POS System Replacements

POS System Replacements

In an interesting piece of custom research for RIS News, Joe Skopura talks about the pending surge in Point Of Sale system replacements by retailers in the USA as one of the most significant and under-reported phenomena in retail today.  In the research entitled “The Y2K Moment for POS” available here, Joe notes that the timing for upgrades to POS is being driven by two major forces (both of which will be familiar to Australian retailers), firstly physical retail is under siege from online and mobile shopping, margins are under pressure, fixed costs are rising and secondly, the existing fleet of POS systems is well over 5 years old and not measuring up to the demanding cross-channel requirements of todays retailers.  Something has to change.

The changes taking place in retail are deep and structural and demand the “unshackling of the constraints” in existing POS systems and “unleashing the power” of a new generation of systems to help achieve a customer driven transformation.
The existing technology is old, with over 61% of POS systems over 5 years old.  In todays ever accelerating world of technology 5 years is a long time.  How many 5 year old home PC’s still survive and are being used on a daily basis?  Still only 48.8% plan to upgrade in the next 12 months (conservative retailers still sweating those assets).

Why POS and Why now?  The answer to “Why POS?” is simple because POS is the key retail store operations platform and central to improving the in-store customer experience.  The answer to “Why now?” could be as simple as the fact that many retailers delayed the big ticket upgrade required 3 or 4 years ago because of the GFC and are now paying the price and these major projects are being revived.
The main factors driving the next major POS upgrade are listed as; adding Mobile POS (60%), Enabling Multi Channel selling (60%), providing for new payment options (52.5%) and tighter integration with e-commerce (45%).  Along with mobility, providing an integrated and compelling shopping experience from online to mobile and into the store is becoming increasingly important to retailers wishing to compete in todays ever more connected and online world.

Retailers were unanimous about the strategic purpose driving their next POS upgrade is "Improving the in-store shopping experience for customers" (94.6%).  Providing the tools and information in the hands of store associates is key to leveraging the face-to-face advantage that the retail store has over their online competitors.  But they need to get out from behind the counter to engage with customers on the shop floor where and when the buying decision is being made.  Miss that opportunity and it is just as easy for them to walk out and buy online later.

If you would like to view the original article, please click here.