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The changing role of the in-store POS system

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Your POS needs to facilitate an extended customer experience

The role of the store is changing. Retailers are focusing more on the customer experience and designing their stores for omnichannel operations. But, while the majority of retailers are aiming for customer-centricity, only 8% qualify as truly ‘customer obsessed’ according to Forrester.

The customer experience goes beyond store ambiance and the friendly faces of associates, it needs to be ingrained in the store operations. And what better place to start than at the center of the enterprise, the point of sale.

The role of the POS is changing. It is no longer limited to just a cash register. It does process transactions, yes, but it also has an important role in creating an extended customer experience. 

Archaic legacy POS systems sit stationary in the store and may actually hinder the customer experience by disjointing the flow of the modern shopping journey. Next Gen or modern POS systems create a cohesive experience for today’s consumers through mobility and omnichannel capabilities.

Let’s explore three capabilities your POS needs in order to create a truly customer centric experience.

Stay beside your customer

It’s important to keep the associate at the forefront of discussions about the customer experience. Associates are responsible for building relationships with customers from the moment they walk in the store to the time they leave. 

Associates need to follow and listen to the customer, take robust customer notes, and make highly personal suggestions. 

But, between flipping through a product catalog and scribbling in a client book, they divert their attention from the customer which can shatter an otherwise immersive experience. Mobile devices make clienteling processes like these systematic and automatic, so associates can focus fully on the customer.

Mobile POS systems facilitate a seamless flow from the beginning to the end of the in-store journey. By enabling associates to accept payments from anywhere in the store, there’s no need to abandon the customer in the checkout line. In-store mobility facilitates the end-to-end customer centric experience that today’s consumers expect in the modern retail environment.

Access omnichannel inventory

Customers shop in stores not only to touch and test products, but also to ask questions that are best answered by people rather than AI chatbots. Meaning, they expect that the in-store experience will enhance their shopping journey more than they are capable of doing on their own. 

Nearly half of shoppers expect associates to be knowledgeable on the full product catalog including online exclusives and seasonal promotions. 

To create the cohesive, channelless experience customers want, associates need to be able to access detailed product information from anywhere in the store without having to memorize it.

A modern POS system eliminates the need for superhuman effort and enables associates to stay in the moment with customers to create a seamless, omnichannel experience. The omnichannel POS acts as an inventory management tool and can instantly recall the entire product catalog. Associates can then answer customer questions on-the-spot about what products are made of, where they come from, and what other colors and sizes are available— even if they aren’t in stock in their store.

Process omnichannel sales and returns

Beyond being able to access omnichannel inventory, associates also need to be able to sell products that aren’t physically available in their store. There are probably hundreds of reasons stores may not have every item available— supply chain issues, holiday rush, small square footage, the list goes on. Regardless of the reason, shoppers still have the expectation that when they go in-store, they’ll leave with what they’re looking for. 

While this unfortunately can’t always be the case, retailers are finding ways around inventory shortages to ensure customers leave satisfied, even without the purchase in tow. Having an omnichannel point of sale that can process online and in-store orders in one transaction lets customers get exactly what they came for, even if it wasn’t in the store. The omnichannel POS also gives associates the ability to accept online returns from the store to add a further layer of convenience to the customer experience. 

Bringing it all together

Most point of sale systems used by enterprise retailers were designed over 30 years ago and can’t keep up with modern omnichannel demands. The legacy architecture was intended to maintain an outdated status quo, but just doesn’t cut it in the modern world. The best possible customer experience is only achievable through innovation. Next Gen POS systems are the best way forward for a seamless and effortless retail experience at every level.

See how Tulip’s SaaS POS solutions let world-class brands step over archaic monolithic systems with a new approach that combines the simplicity and scalability of a mobile, cloud-based solution with the depth of functionality top retailers need. 

Contact us to see how a new POS can start helping you today!

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