In-Store vs. Online: POS Brings the Heat

In-Store vs. Online is a constant digital battle. As a POP company, we’re seeing retailers bring the heat using digital POS (point of sale) technology to create “destination commerce” …to make in-store worth experiencing.

We’re seeing POS give consumers the ability to pay from apps, online price match in show rooms and make “omnichannel” experiences that directly link to in-store experiences.

The incredible technology evolving in today’s retail environment only gives POP extra leverage creating the ultimate custom displays for consumer involvement.

Check out these new POS innovations that have intrigued us the most over the years:

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1. Smartphone POS apps let customers order, pay for, and get loyalty points – it’s what Starbucks is doing… other apps out there allow implementing similar things with inventory management an added component. Consumers will do anything to avoid the check out line. Having this technology allows consumers to check out in-store, the same way they would online.

2. Pop-up window shops.  Stores like Kate Spade are using eBay’s shoppable windows technology to create ‘fake’ stores with real windows featuring a giant POS ‘tablet’ that consumers can shop from. What we love to see are pop-up shops translate to brick and mortar: implementing technology like this probes consumers to interact digitally, in-store.

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3. ‘Pay with your Face’. In some instances, customers are able to do this by simply showing their face to the checkout clerk. If it matches the PayPal profile photo they have (because they’ve checked in on PayPal POS smartphone app using the new ‘Local’ tab )– they’re able to charge your account after you “ok” the alert. Other technologies are in testing phases of this type of system. Again, a prime example of digital in the physical space.

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4. Interactive Display Tables are interactive projections screening onto display tables that provide information and views about products on display. Customers make most online purchases given the ability to read and review products.- this allows consumers to do this in-store. 

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5. High-Tech Hangers have the ability to make the shopping experience more interactive. Some hangers even give fashion advice! Helping shoppers choose a matching piece to complete the outfit gives users the technology inside the store they would typically use the internet for.

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6. iPad checkout registers – traditional checkout register manufacturer joins up with iPad POS checkout device with CRM metrics readily at hand. This is great for both business and consumer, making it more convenient to shop, meanwhile collecting prominent data.  The Apple store has been doing this for some time but this form of checkout will likely appear in far more places.

7. NFC tags on shelves offer product information and allow self-checkout using smartphone as mPOS (mobile POS). We’ve talked about beacons and other tech before … but these tags are a little different in the sense that they actually allow the transaction to happen as well.
8. Pay with Twitter. Some sample stores even allow consumers to pay using a simple Tweet!

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9. Online Price Matching– Stores are connecting their internet to ePOS which finds lowest price online. This helps bring more consumers in-store to save extra money they would have spent paying online.

We’re always happy to read about and explore new technologies in POS, because today, they cater to the digital-driven, in-store consumer.

We see customers are getting marketing messages by smart device while they’re in-store picking a product off the shelf. When brands combine unique promotional items like displays with additional technology, it creates a much more comprehensive effect on the consumers’ mind. A more powerful message creates more intent to purchase and added brand loyalty.

By reinventing POS in-store, retailers allow “the big decision” to be made quicker and easier, because they’re engaging the new, digital consumer in the physical realm.

As a consumer or marketer, which digital invention impacts you the most?

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