Understanding Your Customer Is Key to Modernizing Retail POS Systems

Apr 23, 2024

The pandemic forced every store to adapt fast and implement an ecommerce experience to support at-home shopping and curbside pickup. But as customer habits continue to evolve in a rapidly changing marketplace, your retail system needs to do more to support your business. 

A true omnichannel experience bridges the gap between online and in-store shopping by granting your customer clear visibility into your inventory as well as their shopping interests. Along with allowing customers to check out in a way that’s fast and highly personalized, modern technology creates a harmonious mix of the convenience of digital and the tactile immediacy of in-person retail.

Modernizing the in-store experience enables you to streamline operations and strengthen your customer connection. Instead of looking to bolster your ecommerce strategy, you need to find the right approach to a unified “commerce” strategy. With the right retail system, you can integrate your online and in-store experiences in a way that stays ahead of your customer’s evolving expectations — as well your competition.


Technical Advances Continue to Streamline Traditional Retail

Customer expectations and technological advancements are always in motion, creating challenges for retailers. But the rapid pace of technology carries with it the benefit of meeting your company’s goals in a way that may not have been possible in the past.

AI and machine learning provide clear opportunities to create more personalized customer experiences. For years, the technology has enabled ecommerce retailers to recommend related products based on a consumer’s previous purchases. Connecting AI with your payments system also creates further visibility into unique IP addresses. If repeated or unexpected transactions occur, you can apply this technology to prevent fraud.

But AI offers further benefits for in-person experiences at the point of sale. With more retailers adopting self-checkout, AI can equip your POS system with smart carts so consumers no longer have to scan barcodes. Video recognition enables AI to discern the difference between items like apple varieties to ensure your produce is rung up accurately. If the system isn’t sure, it will prompt the customer and further refine the recognition algorithm.

In another example of emerging technology shifting the customer experience, retailers have incorporated video recognition after checkout. If scanned items don’t match a recent purchase at the exit or bagging area, your system can issue an alert to the customer and prevent shrinkage.  

When modernizing your retail system, the approaches taken by your competitors offer valuable insights for ways to ensure your business can stay ahead. However, before you start a project with a specific vision in mind, you need to first consider your unique needs. 


Keys to Successful Modernization of Your POS Retail System

Modernizing your current POS system can feel like the equivalent of replacing the engine in your car while it’s in motion. It’s a high-stakes undertaking with little margin for error.

Your retail system is the backbone of your business, and you need to ensure it’s built in a way that will suit your needs now and into the future. Below, we’ve broken down three core elements to securing a sustainable POS system:


1. Understand Your Customer and Their Needs

Research is crucial to developing a clear picture of the right retail system to suit your business. Before any modernization project begins, the discovery stage provides a vital opportunity to identify your customer’s unique needs as well as your core challenges in the marketplace.

Developing the right retail system requires a mix of experience balanced with a clear view of the latest emerging technologies. Thorough market research will identify ways a modern POS system can meet your goals in ways that were previously impossible. But for all the benefits innovative software and hardware provide, your customer should remain the first priority.

A customer-centric approach is crucial to ensuring your retail system streamlines the customer experience while improving operations and driving sales. When you work with the right consulting partner, advanced research creates a tailored strategy that’s focused on your customer’s specific objectives in the context of your business.

2. Enable Collaboration Among Your Teams to Streamline Implementation

Collaboration between all your cross-functional teams is crucial to a successful modernization effort. Your retail system is too important to be pursued by a siloed part of your organization. Too often, the ecommerce side of organizations are not communicating with the brick-and-mortar teams. 

By involving stakeholders from IT, marketing, sales, and customer service teams, you can ensure that your retail solution will be integrated across every aspect of your business. A collaborative approach delivers better results by collecting comprehensive feedback while creating organizational alignment.

Establishing a unified vision of your retail system streamlines implementation while also creating a greater sense of ownership among your teams. As you look to develop a sustainable solution that remains effective for years to come, you need to ensure your POS system is drawn from the shared goals of all parties involved.

3. Remain Platform Agnostic in Seeking the Right POS Solution

Today’s customer wants the flexibility to make a purchase online, pick it up in store, and ensure the inventory they’re seeing is accurate. You should ask two questions as you pursue a modern POS solution: What is your system capable of now? And where do you want to be?

As you search for the right answers, focus on the best fit to meet the needs of your customers and your business. 

At Kitestring, we believe the best approach for developing a new retail system is to remain agnostic to specific technologies, brands, and platforms. The right solution for your needs could encompass a range of options that include innovative technologies and established solutions. We put all the possible vendors head to head so you and your stakeholders can see how a system will operate first hand and make the most informed decision.

If this sounds like a path toward protecting your competitive advantage and providing the best customer experience, we should talk.