Brands are now merging their physical and digital channels on a single platform to deliver the seamless, consistent, unified commerce experience that shoppers crave. As part of this evolution, they are introducing new store capabilities and new transaction types. For example, services such as click ‘n collect, endless aisle and last-mile delivery give shoppers options and allow retailers to provide a more flexible, personalized shopping experience. These new services facilitate shoppers’ interactions with the brand, leading to stronger customer relationships and increases in both conversion and basket size.
Better Brand Experience
Savvy retailers are making it easy for customers to purchase, regardless of channel or device. Adopting a holistic point-of-sale (POS) strategy is key to retaining market share and delivering the shopping experience customers expect.
Unified commerce introduces new capabilities, such as these commonly found today:
- Click & Collect: Shoppers purchase products online and pick them up at a physical location.
- Endless Aisle: Shoppers unable to find the right fit, color, or other specification in the physical store view online inventory and quickly find the right item.
- Returns: Shopper-friendly returns make it possible to return products to a variety of locations at convenient times.
- Unified Registry: Shoppers register and purchase across all channels, all stores and access other brands.
Leading retailers are taking their customer experience further by implementing these capabilities:
- Last-Mile Delivery: Shoppers purchase online and receive rapid, cost-effective delivery at home or a store lockbox.
- Automated: Shoppers purchase high-demand products immediately, anytime.
- 3rd Party Services: Shoppers earn loyalty points, rewards, and additional savings when shopping with vendor partners.
- 4th Channel: Shoppers order consumable products as needed and for delivery at home.
POS in the Unified Commerce Store: Four New Challenges for IT
The proliferation of new and different POS devices, including personal and mobile devices, poses four significant challenges for retail IT:
- Increased hardware cost and complexity – Greater diversity in hardware may necessitate maintenance of a larger spare parts inventory and increased levels of technical support training.
- Increased operating system and software cost and complexity – Multiple operating systems and applications between fixed and mobile POS can cause integration and interoperability issues.
- Remote device management nightmares – Different types of hardware and diverse systems can translate to more downtime and additional energy spent on device management and maintenance.
- Greater security risk – With retail POS a frequent target of increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals, more touch points and more surfaces can mean greater risk of exposing shopper personal identification and credit/debit card information.
Digital Transformation and Business Innovation
A common infrastructure enables delivery of a common brand experience across all channels and a wide variety of devices. It allows customers to transact with retailers securely where, when and how they like for optimal engagement across channels. Adopting a holistic approach to POS management can help retailers expand functionality and increase agility, while reducing complexity.
The path toward unified commerce requires both integration and innovation. End-to-end POS solutions from Intel and its rich partner ecosystem provide both—without compromising security.
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