Retail is highly competitive, consumers have countless options at their fingertips. That’s why it’s more important than ever to deliver exceptional shopping experiences each step of the way. Modern retailers are improving their operations and leveraging key technologies and partners to create shopping journeys that form deeper relationships with their customers.
A key component of that effort is the mobile point-of-sale (mPOS). POS systems have advanced beyond simple payment processing machines to become powerful tools that help retailers improve their operations and customer experience:
- Endless aisle/Inventory visibility: Inventory is key to store operations and customer satisfaction, yet many retailers still lack accurate real-time visibility into in-store or warehouse stock – and we dare say some are even still managing inventory with spreadsheets. Having a POS that is tightly integrated with an OMS lets store teams see accurate real-time product availability. Plus, store associates don’t have to step away from the customer to go check if a product is really in stock, they can do that with just a few taps – without leaving the customer and risking the sale.
- Clienteling/360 view of customer: Complete and real-time view of the customer and inventory, so you can empower your associates with everything they need to provide personalized in-store experiences.
- In-store omnichannel fulfillment: Associates can process multiple transaction types (sale, return, exchange, from either online or other channel) in one single transaction.
- Loyalty programs: A modern POS that is integrated with a loyalty solution lets store teams easily perform loyalty program tasks. They can enroll new members and see customers’ loyalty data all while the customer is in front of them. Customers can use their rewards on the spot during a checkout transaction. Happy customers, happy team members.
- Flexible payments: Frictionless checkout is essential to a delightful shopping experience and for building customer loyalty – in today’s evolving retail environment that means offering the flexibility to let customers pay you in their own terms. With an ever-expanding payment partner network and support for numerous payment options, KWI has what you need. Buy now pay later (BNPL)? No problem. Crypto? We got you covered. In a hurry? Pay by link and skip the line.
- Employee management: A modern POS is a fully operational solution with various built-in functionalities. Store teams use it to track employee hours, clock in/out, and payroll and commissions management. They also come enabled with training modes for fast employee onboarding.
- Sales tracking: Store managers are empowered with clear and actionable data. They can track sales, team KPIs, and inventory levels right from the POS. And executives are given real-time access to reports and dashboards with the latest sales metrics. Key factors such as weather information can also be overlaid to provide a holistic picture of performance.
Modern POS capabilities have disrupted retail operations (you know – in a good way!) by facilitating frictionless shopping experiences and empowering store associates. With clienteling features to connect with shoppers in entirely new ways, store associates have customer insights right at their fingertips – things like wish lists, purchase history, loyalty status, and tailored recommendations.
When store teams have access to accurate, real-time customer and inventory information from anywhere in the store, they’re empowered with a full view of each individual customer’s preferences, purchase history, and behavior patterns. This wealth of information means associates can personalize their suggestions and promotions, and tailor experiences so each customer feels connected to the brand.
But hold on… You are using an omnichannel-enabled POS, right? Can you say you have an accurate centralized view of your customers? If not, it’s probably time to learn more about KWI’s omnichannel mobile POS.
Omnichannel POS: The Vital Retail Tool
Customers no longer follow a linear path from discovery to purchase. Instead, they shop around using multiple channels and touchpoints before making a purchase. And they understand the value exchange of sharing data with the expectation that it will be used to personalize their experience.
A modern POS is vital to this customer-centric approach. It gives store teams complete customer visibility at their fingertips, so they can provide personalized customer service, anticipate needs, and resolve issues quickly.
When tightly integrated with an order management system (OMS), this is when retailers truly start blurring the lines between online and in-store experiences. They’re able to give customers the products they want, when they want it, how they want it. For example, accepting returns from online purchases (BORIS), which has become an expectation for today’s shoppers. Over half of consumers said they were likely to shop elsewhere if a retailer doesn’t offer flexible returns.
With a modern POS, associates can anticipate customer needs and proactively engage with them. For example, if an in-store shopper needs an out-of-stock item the next day, the store associate can easily check inventory in nearby stores and route an expedited delivery to their house. In other words, that item wasn’t really out of stock after all.
“Consumers want the options that match their needs. They want to see what’s available and where they can get it, how quickly they can get it, by what method, and at what cost to them in both wallet and time.” – 2023 IDC Optimizing Omnichannel Report
Retail Will Change, Again. Will Your POS Keep You Ready?
Retail will keep changing, and POS solutions will continue to evolve to meet the demands of shoppers. Brands need to be prepared, and having a POS solution that will get them through whatever comes next, is at the center of it all. So how can you tell if your current POS isn’t cutting it?
- POS solely being used for payments – POS systems have evolved to become strategic operational solutions that allow brands to better connect to customers. Within just a few taps, store associates can: locate a product in other stores or warehouse; request products to be shipped to customer; view customer preferences and history of purchases; process online returns; access loyalty data; and much more.
- Long lines at peak times – Every moment matters, and an inefficient POS could be forcing your customers to wait in line – or giving up on the purchase altogether – when they could be paying you…
- You aren’t using a mobile POS (mPOS) – Learn more about how that little ‘m’ can increase your sales.
- Unstable software and outages – If your POS breaks every time your vendor *finally* drops a software update or if you experience outages, this is a sign of a larger issue. You need an experienced tech partner that understands the importance of keeping you online at all times (you know, maybe one with 37 years of retail experience).
- Frequent error messages – We’ve heard horror stories about POS reliability issues from other providers (we’re not apt to name any names… but if you know, you know).
- High employee turnover – A frictionless POS experience doesn’t just impact your customers, it also empowers your frontline employees to focus on strategic tasks rather than fixing soul-crushing issues.
KWI’s commitment to providing a cutting-edge POS is a part of our ever-evolving unified commerce platform. Our partnership-focused approach to retail success means switching to an omnichannel-ready POS system has never been easier.