eTail Asia: 3 trends to consider to thrive in the new retail landscape
Mary faces the madding crowd. She’s the manager of a busy clothing store, and her day isn’t going to plan. The barcode scanner isn’t responding. The payment terminal has a card read error. The printer is throwing a tantrum. The line is getting longer and more agitated with each passing minute. Finally, her new trainee runs out, screaming in terror.
During a much needed coffee break at a café down the street, Mary notices her server, Lucas, is having a very different day to her own. As a nineteen year old casual waiter, Lucas can typically check the football scores, post a photo on Instagram, and fire off a dozen Whatsapp messages all before the café’s ancient sales system can process an order. But not today. Today, Lucas is serving customers with ease, synching with the kitchen staff, and ringing up orders with a tap of his finger. Even better, he’s barely looked at his phone. So what’s different?
As consumers, we’re accustomed to having the latest digital technology at our fingertips, from the smartphones in our pockets to the voice assistants in our kitchens. When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, however, it’s a different story.
From supermarkets to fashion retailers, many businesses have been slow to embrace new payment technology. A report by 451 Research showed that only 35% of US retailers surveyed used mPOS, and just 29% offered self-checkout. A RIS/Gartner Retail Technology Study found 30% of retailers had no plans to upgrade systems like item master data management, stock replenishment, allocation, price management, or promotion management for the next 24 months.
Even as technology advances and priorities are reshuffled, such inertia has made scenarios like Mary’s above a reality for many stores today. It’s still not uncommon to see a jumble of legacy devices scattered around a checkout, accompanied by an equally clunky cash register. These mismatched collections of hardware, and all their separate systems, often do more harm than good: increasing cost of ownership, provoking operational inefficiencies, and disrupting staff and customers alike.
Failing to meet evolving customer expectations has a direct impact on your bottom line. 451 Research shows that retailers lost $15.8bn in potential sales to their competitors in 2018 because of customers making a purchase elsewhere due to long lines. Add to this customers’ recent anxieties about queuing in COVID-19 times, and it’s clear how crucial it is to leverage payment technology that champions more streamlined experiences.
Android mPOS devices are all-in-one, smartphone sized tools that can be used to replace many of the hardware and systems complicating your in-store processes.
On top of the flexible payment experiences provided by standard mPOS devices, mPOS devices powered by an Android OS can completely transform your daily operations, from orders and payments to staff and inventory management. They can help you conduct a range of useful business tasks in a sleek and centralized way, providing a number of benefits to your store from day one.
Many legacy systems are infrastructure heavy and not easily compatible with one another, reducing efficiencies, and placing an operational burden on managers and associates, who are required to use several different devices for business and payment functions on a daily basis.
Android systems allow you to consolidate your store’s usual business functions into one device. This helps you integrate the apps for the activities you already do like:
This is a big plus for your bottom line too. Having to manage multiple systems and hardware to run your business can quickly lead to high costs, from set up to maintenance. Consolidating your systems can reduce cost of ownership, helping you free up budget for other investments and innovations.
With handheld terminals loaded with all the software he needs, staff like Lucas no longer have to move back and forth between tools, systems, and payment terminals, making it easier to serve customers and take payments. In fact, 84% of restaurant professionals say POS systems are critical to their operations. Lucas can now send orders to the kitchen in an instant, eliminating paper tickets, improving order accuracy, and sparing the chef from his terrible handwriting.
The same goes for a manager like Mary and her staff: 90% of retail associates using digital technology in-store say they feel that they have the tools to do their job well, compared to only 49% of associates who don’t have access to digital technology. Mary no longer needs to run to a storeroom to check stock, or worry about the barcode scanner refusing to talk to the register.
Android mPOS can improve employee training, too. When dealing with multiple sets of unfamiliar hardware and systems, valuable time must be spent teaching trainees the various quirks and requirements of each different tool. Adopting Android devices, so similar to the intuitive technology we’re accustomed to as smartphone savvy consumers, makes staff training a breeze.
Better staff experiences make for better customer experiences. When staff are forced to juggle multiple devices, customers end up waiting in long, stationary lines. Mobile devices give customers the ability to make purchases anywhere inside (or outside) the store, which is great news for retailers: among customers who don’t prefer shopping in-store, 55% say it’s because they don’t like waiting in line, with nearly half saying anything over a five-minute wait is too long. When staff can serve more customers more quickly, businesses make more revenue.
As the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, businesses must be able to swiftly adapt in the face of change, whether anticipated or not. Having your systems consolidated on a single device allows you to easily update and scale your technology as your business needs evolve.
By processing payments on a centralized platform like Adyen, you can also use the same software and end-to-end encryption anywhere in the world. A sophisticated solution will cater to customers’ preferred local payment methods, as well as the major global ones, without causing any local acquiring headaches on your end.
Take this a step further to unified commerce: with all your customer-facing channels and backend systems connected via one platform, you can monitor online and in-person payments in one place, recognize and reward loyal customers in real time, and build for the future with invaluable data insights.
Two new Android models have been added to the existing range of Adyen mobile and portable POS devices:
|The S1F2:||The S1E:|
|An all-in-one portable Android with receipt printing power.||A sleek, durable, and mobile all-in-one Android.
Both devices come with the power of Android OS, plus some exciting additional features:
Just as we navigate our daily lives with smart devices, it’s a natural choice for businesses to cater to modern customer needs with Android mPOS terminals. These devices present an exciting and uncomplicated opportunity for you to catapult your business to new heights.
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