5 Technology Enhancements For Your Store in 2022
5 technology enhancements for your store in 2022. The world of technology is a dynamic and ever-evolving place. Retail technology is constantly being tweaked and improved, and so retailers must always be on the lookout for the latest ideas and advancements if they are to remain one step ahead of their competitors.
Over the past couple of years, even some of the most traditional of retailers have started to embrace modern retail technology. Throughout the challenges of a global pandemic, advances in technology have provided retailers with opportunities to continue trading effectively.
The reality is, without modern technology, this pandemic would have been a good deal more difficult to manage. Many businesses have been able to remain solvent where they would otherwise have been forced to close.
Let’s look at some of the opportunities that retail technology currently provides to retailers, and how they can improve your business in 2022.
What are they?
Integrated services are a crucial part of modern retailing. They offer a retailer the ability to add on and manage all kinds of additional services, using software that connects directly to their electronic point of sales system (EPOS).
How can they benefit my business?
There are endless integrated services that a retailer might utilise, depending on their type of business.
Some additional services offer improvements to your customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and exceeding their expectations. The more services you can offer your customer, the more likely they are to shop with you and recommend your business.
It also presents the store with the opportunity to manage their business better, increase their own services and supply range, and ultimately improve sales and profitability.
When services are integrated with an EPOS system, everything is managed in one place. This gives an excellent overview for business planning and strategy, so you get a clear picture of what works – and what doesn’t.
Some examples of popular integrated retailer services include:
- Data analytics and pricing
- Supplier management
- Automated systems such as dispensers
- Bill pay and top-ups
- Fuel management
- Cash handling services
- Web API
- Waste monitoring
- Logistics and distribution
New integrated services are being added to the market every day, so ensure you choose an EPOS system that will be compatible with all the additions that your business requires.
What is it?
Omnichannel commerce allows retailers to trade seamlessly through multiple outlet types.
The use of multiple sales channel types increases the reach of your store, making your products available in multiples places to all your potential customers, 24/7.
Where multichannel shopping may provide many platforms, for example, a bricks and mortar store, website, telephone sales, social media page, or eBay, omnichannel takes this one step further by connecting all these channels for a smooth and seamless experience.
How can it benefit my business?
Omnichannel increases your reach, allowing you to sell to more customers, however they prefer to shop.
Using multiple outlets makes it possible for your customers to shop at any time, from the place that is most convenient and familiar to them.
By putting your customer in control, you can expect to see increased footfall, leading to improved sales and greater customer retention and loyalty.
Seamless omnichannel shopping allows for simplified data collection and administration, managing all your customer details and metrics from one place.
This allows for better analysis and strategy when planning promotions and marketing drives.
It also means you work from a single stock file, so you always know what’s available, what’s popular (and where), and when you need to reorder.
Diverse payment options are increasingly expected in today’s retail market, and it’s important for your business to offer as many ways to pay as possible.
What are the payment options?
Aside from the more traditional payment methods of cash and cheque, which are still important to have available for your customers (yes, some people do still pay their credit accounts by cheque!), it is now essential to offer digital payment services for your customers, as society becomes increasingly cashless. Ensure that you are able to offer as many of the following as possible:
- Debit cards – Deducts funds directly from a current account to pay for a purchase.
- Credit cards – Allows cardholders to borrow agreed funds to pay for goods and services.
- Online bank transfer –Accept hassle-free online payments from your customers, direct to your bank account, usually for larger purchases or credit accounts.
- Contactless payments – These payments are usually made by smartphone or smartwatch, using a service like Google Pay or Apple Pay. Connected to an existing card or account for instant payments.
- Online ‘wallets’ – Flexible modes of instant payment for money transfer and online shopping.
How can it benefit my business?
Customers will have their own preferred payment methods. The more options you can offer them, the better the chance of your customer being able to choose their preferred method.
These choices also give you a distinct advantage over competitors that do not offer the same variety of services, and reduces the chance of your customer leaving without their purchases on the day they have forgotten their wallet.
What is it?
A store with self-checkout machines offers a point of sale service that their customer can operate independently, without assistance from store staff. These come in all shapes and sizes, and with the latest advances in technology can be attainable even for smaller businesses.
Often offered as an alternative alongside a traditional checkout, Self-checkout services appeal to a variety of customers and their use is on the rise.
How can it benefit my business?
Speed and efficiency are the most significant advantages of a self-checkout option. Customers can quickly scan and pay for their purchases, reducing queuing times.
This also creates a positive customer experience, particularly for shoppers who only have one or two items, allowing a fast transaction turnaround.
Some shoppers enjoy the independence and reduced interaction that the self-checkout system offers them. They can proceed at their own pace, creating a less intrusive and stressful customer experience.
Self-service checkouts also allow some staff to be redeployed elsewhere in the store where they can be better utilised, serving customers on the shop floor, offering additional services, or covering peak demand times, this can also reduce overhead costs.
Self-checkout terminals are compact and can be placed into a relatively small area when compared to traditional counters. In some instances, up to six units can fit in the same amount of space as just two conventional checkouts.
Who are we?
We are dedicated to providing your store with the most up-to-date and reliable point of sale hardware, along with software management tools to help you manage your business effectively.
To find out more about what we do, get in touch to chat with one of our knowledgeable consultants:
About the author:
Susan McGuire has been with Retail Solutions for over 6 years, and during that time has had roles within the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing. You can follow her on LinkedIn!