventory on site. More popular items will also become sold out quicker and as a result, the store will lose several customers every day, simply because they don’t have a particular item in stock, or they don’t carry the size or colour those customers want.
By introducing self-service digital touch screen kiosks to their stores, retailers can offer customers a portal through which they can peruse that brand’s entire product catalogue and even place an online order for an item they might not have in stock at that particular store. This essentially makes the brand’s entire inventory available to the customer in-store, hence the concept of the “endless aisle”.
Some of these self-service kiosks also have POS capabilities, which empowers customers to order, pay, and then collect their purchases in-store when they’ve arrived or even have them shipped to their home or office. By adding this kind of payment capability to a touch screen kiosk, the pressure is relieved on the staffed checkout tills and, additionally, all the information the customer needs is provided at his or her fingertips.
From the retailer’s perspective, this:
Regardless of the channel, retailers can make use of interactive touch screen technology to improve efficiency, drive sales, and speed up the purchasing process.
Customising Digital Solutions to Fit the Needs of Your Store
You don’t have to be a large enterprise with a country-wide network of stores in order to invest in interactive touch screen POS kiosks and solutions – remember: customers expect an “experience” from all the stores they walk into, both big and small. Having said that, the type of technology you choose will depend on the specific needs of your target consumer and, of course, on the kind of retail outlet/s you run.
For example: a large retail brand with an extensive inventory (such as Mr Price Home) will benefit from a self-service touch screen kiosks where customers can find anything and everything they’re looking for, place an order, pay, and even ship to their home or office. Such an instalment costs a fair amount of money, which is an expense a larger store can easily shoulder. In any case, when you consider the sales being “saved” and the upselling opportunities it affords, the set-up will pay for itself within a relatively short time.
A smaller boutique store, however, might wish to opt for something a little more conservative, such as sleek digital signage with POS capabilities. These sophisticated touch screen monitors can be anything from the size of a tablet to more than 70-inches across and can be used to display brand messaging and information on specials, promotions, and discounts.
These touch screens can also provide customers with a portal to the store’s website, effectively allowing that brand to leverage an existing marketing asset, while offering customers all the benefits of online shopping from their physical location. And, once again, allowing customers to check out at the point of product, with full exposure to information on specials and promotions all creates more upselling opportunities.
The technology you introduce to your store depends on kind of retail outlet/s you and the specific needs of your customers, which brings us to the next point…
Decision Time: Choosing the Perfect In-Store Technology
There is a plethora of options for businesses looking to improve efficiency, profitability, and the in-store experience they deliver to customers. The question is how do you choose the right POS deployment for your retail store? Here are a few things decision-makers should consider:
These considerations should assist retailers in making the right POS deployment decision and whether in-store digital signage and/or a self-service kiosk would most benefit their customer base. This would be a good time to see what your competition is doing and whether or not it’s working for them. And, of course, the experienced team here at Tactile Technologies is ready and willing to provide you with all the wisdom, insights, and recommendations you need to make a decision.
A final note from Luke Wilwerding, director of retail solutions at Elo Touch Solutions: “Before diving headfirst into creative and immersive shopping experience through technology, retailers should consider the pros and cons of each kind of deployment. Whether it’s a self-service kiosk or a tablet, strategically thinking about the needs of consumers, their preferences, and desired outcomes will be the key to rolling out a new POS device successfully.”
Contact Tactile Technologies
To learn more about our products, contact Tactile Technologies at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (Netherlands). Alternatively you can give our office a call at:
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