Traditional stores remain the engine that drives the retail industry. However, society’s rapid adoption of online shopping is fast shifting consumer expectation as to what constitutes a store. Younger consumers simply don’t distinguish between physical and virtual channels the same way that older generations do. Consequently, retailers need to redefine the in-store experience in order to stay relevant. They can no longer target 21st century consumers with 20th century stores and technology.
To compete with e-tailers, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers need to find innovative, new ways to link the virtual and physical experience, and major trials are already under way. In fashion outlets, mirror screens can now function as life-size tablets—allowing customers to choose and view themselves in different outfits without undressing or waiting for access to fitting rooms. With built-in, touch-screen technology, these screens also allow customers to scroll through options, select and order for fast and easy payment/collection at the register.
But custom technology innovations like these, while appealing, can be expensive and difficult to implement. Most retailers have concluded that the most efficient way to reimagine the retail experience is by leveraging their existing technology investment. The POS infrastructure is still a retailer’s biggest IT investment. In a recent research study, Boston Retail Partners shows that retailers have two main targets for expansion of its capabilities. They want to leverage a shopper’s own smartphone for payment transactions at stores and they want to turn the POS mobile and bring it to customers anywhere in the store.
This is an excerpt from our new White Paper: How Tables and Smartphones will Revolutionize Retail. You can get the full paper here.