As we roll into the Christmas period, for some retailers this will be the make-or-break decider as to whether to continue having a store presence in 2019. Brick-and-mortar retail stores are struggling, in 2018 we have seen the closure of Mothership stores like Toys R Us, as well as a selection of Marks & Spencer, Gap and House of Fraser stores across the UK. Adopting new cutting-edge technology will be a necessity for the revival of retail stores.
One piece of technology that retailers fully rely on and see as an essential aspect to running their business is their Point-of-Sale software or POS. POS is essentially where the customer executes the payment for a good or service. Evolving from cash registers and stationery credit card readers, to mobile cloud-based POS and Retail Management systems it is thought to be a $3.7 billion industry in 2023. Furthermore, the POS market is not slowing down, the latest study from research and consulting firm Retail Banking Research (RBR) found that as of June 2018 there had been 7.3 million installations at major retailers and hospitality operators. Secondly, RBR have forecasted a further 1.8 million new POS software installations in total between 2018 and 2023.
Despite the apparent expiration of the high street, we see retailers making the most of a difficult situation and adapting to new technologies. The future looks auspicious for POS service providers and as the systems become more and more indispensable to retail businesses it is crucial that POS providers are solving retailers challenges. Retailers increasingly require more from their POS systems in order to compete in challenging times and bridge the gap between digital and real-world interactions. A guru in the matter, Venture capitalist Michael Jackson, partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, states “Those retailers that work hardest to acquire customer knowledge and put it to good use will be best placed to compete in the future.”. So how do POS and retail management system providers ensure they are providing their customers with the best tools to compete?
The introduction of POSaaS (Point-of-Sale as a Service) is becoming a popular solution with cloud-based POS systems and SaaS business models. It is the perfect combination for merchants, lowering the cost and introducing new technology opportunities like software integrations with other parts of the business and accessibility to their data from anywhere in the world. The demand for POSaaS is confirmed by Hospitality Technology's 2018 report, stating that 61% of merchants said they want their next POS system to be cloud-based. This continued demand means POS service providers can continually adapt and respond to the customer needs. The relationship between the providers and retailers is becoming a fundamental part of the merchants business with POS providers not only creating the software but delivering a service and adapting to the demands of the ever changing retail industry. A cloud-based POS means that developing and releasing new features can be executed quickly, evolving to the needs of the customer and providing secure, quality software with top customer support.
With POS service providers developing a deep infrastructure for a retailer, they need to make sure they are on top of requirements and delivering top quality software that not only incorporates sales interactions but sales reporting, customer management, inventory management and employee management across a business. A large set of features and continuous iterations means development must be agile, continually tracking to improve customer satisfaction and product quality in a fast-paced competitive market. Improving efficiency across feature releases can take a data centric approach by tracking key metrics and KPIs to monitor release times, development costs, customer issues or time to respond. With a key set of KPIs and automated KPI reporting, retail service providers can enhance their development processes and in turn uniquely position themselves with the right services and tools for retailers to offer personalised, innovative customer experiences.
If you are interested in learning more about ServiceClarity and how KPI reporting can help you deliver the right software get in touch!