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Ninety-three percent of retail organizations are leaving money on the table each year by not offering customers and employees a highly individualized, omnichannel experience (Era I, 2016). Retail managers estimate that if their organization could achieve this in terms of content presented, products available, and services offered, they would earn an additional 18 percent in annual revenue. To put this into perspective and real dollars, for a $1B company, this translates to US$180M a year. Not getting their omnichannel operations right means retailers will most certainly lose out on revenue-generating opportunities.
Not long ago the in-store experience was a transactional exchange. Consumers would walk into a store, and buy what they wanted. If the inventory was not in-store, options were limited by distance, choice, and convenience. The way today's consumer views the shopping experience is more complicated and the market is more competitive than ever. The in-store experience needs to be engaging, as increased consumer expectations require retailers to have visibility to inventory across channels. Over a third of over-60s shoppers have given up on an in-store purchase because of poor customer service. Nearly a quarter have walked out of a store because staff couldn't answer their questions and 42.5 percent have given up due to lack of choice or availability. (The Power and The Money, 2016)
Research conducted with 13,250 consumers across 12 countries has found that all channels must be complementary to enable the widest variety of experiences:
A modern POS system blurs the line between the digital and physical worlds. By empowering associates with technology and visibility to real-time inventory, purchase history, online browsing, and cart abandons, employees can not only save the sale with endless aisle capabilities but they can also increase basket size and same store sales. Ultimately retailers must create an efficient checkout process, minimize wait times, and increase productivity to reduce operational costs and support their global business across all channels. In modern retail, POS is a lynchpin in the omnichannel customer journey.
The components of a successful retail POS experience are underpinned by a smarter, modern approach. Today's POS must have the ability to:
As research shows, more than half (52 percent) of retailers said they are arming their store employees with mobile technology; and another 26 percent plan to. The POS system must allow retailers to transact and interact as they choose: Whether using a traditional register, portable solution, tablet or handheld, it's point of service. These experiences are not specific to just one form factor-providing superior customer service is a retailer's best differentiator. To drive customer engagement when and where appropriate retailers need the flexibility to ensure whether docked or portable they can choose the form that best suits their needs. The top two reasons employees are using mobile on the store floor have been reinforced in 2016: Accessing Product Information (83 percent) and Accessing Inventory Levels/Product Availability (69 percent).
Customers do not think in terms of channels; they simply think in terms of their shopping experience. Whether that experience is traditional cash and carry, buy online/pickup in store, buy online/return in store, or buy in store and ship, the focus should be on relevancy, convenience, and service. Convergence is key; blend the customers' digital journey with their traditional shopping experience to win in both worlds. Order management, order brokering, and customer engagement solutions are essential to delivering an experience that bridges gaps between online and traditional point of sale functionality to deliver a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints.
Retailers that build out their own omnichannel suites face the challenges of selecting all the components themselves, the costs of integration, and the manpower. The result is a lengthy, labor-intensive, costly integration. In fact, in can take up to 10x the cost to integrate disparate omnichannel solutions as opposed to procuring a pre-integrated suite.
A preintegrated omnichannel suite addresses the issue of solution components not working together. This eliminates the pain retailers face to build their own suites, takes care of the integration challenges and delivers a true omnichannel experience.
Learn why these three retailers upgraded their POS omnichannel execution to grow their businesses:
Seventy-three percent of retailers believe there is an important link between cloud-based IT solutions and their organization's ability to deliver individualized employee and customer experiences (Era I, 2016). To this end, many retailers are seeking a cloud-based strategy to meet employee and customer needs.
Cloud solutions remove the burden of software installation, monitoring, patching and upgrading, freeing IT resources to perform more value-added tasks and allowing retailers to focus on business processes and innovation.
The key reasons retailers prefer preintegrated cloud applications include:
Oracle MICROS Workstation 6 is the industry's first purpose-built, end-to-end POS solution. Engineered to support commerce anywhere it includes POS hardware, the operating system, application servers, the database, and an optional POS application.
Oracle Retail and Hospitality SVP/GM Mike Webster discusses Oracle Retail's strategy and commitment to offering best-of-breed solutions that are purpose-built and fully integrated, resulting in a comprehensive end-to-end retail solution portfolio.