Payments innovators are moving beyond omnichannel retail to merge compatible channels with database-linked point-of-sale. It’s a unified commerce approach that brings features like checkout anywhere on the sales floor.
By creating digital environments in physical retail spaces, new interactions with customers are possible, which not only allows consumers to avoid queues, but also improves the customer experience and, ultimately, to increase merchant sales.
“Customers now expect a seamless experience across all merchant touchpoints,” Petur Sigurdsson, product manager at LS Retail, an Aptos company, told PYMNTS. “The concept of unified commerce is really key here.”
Pointing to a blurring of channels between physical stores and e-commerce, Sigurdsson said retailers are realizing the potential of redesigning point-of-sale (POS) terminals into new and different configurations that bring them to the sales floor where find shoppers – the way Apple Stores have for years.
It takes many forms.
“One is to deploy mobile POS in, say, a patronage setting,” he said. “Here we bring customization to the workshop.”
With customer and product data kept in a centralized data source, “the seller has access to all device information, so they can provide rich shop floor details,” he said.
It also puts “proactive disclosure of deals, coupons, what you might be entitled to in the loyalty club, and what loyalty tier you’re currently in” into the hands of traveling salespeople, allowing for more complete interaction and satisfactory on sales. floor, said Sigurdsson.
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Put POS in Blender
In action, creating eCommerce-like shopping and payment experiences in physical environments has impressive potential to drive shoppers to purchase in the aisle, equipping associates with all the data a website would have. , but in a more human – and ideally pleasant – interaction.
Returning to the example of loyalty, Sigurdsson described “the ability to issue personalized offers and coupons in addition to standard loyalty points” as ways to combine e-commerce, mobile commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. .
Along with these advancements in mobile POS and mobile commerce more broadly, the consumer has the ability to do everything themselves within the framework of their choice, without any interaction.
That’s the beauty of unattended retail, because it allows regulars to identify themselves as repeat customers, to re-order their favorite dish with just one click” instead of specifying to an agent all over again. you want to skip the onions and increase the size of your fries”. said Sigurdsson.
“We see it not just in food and drink,” he said. “We also have these kiosks in the retail space, whether it’s Ikea or other DIY stores. Go to a kiosk to resolve a query instead of having to locate an employee who might be busy.
That’s if an associate can be found at all those days, which is part of the point.
“At LS Retail, we’re maybe focusing a bit more on being able to have all of this available in a unified retail way and across all channels,” he said. “It really blurs the lines and is available both at the point of sale, fixed or mobile, on a kiosk in a store or on an online platform.”
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True self-pay is the next step
As unified commerce adds value to omnichannel, a big change looming is the ability for shoppers to download a POS payment app on their own smartphone and do it all, just enjoying the vibe of physical retail environment with no associates or cash lines.
Consumers who download a self-checkout app to their phone are free to browse the store, “use your phone to capture the barcode, and view all item information on your phone,” a- he declared. “When it’s time to pay, you have the choice of moving your phone cart to a payment lane or [to] easily check through your phone.
In this way, the sometimes fragmented experiences that can occur with omnichannel version 1.0 are avoided by unifying all touchpoints through digital means, redefining “seamless”.
“At LS Retail, we like to see this from a unified commerce paradigm where all data is driven from a centralized solution and accessible across all touchpoints,” said Sigurdsson. “Whether it’s a point of sale in the store, a kiosk, or online or apps.”
“Instead of trying to erase the feeling of crossing channels, we prefer to ensure that all data and all functionality is available on all channels, thereby removing the perception of these disjointed silos,” he said. declared.
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