retail technology

Boost In-Store Sales with Afterpay for Brick & Mortar Retailers

Buy now pay later selling is nothing new for retailers or customers, yet the interest free, no deposit finance market has seen a number of disruptive business models emerge in recent times.

King of these has been Afterpay which allows customers to pay off purchases in four instalments with no upfront payment. All that is needed is to create an account and the payments are automatically deducted every two weeks. Afterpay don’t charge any interest or fees unless a payment is missed.

 

Online retailers have been using Afterpay to great success and have been able to drive serious sales growth for retailers, especially amongst millennial market segments. However, brick and mortar retailers shouldn’t feel left out as they too can reap the benefits as Afterpay is available instore.

More importantly retailers need not assume any risk by offering Afterpay either as, besides driving sales, Afterpay guarantees retailers up-front payment automatically and the company assumes the end-user non-payment risk. 

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4 Reasons Retailers Need to Invest in Technology

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Like it or not retailers are operating in a tech driven society, whether you’re a high end boutique or the local corner store these days a retailer can’t afford to be living in the dark ages. From grass roots social media brand awareness campaigns to influencing in-store - purchases technology has forever altered the consumer experience.

 

There is a plethora of benefits we could highlight from embracing technology in your retail space but for now we will focus on the core reasons every retail MUST invest in technology.

 

1.    Payment Security

As we move to an increasingly cashless marketplace the emphasis on store security must also swing from the physical to the digital. At the very least retailers should all by now have embraced EMV “chip” readers for eftpos terminals but further consideration must be given to the network integrity, point to point encryptions and even the security or your communications. Of course if you also offer an ecommerce platform then a whole other world of variables must be considered.

 

2.    Time Saving

For a long time, software has focused on a silo model, doing what it does well but not allowing information to flow between different business processes. Now as cloud based SaaS’s (software as a service) proliferate and RESTful API’s become the norm, retailers can now enjoy the benefits of having a POS system which updates an inventory control system which than auto restocks based on previous sales data. A loyalty or rewards system will share customer data with a marketing automation system to curate custom offerings based on a shopper’s behavior and previous purchases. Giving owners and managers more time to step out of the back office and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

 

3.    Interactive Everything

Now days seemingly every device, from fridges to coffee machines feature internet connectivity and whilst some may say it seem likes overkill, this prevalence of technology provides for greater levels of interactions with consumers. By capitalizing on new technology, any consumer facing device can now be utilized to enhance a consumers instore experience by personalizing offers, identifying repeat customers and contributing to a word of mouth buzz.

 

By embracing emerging augmented reality (AR) technology these retailers have been able to differentiate their offerings from competitors through value added services.

·      Cosmetics chain Sephora launched AR technology which enables customers to view different styles and shades of makeup on them without the need to physically apply it accompanying this are customer facing iPads which display product tutorials.

·      IKEA launched a digital AR catalogue for tablets which enabled customers to experience what different pieces of furniture would look like in their homes.

·      London based Topshop unveiled a virtual reality dressing room which removed the need for customers to enter the change rooms.

 

4.    Insight Rich Data

The beauty of interactive technology is that not only does it entice increased customer engagement but it is also capable of capturing rich data on consumer behavior. The same wireless technology which can be used to interact with customers on an individual level can also interact with the customer’s mobile devices to track browsing and shopping habits and then send targeted messages via Beacon transmitters placed around a store. By capturing such rich data, retailers will gain greater customer insights, providing more effective identification and realization of opportunities. The technology will significantly increase a retailer’s acquisition marketing levels and will provide a far greater overall ROI on marketing activities through enhanced information.

  

GaP Solutions is an industry leader in retail POS software and hardware, offering tailored solutions for industries such as grocery, fresh produce, fuel and liquor amongst others. Visit ezipos.cloud for more information on point of sale and back office systems.

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Why pick a cloud based point of sale & back office system?

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In today’s tough retail market vendors must actively embrace cutting edge technology to ensure business viability and success. Cloud based point of sale and back office systems provide the greatest return on investment and “bang for your buck” by embracing the resource pooling concept to allow retailers far greater efficient and effective options compared to traditional systems. The following aspects of cloud technologies distinguish the benefits of installing such a system.

 

Mobility

 

Cloud based software was born out of the increasingly mobile society of today. The recent advancements in e-commerce and retail technology mean that businesses have been able to vastly expand their geographical reach. By employing a cloud based back office system, retailers can manage every aspect of trade from off site, or from a head office for multisite vendors.

 

With a cloud based POS system, owners and managers will find a far greater level of flexibility by being able to utilize countless wireless devices, such as tablets and smartphones, as mobile points of sale. With enhanced options for POS retailers can expect to see improved customer satisfaction, especially in peak service times.

 

Integration

 

The integration of loyalty programs and the ability to capture consumer information gives owners and managers the power to identify real time opportunities and create campaigns, rewards or incentives with a few simple clicks to realise and maximise the potential of the opportunity.

Cloud solutions with RESTful API’s will easily integrate with third party software and apps to streamline and simplify accounting, ordering, marketing and forecasting. By automating and integrating across all aspects of a business, owners and managers can spend less time on tedious yet necessary tasks.

Security

 

Contrary to popular opinions cloud infrastructure can be as secure as legacy systems, in fact 64% of IT professionals reported that cloud solutions are actually more secure. Data breaches relating to cloud systems are almost always related to human error and usually result from entry via a third party vendor. The heightened concern relating to cloud security has actually seen vast improvements in security, meaning cloud based solutions will almost certainly provide you the greatest bang for your buck security wise.

 

Greater ROI

 

As mentioned earlier, by utilizing resource pooling to mitigate costs, cloud solutions have been shown to provide a 2.1 return on investment compared with on premise solutions. Lower initial and ongoing costs as well as a 91% drop in energy usage costs for a comparable on premise system make it hard to overlook a cloud based system.

 

Less Downtime

 

By choosing to go with a managed cloud solution, retailers will benefit from greater consistency and reliability. On premise IT infrastructure is expensive to maintain and extremely costly in periods of outages. Most cloud providers offer Service Level Agreements which stipulate 24/7 availability, whilst outages may still occur with a cloud solution, failover mechanisms on servers can quickly transmit hosted applications via other available servers.

 

Questions to ask?

 

When exploring your options for cloud based POS/BO you will invariably discover numerous providers. To help choose the right solution here are the four questions you must ask before making your selection.

 

1.     Can the cloud solution be scaled up to meet increased demand and business growth?

 

2.     What support and after sale service does the provider offer?

 

3.     What is the provider’s history of downtime, have any major issues occurred with their solution?

 

4.     How secure is my data and what happens in the event of a disaster?

 

GaP Solutions is an industry leader in retail POS software and hardware, offering tailored solutions for industries such as grocery, fresh produce, fuel and liquor amongst others. Visit ezipos.cloud for more information on point of sale and back office systems or download a brochure here!:

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