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Rebecca Meyer, Director of it - Commerce Applications and Ecommerce, Kelly-Moore Paints
In a world where most everyone is operating in a deficit of time; time-saving solutions are top of mind for our customers. Scan-and- Go solutions, rooted in warehouse management system processes, has navigated into the retail brick and mortar stores. The concept of allowing customers the freedom to shop and exit with minimal effort has become an attractive option for both stores looking to decrease labor as well as increase customer experience. But what happens in the wake of these new AI POS solutions? Looking beyond the horizon into the void, what else can be achieved through the evolution of traditional POS checkouts to Scan-and-Go POS?
The shopping experience progression for POS transitioning from register scanning to a customer phone application allows for increased transactional data capturing. Traditional POS data capture has been used to identify shopper purchases, frequency of purchases, average price points, and customer master data for future marketing opportunities. While POS Scan-and-Go may feel like a slight disconnect from customers, it opens enhanced insights such as shopper store footprint flow, mobile display development, labor reallocation, and shopper frequent purchase offers while they navigate the isles.
If the app were engaged during the in-store shopping experience it can track the footprint through the store, the path in which each shopper takes, combined with their POS purchases, could then indicate where best to place products within the store layout. The time delays between scans for items located closely together could point to the type of shoppers the store attracts such as those who are target purchasers or those who browse. Items that are scanned then later removed from the POS purchase prior to check out on the app should be viewed similarly to abandoned cart e-commerce activity. Perhaps mobile endcaps repositioning throughout the day to generate incremental POS sales will emerge or even real-time offers as customers pass by a promotional location.
POS data historically points to actual purchases and at which time they were made. While this has helped with stocking store shelves, reordering, and which advertising was considered a success, it does not capture the start of when a shopper entered the store.
With Scan-and-Go, it can be better defined the duration in which a shopper is in the store and how much time they spend within each area of the store.
POS registers scanning items cannot alone identify much about the customer as the data is limited by comparison to a Scan-and-Go app that is operating during the entire customer shopping trip. With expanding data points captured through the Scan-and- Go POS solution, Marketing can be more targeted to meeting the customer needs. For example, a similar experience to an online order in which suggested items are presented to a shopper, so could the Scan-and-Go app. As a customer purchases an item, a similar item can be presented to the customer based on known shopping history or based on location proximity to another item a store is promoting. A premade shopping list can be created and the customer, upon store arrival and signing into the Scan-and-Go app, could be navigated through the store efficiently for a full POS basket capture rate.
Average Price Points (ASP) by customer is another legacy POS data capture but if a Scan-and-Go POS solution offers the customer an option to check price, the pre-POS scans can be reviewed as additional insights into selected items at POS check out versus those that were left on the shelf. The ASP could shift from historical POS data to the new world Scan-and-Go POS data which, paired with a variety of other market segments, will guide future pricing strategies. To increase the average POS basket purchase, the Scan-and-Go app could suggest complementary items as well.
Labor is always an overhead concern managers diligently work to balance for the best customer experience. Labor is one of the highest variable store costs that are continuously increasing. Decreasing the need further from the current self-checkouts to customer-driven Scan-and-Go POS points to an opportunity to shift the labor from behind the counter to the floor. Placing labor where it can best support the customer or decreasing labor needs to help manage store overhead costs are both attractive reasons to migrate away from traditional POS solutions. If the earlier point of customer traffic flow and labor reallocation were combined, the solution for where best to leverage labor placement emerges.
POS Scan-and-Go solutions may be the right solution for some retail brick and mortar stores while others may not see the value. Similarly, to the emergence of self-checkout, it can appear the risks do not outweigh the rewards, nor will the ROI prove positive. As we continuously search for more information regarding our shoppers, embracing solutions that offer such valuable knowledge should be explored. Self-checkout, once revolutionary, is an expectation now in large retail grocery stores. Perhaps Scan-and-Go will to become the expectation rather than the exception. Selecting the right POS solution is important for sellers of goods and services but it comes with an ROI technology price justification. Marketing knowledge about customers also comes with a price. Creating the right customer experience through an extended understanding of customer insights is priceless.