IoT Trends Transforming Retail

While interactive kiosks, digital signs, and unattended retail machines are becoming more and more common in the modern world, Point of Sale (POS) remains the heart of any physical retail store. In fact, according to Grand View Research, the global POS terminals market is expected to reach USD 108.46 billion by 2025. As consumer needs have evolved, so has retail technology in order to meet those needs.

More than ever before, consumers want a convenient, sleek buying experience that only can be provided by the Internet of Things (IoT). With IoT in retail providing personalization, mobility, and much more, POS technology is continuing to make the consumer experience easy and enjoyable. The momentum of POS innovation is not slowing down anytime soon. POS systems have gone from merely a tool to record sales transactions to a robust platform in just a few years, one that can integrate your marketing, inventory, accounting, and data analytics.

Here are the most notable IoT trends and how they’re impacting retail.

Faster Checkouts. You know what they say, time is money, and that applies to consumers too. Consumers know what they want, and they want it now. In an age with free 2-day shipping and hundreds of instant streaming services, patience is a virtue that few consumers possess. That’s why it’s no surprise that faster checkouts will continue to be a priority in 2020. To streamline your checkout process, you’ll want to make sure your POS has a fast processor. Processors need the internet to function and connect, so you’ll want to make sure you have fast and reliable internet.

Multiple Payment Options. Cash has its place in the economy; that much is for sure. But every consumer has their preferences. Maybe one of your customers uses the envelope method to budget and only carries cash, and another customer just got his American Express Delta card and needs to spend $5,000 in three months to get his sign-on bonus miles. Make sure all customers are able to pay how they want to pay. Digital payment options are powered by you guessed it, IoT. With many customers wanting to pay using their phones, you’ll need a POS system with streamlined connectivity for an optimal payment experience.

Customized Customer Experiences. While privacy concerns seem to appear in the news daily with large companies like Facebook under scrutiny, many shoppers are willing to provide their information in exchange for a personalized experience. Many POS systems do much more than just process transactions. Utilize your POS to the fullest by collecting data and personalizing the shopping experience. Use this data to create a more robust marketing strategy. For example, a POS system connected to IoT can transfer data back and forth between your system and a CRM, showing you customer trends, inventory, and much more. This can then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and customer loyalty programs.

Selling on Social Media. No longer do retailers only have to sell through brick and mortar. Retailers now have the option to sell their products and services online. With an increased demand for online purchases, eCommerce has taken off, providing benefits like access to a wider reach of customers, lowering operating and setup costs, and more. Retailers have even begun selling through social media. In fact, 74% of consumers rely on social media for information to help them with future purchases. On top of that, 43% of consumers are more likely to buy something after learning about it on social media.

Functionality Through Cellular. All of the extra features available for POS are useful and can help businesses and brands succeed, but more important than all is functionality. While not being able to use Apple Pay at a store might not be a deal-breaker, not being able to accept any form of digital payment is. Imagine trying a new restaurant only to find out that their internet went down, and they are unable to process any transactions. When is the next time you’re going to give it a try? Probably never. Guarantee that you are always prepared by having a cellular internet connection for your POS. It is more reliable, faster, and oftentimes cheaper than relying on a standard business internet connection.

On-Demand Purchasing. Now buying something can be just a click away with on-demand purchasing. This means that consumers can buy their goods online on desktop or mobile devices in advance and then pick them up at the store when they’re ready. They can order whatever they need, all thanks to the internet. This puts the power back in the consumer’s hands and gives them the kind of convenience they’re looking for in their busy lives. Additionally, selling online can help you track data and analytics via IoT sensors. On-demand, purchasing has been a very notable trend during the COVID-19 pandemic since most consumers are not shopping in person anymore.

The Power of 4G/5G. Since POS systems have evolved into databases for valuable customer information and retail insights, they need stronger network connectivity than ever before. All of the challenges can be combated by 4G/5G connectivity. Your POS devices need high-speed connectivity; they need 4G LTE or higher to cope with their demand. Getting 4G LTE (and soon 5G) will change your business for the better. With 4G LTE and 5G, you’ll get real-time, secure transactions of financial and personal data. Your POS devices will thrive, and you’ll get more time to spend on the things you really care about.

Cloud-Based POS. It won’t be long before everything we use that stores any type of data is cloud-based. A legacy POS system is clunky, difficult to access, and can be physically damaged, taking all of that precious data down with it. Protect your business, and don’t get left behind by utilizing a cloud-based POS. Cloud-based POS systems are simple, can get updates over the air, eliminates the need for costly IT maintenance, and improves functionality by integrating with other systems the business already uses. They can also enable all of the trends we just covered because they’re powered by IoT.

These latest IoT in retail trends are driven by a combination of advanced technology and a change in customer preferences. Now that you’re aware of them, by embracing and preparing for them, your business will have a positive opportunity to grow. As technology continues to evolve, having a smart retail POS system in addition to reliable connectivity will ensure your customers can have an efficient way to shop with you.

The Power of Internet Connectivity

Retail is growing and evolving daily, especially when it comes to POS. What used to be considered a luxury is becoming a necessity, and businesses need a reliable internet connection for their POS to function and bring in revenue. With OptConnect, you’ll get secure connectivity paired with 24-hour award-winning support and much more.

In today’s changing retail environment, OptConnect provides the flexibility you need to continue taking payments from your customers. By connecting your wireless or hardline POS machine to one of our commercial grade cellular routers, you can be up and running in minutes without delays or large investments in new equipment. For one low monthly fee, OptConnect provides the hardware, the data plan, and a full suite of managed services, so you get greater uptime and reliability.

Here are some of the key features you’ll have access to with OptConnect:

  • Access to Summit, our web-based device management platform, includes:
    • Real-time monitoring of cellular connectivity for each device
    • Location identification services
    • Asset management
    • Alerts
    • Data analytics
    • Summit API integration with your dashboard solution
    • Data usage
  • 24x7x365 customer support via phone and email
  • Auto-recovery to the cell tower, self-healing technology
  • Secure private network
  • Lifetime hardware warranty on OpEx plan

To learn more about how OptConnect can provide connectivity for your POS system, please contact us at 1.877.678.3343 or click here. Retail technology isn’t slowing down, and neither should your connectivity.

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