Shopping has changed a lot lately; in fact it’s fair to say there’s an entirely new generation of shoppers with a whole new range of expectations. At the centre of all these expectations is smartphone and point of sale (POS) technology. Combined, these are changing shopping and shoppers in revolutionary ways.
Choice, Choice, and More Choice
The new generation of shoppers has more choices than ever. No longer are shoppers limited to a handful of stores in their own town; they have access to just about every shop and chain in the world, thanks to the Internet. Such range of options has led to a savvier and more demanding breed of customer; at the touch of a button they can search out the same item across a number of stores and sniff out the best value buy. Shoppers can instantly find out which shops have sales, and which are possibly overcharging for items.
Online shopping itself has taken off in a major way. This generation of shoppers is also extremely busy, and if there’s a chance to have something delivered, they’ll often take that option. For shops themselves, the next generation of shoppers can seem an impulsive, brutal bunch. Treat them right though, and they can be the best, and most loyal, customers in the world.
For a shop to meet the expectations of the modern customer, a strong online presence is a must. What this means is a good website; one that’s clear, intuitive, and sells the product effectively. The next generation of shoppers wants to be had at hello, and if a shop’s site is iffy, you can bet it will struggle to reel in a decent clientèle base. Shoppers now are looking to be sold a product swiftly and efficiently. If it’s midwinter and a store is doing 30 percent discounts on all hats and scarves, that’s what should be plugged on the homepage. If a vintner has a stock of Beaujolais nouveau that’s just come in, it’s this Beaujolais nouveau that needs to be advertised on the website. The modern customer likes to be kept updated, and a website that changes regularly with fresh stock and deals is likely to get return visits and ultimately more hits. Blogs and mailing lists are effective ways of keeping customers’ attention. It’s not just a shop’s own website they should be visible on either: today’s shopper expects a shop to rank high on search engines, to have great independent write-ups, and to be easily located via the likes of Google and Bing Maps.
In Store Enticement
However popular online shopping becomes, there will always be customers who want to shop in the store itself. In the case of commodities like shoes and clothes, there’s a practical element to this (technology as yet doesn’t permit you to try a pair of high heels on over the Internet!). But there’s also a large contingent of shoppers who shop for entertainment value. This is where shops are able to up their game in order to make sure they can pull in people off the streets.
One of the most effective ways to improve customer experience is with a modern point of sale system. Taking the place of the outdated till, POS systems are a simple, central way to manage a shop. All stock–in store and online–is recorded onto the system. The vendor knows exactly what they’ve got and can show the customer images of all stock. Because POS systems can be used on a smartphone or tablet, vendors can stand with the customer and provide that all-important personal touch. When a customer is made to feel valued like this, they’ll relish the experience, and they’ll be back for more.
The next generation of shopper expects hassle-free payment. With a modern point of sales system in place, that’s guaranteed. Items can be added by tapping an image, searching for the name, or scanning a barcode. With these three options, the customer doesn’t need to hang around while the vendor frantically searches for a product on the till. Payment can be made with cash, by card, or (and this is where the modern customer will be impressed) through set-ups like PayPal and LevelUp.
Typically, paper receipts are always given and rarely wanted. New POS systems allow customers the choice of a traditional receipt or an emailed one. And because customer transactions are recorded on the POS system, businesses can entice shoppers back in the future with advertising and offers that appeal to them personally.
iMPOSspecialises in hospitality Point of Sale. They can create and tailor for what you need if you have a café, winery, restaurant or a bar. They are experts in this field and can show you how to create the best experience for you customers and your staff. Follow them on Google + or find out more at www.impos.com.au