Whether you’re an independent retailer with a single store or have locations across the country, you will have put a lot of time and effort (not to mention cash) into your store fitout and design. Everything from the flooring to lighting, shelving and signage can dramatically alter the feel of your retail space—but how much thought have you put into your point of sale (POS)?
“Many retailers spend thousands of dollars fitting out their stores and then give very little attention to the last few feet, which is point-of-sale,” HP retail solutions, market development manager, Simon King told Retailbiz.
“There’s no point spending a whole lot of money on a shop fitout if you get to the counter and you’ve got this big black box. It kind of ruins the whole experience.”
To address this disconnect HP has released the ElitePOS system, which the company claims will ‘reimagine retail’. It certainly looks different to traditional POS displays. Instead of the ‘big black box’ the design is sleek and mimics a normal tablet. It also offers functions beyond checkout including interactive signage, employee attendance (that can be tracked using a fingerprint scanner) and customer self-service applications like click & collect and access to additional product offerings in the ‘endless aisle’.
“It’s a consumer aesthetic but a full commercial product,” said King. “There are no messy cables in the way so it helps project a really sleek aesthetic and brand image.
“The modular design is also about having many different use cases and can be configured any way you want.”
Creating personalised experiences through POS
King told Retailbiz that although there is no question the physical store is still relevant in today’s retail environment, bricks-and-mortar stores need to offer customers more, and one way to do this is through the POS.
“What we’re seeing is more and more retailers recognising that the store experience needs to be so much more… It is really about changing that experience from a transaction into something more personalised for a customer,” he said.
Using technology is one way for retailers to personalise interactions with customers and reinvent the in-store experience. For example, placing a secondary display at your counter where customers can sign up to your loyalty program or wall mounting screens in high-traffic areas, where you could run ads or offer endless aisle.
David Gosman, HP global hospitality segment manager, told Retailbiz the ElitePOS system can also drive sales.
“It is great for clienteling and endless aisle… You may only have a select number of products in your retail store but you can interact with the customer very easily by [letting them know you have] these additional products that you could order and have shipped to their house.
“It’s great for up-selling too. If someone is buying a shirt, as you scan the shirt a matching tie could pop up on the display and ask if the customer would like to add a tie… Retailers can get very creative with how they use the secondary display.”
Even if you aren’t interested in investing in a new system, it’s worth asking if your POS is helping to sell your brand and project the right image. Even if the rest of your store is pristine, you don’t want messy cables and a cluttered counter to be the last things your customer sees.
“Branding is everything, right?” said Gosman. “You want every second your customer is inside that store to give off the right impression of your brand.”
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