Analytics Innovation Management Internet of Things

Digital Point of Sale in the retail market

9 February 2016

Digital Point of Sale in the retail market

It is essential to digitize points of sale. Because, in order to reinvent itself and better meet the expectations of a public that makes increasingly more use of the web, the point of sale of tomorrow should also be digital. Using digital technology recreates another type of store, capable of taking on full responsibility regarding execution of the act of purchase, which must be immediate and practical, and give customers a fulfilling and social experience.

Stores must now favour an innovative digital approach, to support the digitization of their points of sale. This approach is structured around the “10 commandments for the point of sale of tomorrow”.

Points of sale must be reinvented in order to deal with the decline in the standard business model. As, although Internet sales are experiencing a real rise (+15% each quarter), at the same time, points of sale are seeing their monthly visits fall by 5%. To stop the decline of in-store sales, points of sale must be reinvented and incorporate customers’ new expectations.

The combination of digital technology and points of sale offers real prospects, provided that they are in line with customers’ new expectations.
In addition, stores must seize this opportunity using an innovative digital approach which involves “digitizing their points of sale”.

A point of sales which draws inspiration from the web

The new winning sales mode will therefore be that of an on-line business coupled with a point of sale business.
The point of sale of tomorrow, which draws inspiration from the web, must take on full responsibility regarding execution of the act of purchase (immediate and practical), and give customers a fulfilling and social experience.
Both the web and “physical stores” are needed; it’s a matter of finding the right balance.

In this new point of sale, customer experience must be …

  1. Personal

The point of sale will be laid out so that the customer feels at home and enjoys personalised services.
In a trendy shoe shop in San Francisco, customers can, for example, leave with a personalised pair of shoes within the hour.

  1. Social

The point of sale should be active on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), so that the consumer can view the latest collections, share ideas and thoughts with other customers or contact the shop.
An American store has posted its product catalogue on Pinterest and “pinned” its customers’ favourite products at the point of sale; a website is therefore almost redundant.

” The Customer Experience is the sum of all the impressions and emotions inspired in Customers by the individual and cumulative effects of their interactions either with the Brand, its Products and Services, or with social networks/blogs (recommendations, opinions) in relation to the brand, and/or its products and services. “

  1. Practical

The point of sale should meet the needs of customers within ever shorter time frames. The act of purchase must be quick and easy. Certain stores have developed mobile supermarket services to your location in order to prevent the customer from having to travel.
A smart grocer’s has a sales terminal that is permanently open, like a large wall-mounted website.

  1. Customised

The point of sale must offer its customer a product which suits him and is almost personalised. A product which sets him apart from other consumers.
An agri-food store has developed a shop concept enabling the buyer to design their own product by choosing from a range of 80 ingredients, i.e. over 566 billion possible combinations!

  1. Different

The point of sale must offer its customers an “unconventional” store journey through an extraordinary experience.
A major store in London has, for example, organised a tasting evening. Customers made their purchases, whilst savouring petits fours.

  1. Local

The store must be able to offer a local identity in each of its boutiques. The visuals of the point of sale should show off the environment and its context. A sports shop in Berlin has therefore used its window to display “Berlin” stickers and has created a blog dedicated to customers frequenting the point of sale.

  1. Immersive

The point of sale will be equipped with the necessary materials enabling customers to really immerse themselves in their project. This is even more true for home improvement points of sale.
At this DIY store, the customer can view his or her home project in full-scale 3D mode.

  1. Narrative

The store must allow its customers to dream and immerse themselves in another world.
A point of sales in New York reinvents its merchandising every month with a new theme.

  1. Educational

Points of sale must be educational for their customers. The store must enable them to understand, discover and be advised by experts in the field.
Just like this Berlin tea specialist who has made a “museum” area available to its customers which is completely dedicated to the beverage.

  1. Fun

The point of sale of tomorrow is also a space where games and entertainment must play an important role. The in-store experience must be a source of pleasure and relaxation.
A brand of technical climbing vests and outdoor clothing has, for example, installed a climbing wall in its point of sale in Seoul.

In short, the digital strategy is a deciding factor in the sustainable growth of stores…including physical stores. Ultimately, we always go back to physical points of sale via digital literacy.

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