The way we as consumers spend our money has drastically changed in the last decade, but even more so in the last year too with our ability to walk into a bricks and mortar store taken away from us. In this climate and going forwards unified commerce is more important than ever, and for retailers, allowing their customers to purchase from anywhere and complete their journey anywhere, is the only way to survive and thrive.
In today’s retail, customers now demand a unified, consistent customer journey where they can start a transaction on any channel and end it in store, or any combination of both. The next-generation of store systems must make this possible, with processing of normal transactions being the bare minimum. To start with, the store needs to be an ordering channel too, but without take-now products ordering hampering the experience – so mixed baskets are imperative today. Complete stock visibility in today’s stores are essential too. When customers come into store and the stock isn’t available right there and then, rather than losing that sale, retailers need to make sure that the customer can order as easily as possible, as well as have the ability to take the available stock element of their basket with them at that moment.
The challenges that COVID-19 have brought has created opportunities for retailers in the next-generation space, with many stores have been unable to open, and these dark stores can be utilised as distribution centres, rather than just sitting empty. This requires a complex order management approach that can leverage this stock, of which a next-generation store system must be able to handle.
What’s important, is not only that store systems have the right functionality, but that they can be managed easily, with the ability to be changed and deployed rapidly. Traditional POS systems run with huge monolithic code bases and you need a huge team of developers to make even the smallest changes. Integration or customisation to how a particular business operates is impossible. With a Next-Generation store system it’s incredibly important that these changes can be enacted quickly, to keep up with the ever-changing landscape, but easily too.
The final, incredibly important point of Next-Generation Store Systems is that they are fully agnostic, the solution doesn’t care about the device, operating system, country, fascia, brand or whether it’s speciality retail, fashion, hardware. This not only means that the current store hardware can be utilised but it allows complete choice. Allowing this flexibility out of the box ultimately allows retailers to make decisions based on their business, not the vendors.
This wouldn’t be an Enactor blog without briefly adding, everything mentioned above we can do, and more. We are the Next-Generation Store Solutions provider!