Ecommerce is having a profound effect on the retail industry. Foot traffic is slowing, brands are closing stores, and pricing is becoming more competitive, leading to shrinking margins and sluggish revenue growth. Brands that aren't closing stores are looking to increase sales per square foot.
That's where touchscreen technology can help.
Digital technology is helping retailers adapt to the new retail environment by giving shoppers a more interactive experience that blends the digital and physical worlds. Touchscreen technology is enhancing the shopping experience, helping retailers in fashion, electronics, consumer packaged goods, and more stay competitive.
Earlier this year, luxury jeweler Monica Rich Kosann decided to equip its first freestanding store with touchscreen point-of-sale technology. The company selected Elo to supply the units, which are expectetd to provide a more complete shopping experience. It's a step toward modernizing the jewelry shopping experience for MRK customers and the industry in general.
The touchscreen displays will be used in the Monica Rich Kosann shop located at the Shops at Columbus Circle in New York City, where the company is headquartered.
Elo, a leader in touchscreen POS systems and interactive signage displays, builds devices with screens from 10 to 70 inches. The devices can then be loaded with proprietary or out-of-the-box applications that deliver interactive menus which help guide shoppers and provide personalization options. Elo CEO Craig Witsoe observed that “Monica Rich Kosann’s use of digital touchscreens illustrates the versatility of touchscreen technology, and its ability to add a personalized touch to the customer shopping experience. And all retailers stand to benefit—from interactive digital signage and endless aisle to point of sale and, as in the case of Monica Rich Kosann, in-store e-commerce."
Touchscreens bring the digital and physical shopping experiences together, giving millenials and so-called "digital natives" a tool they are comfortable with and a reason to stay in the store. POS devices, whether they are hand-held or at a fixed station, allow shoppers to do more exploring and compare similar products while getting personalized assistance from sales associates.
Touchscreen functionality gives shoppers flexibility when they explore options. Customers can access a retailer's entire inventory, beyond the products displayed in-store. And, in the case of MRK shoppers, they can personalize signature Monica Rich Kosann lockets, and compare how different metals, designs, and photos would look on their finished pieces.
Touchscreen POS technology enables sales associates to become more effective as well. In addition to the physical experience offered in the showroom, associates can help shoppers virtually "try on" their selections. The shopping experience becomes more interactive, as associates present customers with various options they can preview while in the store. With a wider merchandise selection and more virtual customization views, associates can help customers consider more options.
Point-of-sale touchscreens have been making inroads in several retail verticals recently. MRK and other jewelers have recognized the value of integrating the digital and physical experiences. In a January press release announcing the implementation of the technology in MRK's standalone store, Monica Rich Kosann CEO Rod Kosann said, "Elo's digital touchscreen solutions have allowed us to offer a modern, side-by- side shopping experience between our sales associates and customers. We won't do a store again without digital touchscreens, and [we're] looking into incorporating them in all new store initiatives, including at our flagship store at Bergdorf Goodman."
That commitment reflects an understanding of newly formed digital expectations. Studies have shown that digitally savvy consumers are frequently “showrooming” (viewing products in a physical retail store only to use a digital device to buy from a cheaper, online competitor). By implementing the touchscreen displays, retailers like Monica Rich Kosann can engage shoppers, steering them toward options that can help prevent showrooming.
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