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Three imperatives to prepare for the future of point of sale

Retailers must build a flexible point of sale (POS) architecture that can meet the ever-growing needs of the digitally empowered customer.

Overview

Mobile and Web-savvy customers expect retailers to keep pace with emerging technology trends. Accenture recommends retailers build a flexible point of sale (POS) architecture that can meet the digital customer’s needs.

New technologies and digital channels are significantly impacting buying decisions. Customers today look for new-age ways of interaction. They want to buy what they want, whenever and wherever they want it. To deliver a seamless and integrated buying experience, retailers need a flexible technology ecosystem.

Background

Retailers have been slow in keeping up with advancements in mobile devices and other technologies that make “retail anywhere” possible. Many retailers are still using POS software that was not designed to support multiple channels. These POS architectures do not deliver a consistent user experience or allow retailers to adapt to new technology trends and devices.

According to Gartner and Accenture research, it takes two to five years to bring the latest POS functions, such as retail public social networks or mobile coupons, into mainstream adoption. Traditional brick and mortar retailers struggle the most as they compete for customer loyalty and wallet share with similar retailers and online pure plays. Retailers run the risk of the productivity plateau if they do not adopt POS systems that can keep pace with customer demands.

Analysis
Mobile customers are rapidly embracing technology, and they expect the retailers to do the same. In response, retailers must address the critical imperatives and build a flexible POS architecture that can meet the ever-growing needs of the digitally empowered customer.

Recommendations

Accenture recommends retailers address three imperatives to build an advanced POS system that enhances customer satisfaction and strengthens cross-selling efforts. These include:

  • Meet the needs of mobile and Web-savvy customers: Retailers must have a comprehensive strategy to include emerging mobile devices, and leveraging them to deliver a remarkable shopping experience.

  • Deliver a true multichannel customer experience by dissolving channel boundaries and adapting to device innovations: Retailers must have a sustainable architecture that meets customer needs and avoids investing in quick fixes that end up being more costly over the long term.

  • Create a future-proof POS architecture: Retailers must have a POS architecture that delivers the speed to market and agility they need to keep up with customer demand and technology advances.