Despite popularity of eCommerce, demand for in-store POS systems continues to grow
Mobile devices and eCommerce have been transformational forces on the retail industry over the past few years, with many merchants incorporating these channels into their business operations. However, in-store shopping still remains an important focus, with a new study conducted by The POS Vendor Shipments Database revealing that physical point-of-sale (POS) systems are still in high demand.
The overall penetration of POS devices expanded 3.9 percent in North America and 4.6 percent across the globe in 2012. Moving forward, growth is expected to continue at 3.6 percent for the remainder of this year. The POS Vendor Shipments Database evaluated the top 25 vendors across 13 different global retail segments to gather this data.
“The market continues to grow as POS technologies rapidly change in individual segments,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “Despite challenges from mobile devices and e-commerce growth, new store concepts and greater penetration of PC-based POS continue to offset those challenges as the point-of-sale remains the center of the customer interaction.”
Balancing every channel
For many merchants, eCommerce and mobile devices have been a priority due to their relative newness in the grand scale of retail operations. As such, they have commanded a lot of attention from entrepreneurs and retail business owners.
A recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) highlighted this issue, with as many as half of merchants (51 percent) looking to optimize the shopping experience by introducing mobile technology into the mix. A significant portion of those retailers also said that they ranked mobile technology among their top three priorities in 2013.
However, it’s important to look at the data from The POS Vendor Shipments Database in context of the NRF’s report. While mobile devices are trending among retailers right now, in-store sales still remain crucial to success. Although the industry is abuzz with talk of mobile, retailers are still investing money into traditional POS systems for their brick-and-mortar retail spaces.
The fact that the number of in-store POS purchases will grow throughout the remainder of the year also illustrates that physical retail stores aren’t going anywhere any time soon. More consumers are shopping online and through their phones, but they are also taking to traditional brick-and-mortar as well.
Offering value on every front
For merchants, the key takeaway is that all the major shopping channels for consumers continue to remain important. Although many retailers are focusing on their mobile and eCommerce operations right now, they must remember that the key to success with today’s connected consumers is becoming multichannel.
Consumers want a universal shopping experience from brands. Flexibility and convenience is critical to today’s shoppers, and if merchants are not bringing all of their shopping channels together under one roof, they are potentially jeopardizing sales and customer loyalty by not catering to the way the modern American wants to shop.
Fortunately, integrating and consolidating the shopping experience is not as difficult as it might otherwise sound. Technology enables brands to keep better tabs on all of their eCommerce operations, ranging from product and customer management to order management and fulfillment.
These eCommerce solutions give retailers the tools they need to keep track of customers as they move across every shopping channel. On top of that, a tool like SalesWarp can create that one source of truth – a centralized database for all products, orders and customer data simplifying the management process even further.