As shoppers turn to ecommerce, retailers with bricks and mortar stores have had to pivot to keep their attention. The most successful physical stores combine the best aspects of the digital world with an unforgettable shopping experience. Lexel shares how the new HP ElitePOS can help retailers adapt.
“The retail world’s changing rapidly and the bricks and mortar stores are arguably at a disadvantage to those that are online,” says Lexel General Manager Peter Young.
Ecommerce retailers have a greater range of mature analytics tools available to them which are difficult (although increasingly possible) to replicate in a physical store. However, bricks and mortar stores have the advantage of being able to provide a more immediate, memorable experience.
“Most of the successful retailers have a foot in both camps,” says Young. “Even Amazon has been opening stores.”
Adopting an omnichannel strategy means retailers have the ability to apply information gathered from digital channels across their physical stores to personalise the in-store experience.
HP’s new point-of-sale system, the ElitePOS, allows retailers with physical stores to offer an enhanced suite of digital services. At its heart, Young says, the device is a till, but it has been adapted for the digital age.
The HP ElitePOS has been designed with a minimal footprint, to allow retailers more selling space. The screen can be lifted up on a column above the counter, mounted onto a wall, or even standing alone on the floor. It swivels so that customers can be given access to it.
With its touchscreen facility and easy-to-use design, the device is suitable for use by customers in a self-service mode, or as a digital signage display. Young says they are ideal for assisted selling and have been designed with both payments and web use in mind.
As well as finding and relaying extra information about items, staff can use the HP ElitePOS to sell items which are stocked online but not in the store. Assisted selling is more common overseas than in New Zealand, but Young predicts it will soon appear in Kiwi stores.
“Retail stores are becoming a lot more experiential, they may not display as much product,” he says.
The device boasts a number of security features built into its design. A fingerprint reader provides convenience and physical security – it means that rather than logging in with a username and password, staff can scan and go.
“They can just walk up to the machine, scan their fingerprint, and it will recognise and log them in,” Young says.
The HP ElitePOS has features which gives it a higher level of resilience from cyber-attacks than can be expected from a computer-based system. HP SureStart technology is designed to automatically restore the device back to a known state within 30 seconds if it is ever attacked or corrupted.
“It’s really about making sure the machine is as available as possible because there’s nothing worse as a store than not being able to transact,” Young says.
A range of complementary accessories completes the HP ElitePOS package. Lexel offers two options for a receipt printer – one standalone and one that is neatly hidden in the device’s column stand – and a barcode scanner which can handle 1D and 2D scanning.
This means the scanner can scan barcodes from smartphone screens, and accommodate new payments technology like Apple Pay.
Young says retailers can expect greater longevity from the HP ElitePOS than they would from a PC. He say PCs typically have a life cycle of just two to three years, while the device he is offering can provide up to a five-year warranty. HP guarantees to hold spare parts for up to three years after this point.
Lexel’s helpdesk is able to provide 24/7 support which mirrors retail’s timelines. It can assist with problems relating to the entire POS lane including EFTPos, wireless networks, software and hardware, and even specialist third-party applications like people-counting and queuing analytics and video surveillance.
As customers continue to enthusiastically adopt new digital technology and change their behaviour accordingly, retailers must continue to follow in their footsteps, says Young.
“The technology to embrace these changes is what we are offering.”