Mobile POS tools are vital in elevating in-store customer experiences

In an era of fierce competition to attract consumers’ tightening budgets, customer experience has become the key edge retailers can deploy to stand above the competition.  

Shopify – the commerce platform powering 25 per cent of online retail in Australia – is equally proficient at managing in-store retail transactions, making it the go-to supplier of solutions for retailers operating across multiple channels. In this day and age, that is pretty much every Australian retailer. 

This week Shopify launched a new suite of POS hardware to offer best-in-class checkouts in-store. POS Go is an all-in-one mobile POS powerhouse, purpose-built for polished, professional checkouts on the sales floor. POS Terminal Countertop Kit is Shopify’s most robust payment device, offering bulletproof payment processing with 99.9 per cent uptime, and a customer-facing display that can be personalised with retailer branding.

The technology is built around the premise that retailers need to deliver the best consumer experience possible – regardless of the channel – to attract and retain customers. And it is worth remembering that while brands are scrambling to deliver a memorable experience online, sales in physical stores still account for about 85 per cent of transactions in Australia. 

With Shopify POS, retailers can sell everywhere to everyone. Customers can buy online, and pick up in-store or buy in-store and have their order shipped to their home – or if they are not ready to purchase in-store, retailers can send them an email virtual cart to make the transaction online, when it suits them best.

“With powerful omnichannel software and bulletproof POS hardware, brick-and-mortar retailers have all the tools they need to win over in-store shoppers and keep them coming back,” says Shaun Broughton, MD Apac and Japan at Shopify.

“Shopify POS now enables retailers and brands to have a single platform where they can view their online and offline sales, inventory and – the most important benefit of all – a singular customer view,” explains Broughton.

A roadmap for delivering customer experience

Coinciding with the launch of new POS hardware this week, Shopify has released a report 5 Tactics to Level Up Your In-store Experience – a roadmap for retailers wanting to enhance their customer experience strategy. 

The report stresses the importance of a versatile POS system that offers both countertop and mobile configurations. This allows store associates to close sales anywhere – be it at the checkout counter or the sales floor. 

“Businesses often struggle with uneven customer-to-sales ratios, especially during busy periods, and mobile POS hardware empowers businesses to alleviate manpower challenges.

“Mobile POS hardware allows associates to perform a wide variety of tasks like making transactions and checking inventory while keeping them free and flexible to be where they are needed most.”

Such tools also have a vital role in helping store staff capture useful information or data about customers that can be keyed in by an associate while engaging with a customer beside a product display, for example – rather than in a less comfortable environment at a checkout counter post-purchase. 

As Shopify’s report explains, physical stores give retailers a leg-up over pure-play e-commerce sites with opportunities to enrol customers in marketing communications at checkout or while chatting with a salesperson. 

“With the phasing out of third-party cookies, more privacy laws going into effect, and scrutiny being paid to the handling of customer data, being able to collect first-party information in transparent, efficient ways will be essential for brands,” the report explains. “Physical stores allow retailers to evaluate customer interactions, collect their sentiments for market research, and study touchpoints in their shopping journey.”

“It is important to deliver consistent, personalised, tailored experiences for customers shopping at any location with detailed profiles that include their order history, preferences, and more,” adds Broughton.

The power of the physical store

While e-commerce continues to grow despite uncertain economic headwinds for consumers, Broughton says retailers would be wise to lean into the power of their physical stores now more than ever. 

Quoting the report he says that business leaders can approach their store strategy with ‘three M’s’ in mind: 

  • Make it easy for customers by removing common shopping pain points.
  • Make it special for shoppers by focusing on personalisation and service. 
  • Make it yours by letting your brand’s identity and values shine through. 

“Stores are revenue drivers, marketing channels, and omnichannel fulfilment centres all in one – and they’re one of the most effective ways for retail businesses to increase the lifetime value of customers,” he concludes. 

“The bottom line is, with the right technology and strategy, retailers can deliver a positive and memorable experience for every customer that walks through the door.”

Learn more about Shopify’s new POS Go + Terminal here.  

Download Shopify’s Australian report 5 Tactics to Level Up Your In-store Experience here.