The traditional point of sale terminal, with its card reader and keypad, has been given an overhaul by some companies recently. Walk into an Apple store and you might mistake the tech support counter(or, as Apple calls it, the “Genius Bar”)for the place where you’re supposed to make a purchase. It’s not likely to be immediately obvious that roving employees are actually able to finalize your purchase from any location in the store.
Apple’s approach should show that a brick-and-mortar sales location always needs to cater to the customer experience, even if it means drastically altering traditional practices.
A Forbes contributing article by Michael Griffiths expounds further on this notion. He argues that since consumers have become far more savvy when it comes to their purchase decisions – comparison shopping is only a few smartphone clicks away – stores need to engage them on deeper levels than they had previously done so.
“Every aspect of a retailer’s IT infrastructure – especially POS – needs to drive a shopping ‘experience’ – one that allows retailers to deliver on their brand promise and build lasting loyalty,” Griffiths writes. “So why does traditional POS fall short in adding value in today’s retail? Because current POS systems are transactional rather than experiential, and that goes for both customers and retailers.”
What does “ideal customer experience” look like? It depends on the store and the target demographic a business is catering to. As for how a POS system relates to the customer experience, both pointof sale software manufacturers and merchants themselves need to consider flexible payment processing software that can integrate a number of different payment methods. Given the number of options available to consumers and the high threat of fraud, merchants need to adopt intuitive and flexible POS card processing solutions.