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4 future point-of-sale trends shaping the retail experience

Driven by customer expectations and the current global climate, technologies and innovations have rapidly advanced to bring customers a seamless blend of the digital and in-store shopping experience. Customers are expecting to instantly see the same information whether it be product information, recommendations or promotions across all of their communication channels to help them make more informed decisions. They’re also demanding frictionless checkout experiences, avoiding long queues and payment transactions. And so, point of sale systems are playing a central role in elevating and creating new customer and store associate experiences. 

Retailers are tasked now, more than ever, to deliver a true omnichannel customer experience. The evolution and growth of point of sales will continue to meet the needs of customers and retailers and help deliver better real-time experiences no matter where the customer is. What does the future hold for POS? We take a look at a few areas of growth where we expect POS to take shape and influence the retail ecosystem. 

Cloud-based mobile and tablet point of sale continue to grow in demand

Mobile POS systems continue to revolutionize the customer experience as more brands embrace these devices as part of their retail ecosystem. The mobile segment is anticipated to expand at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period from 2020-2027 and is projected to reach over USD 68.3 billion by 2027. The demand for mobile POS systems is rapidly growing due to its convenient, user-friendly and cost-effective features. It offers instant customer and store associate interactions from anywhere in the store and through online channels. Recently, we have started to see mobile POS provide retailers with more omnichannel assistance with the spike in demand for services such as curbside pickup, online purchases, Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS), and home deliveries. We predict that the demand for mobile and tablet POS will continue as technology continues to advance and support the growth and functionality of the connected store.

AI integration and quicker access to more robust data to shape customer decisions

Retailers are collecting more than customer payment through their POS. They are collecting customer data to provide a robust client profile from information including loyalty card or mobile coupon use, and transaction history. We’ll continue to see POS systems use artificial intelligence to personalize loyalty rewards based on customer preferences and transaction history that they can redeem at POS. A Wirecard AG study found 40% of 18 to 24 year old consumers would let artificial intelligence shop for them if it understood their preferences.

Customers are shopping with more product understanding than ever before. Now store associates are being armed with more knowledge at their fingertips to better service their customers. They’re gaining quicker access to product information and inventory to help customers stay informed on additional information, upcoming promotions and product launches, product alternatives, and online product suggestions. Data collection and analysis of customer and product data will continue to help retailers track shopping trends, manage retail performance and respond to customer shopping patterns.

Increase in alternate mobile payments

New checkout experiences are leading to the creation of alternate and invisible payment ecosystems. More and more consumers own mobile devices and look to pay for products conveniently through them. The diversification of digital and mobile payments has grown and we’ll continue to see new technologies emerge to provide customers with choices and quick easy access to payment. 

Although more popular in countries across Asia, the global adoption of digital and mobile payment usage has been slow. However, changes caused by the global pandemic, has prompted a surge of alternative payment options. By 2021, mobile payments will triple in the U.S., reaching $282 billion, according to a Forrester report. QR code payment apps will continue to be implemented into the ecosystem. Customers can display a QR code that connects with the user’s card details for POS to scan and conclude the transaction, creating a contactless checkout experience. We will continue to see growth in digital and mobile payments as stores adjust to accept a variety of contactless payments to create secure, safe and easy shopping environments for customers.

Rise in seamless mobile checkout experience across all channels

Seamless checkout experiences will continue to be paramount for the in-store experience. Having customers wait in long in-store queues to pay increases their chance of changing their minds to purchase products and leave the store. Stores started to provide mobile checkout opportunities for store associates to checkout from anywhere in the store. With the rise of omnichannel shopping, retailers are now using POS to provide customers with frictionless transactions across all channels. Mobile POS will provide flexibility for retailers to checkout customers from curbside or online through remote pay, making it faster and more convenient for the customer. 

The role of POS will continue to play a central role in creating seamless, touchfree and hyper-personalized customer experiences across all channels. We’re already seeing the flexibility of POS as retailers now have freedom to conduct transactions and clienteling from virtually anywhere. We’re also seeing an increase in customer demand to shop now and start buying without leaving the home. POS will continue to adapt to new customer behaviours, support payment preferences, invest in enriched data and analytics, and offer different types of omnichannel models that combine mobile app, loyalty program and frictionless payment methods all in one. 

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