With the right EPOS system, retailers can react quickly to information from customers and give an improved level of service. But not all systems are created equal.
SCOTLAND’S convenience market is likely to remain highly competitive for the foreseeable future. Any long-term investments that retailers are considering, especially technology, need to provide a return on investment and be adaptable to ever-changing consumer requirements.
No longer devices to simply accept payment, today’s EPOS technology has a key role to play in the grocery and convenience sector as a way to maximise profit, increase margin and reduce stock holding, according to Steve Powell, sales director at retail solutions firm PCMS.
“EPOS is far from just a till point, it has become a point of service that provides the opportunity to interact with consumers directly and is the perfect place to deliver information that will help serve the customer better,” he said.
“An EPOS system enables stores to encourage a greater level of loyalty to the brand as the store can react pro-actively to customer data. By analysing additional item sales, more frequent visits, recommendations and referrals, the retailer can create an experience that is both relevant and personal. Grocery and convenience stores are striving to maximise efficiency at the till and yet be flexible enough to provide customers with a personalised service alongside the option for self-service – all at the same time.
“To be able to react to customer data, staff must be able to access information in real time at the point of service. The information needs to be accessible by a traditional till, a tablet or even a consumer’s own device and be capable of hooking into the retailer’s IT infrastructure.”
PCMS’ systems feature the ability to integrate data from external systems, such as eCommerce, Loyalty/CRM, digital receipts and digital vouchers, in order to provide data at the point of service.
“As online and physical sales become closer aligned, the ability to connect and provide data from multiple systems and deliver it to the relevant point of service becomes an essential requirement for all retailers. To deliver a seamless customer experience, stores must have the ability to access information from across the entire supply chain,” said Powell.
“As competition for market share intensifies, avoiding price wars and ensuring robust levels of customer service must be part of a strong brand offering. This approach includes offering relevant discounts, ordering out-of-stock items from the store, or looking up a transaction and processing a return without a receipt.
“As the grocery sector competes increasingly on price, maximising profits and improving efficiency will be crucial to a store’s survival. Good old-fashioned customer service and brand values, aligned with technology that enables efficient and effective commerce at every point of service, is an essential combination for the future of retailing.”