Retailers won’t let a little thing like a pandemic prevent them from serving their customers’ needs. Already, shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and other businesses have adapted to the new rules of retail in the COVID-19 era.
One important change is the increased use of technology to minimize contact and the number of surfaces that customers have to touch while shopping or making purchases. Hospitality Technology highlights the benefits of self-service kiosk POS systems that allow customers to find product information, check-in and out of hotels, and place a restaurant order with no human contact.
Self-service kiosk POS systems improve the safety of retail customers and employees alike. They also enhance the shopping experience by meeting the needs of customers quickly, simply, and accurately, all at a safe social distance.
Reasons for the Growing Popularity of Kiosks in Retail
Fortune Business Insights forecasts that the worldwide market for kiosks will increase from $16.9 billion in 2018 to $45.7 billion by 2026, representing a compound annual growth rate of 13.3 percent. The devices will not only transform businesses but also “the economics of entire industries,” according to the researchers.
In particular, the boom in unattended retail will see customers browsing product catalogs, checking prices, and performing other tasks that previously required the assistance of a store clerk. This allows store employees to focus on solving complicated problems and performing more productive duties. Kiosks increase consumer awareness of non-stock products, special offers, and targeted promotions when used in conjunction with customer loyalty programs.
Retail kiosks are changing the way customers interact with brands by offering store owners a way to customize the information the devices display based on the context of the interaction.
- Completing sales transactions
- Digital advertising
- Virtual browsing via “endless aisles”
- Order entry
- Bill payment
- Directions and in-store navigation
Tips for Implementing Self-Service Kiosk POS Systems
Self-service retail kiosks take many forms, from touchscreen displays in a fixed location to tablets that customers grasp with their hands. They often include barcode scanners, receipt printers, and sensors for accepting contactless payments. The devices take up less space than standard cash registers, and their mobility allows them to be placed in locations that are most convenient for customers and store employees.
Among the benefits of kiosks for retailers are the prompts they include to upsell by suggesting complementary products, such as drinks for a food order or matching accessories for clothing items. The devices improve customer engagement by allowing retailers to offer promotions, special deals, and messages customized to the store patron each time a sale is made.
Customer and transaction data is collected automatically to provide store owners with greater insight into the products being sold, the time required to complete transactions, and which kiosk locations are most effective, among other uses. To ensure the kiosks contribute to the sales experience rather than detract from it, keep these points in mind:
- Make the devices easy to use, especially for older customers who may not be as tech-savvy as young people.
- Don’t keep customers waiting for the self-service kiosk POS system to connect with back-end systems during checkout. Slow response times lead to abandoned purchases.
- Use a mix of standalone kiosks and tablet-based kiosks to take advantage of the simpler interface of the former and the mobility of the latter.
- Test the connections between the kiosk and the devices that link to it to ensure receipts print quickly and accurately, credit cards are scanned properly, and other wired and wireless connections are operating.
How Self-Service Kiosks Enhance Retail POS Systems
Retailers learn by keeping a close eye on industry trends and on what the competition is up to. For example, the boom in food trucks, pop-up businesses, and other forms of street vending is made possible by portable payment options and other emerging technologies. Retailers are finding that self-service kiosk POS systems offer a range of unexpected benefits:
- They let you learn more about your customers.
- They make your business run more efficiently.
- They promote omnichannel marketing by linking the store’s online and on-premises operations.
- They allow new products and new menu items to be added quickly and simply.
- They keep inventory up-to-date so customers aren’t ordering products that are no longer available.
- They improve the accuracy of orders to reduce returned items and avoid disappointing customers.
One trend that has been boosted by COVID-19 precautions is the use of kiosks for tableside ordering and tableside payments in restaurants. This minimizes person-to-person contact between customers and staff while also freeing up employees to attend to other duties. Self-service kiosk POS systems make transactions more accurate while providing restaurants and other retailers with more insight into the areas of the business that are doing well, and those that still need improvement.
Putting Customers in Charge of the Shopping Experience
Retailers get the best of both worlds by using a POS register that features a guest mode or kiosk mode to let customers place and pay for orders without the assistance of store employees. The features and information available to customers can be a subset of those that employees can access. This allows certain items to be excluded in kiosk mode, such as alcoholic beverages.The guest mode may provide an autorun tutorial to familiarize patrons with the system, although this feature can be disabled. It should also include a customizable splash screen for adding the retailer’s logo and other branding material.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of self-service kiosk POS systems for retailers is their ability to give customers full control over their shopping and dining experience. They can customize their orders, use the form of payment they prefer, and maintain social distancing while enjoying speedy service with no hassles.
Wooing retail customers back to stores as health concerns slowly abate will present store owners with a serious challenge: How to convince the public that they can shop and eat out with safety? Self-service kiosk POS systems will play a big role in easing the concerns of customers as they venture back into the retail world.
We at talech want to assist customers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, in light of restricted movements in cities and towns across the country. We have launched a number of initiatives to help customers during this time. Click here to find out more or reach out to our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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