Long checkout lines, empty shelves, and frustrated customers: Many retail technology companies are striving to make these retail headaches distant memories with the introduction of new in-store tools and software.
From mobile payment POS systems to helpful apps, here are some of our favorite retail tech solutions to consider adopting in the new year.
Since its launch in October of last year, Curbside has added big-name retailer Target to its lineup of companies using the app to connect with mobile shoppers. Once placing an order and paying on the Curbside app, shoppers can pick up their selection either in-store or curbside (get it?) after they are notified that it is ready. Its no-cost model for shoppers helps retailers connect with online consumers looking for fast order procurement without the cost of same-day or one-day delivery.
Introduced early last month, this partnership between Apple and IBM has produced a series of 10 business apps that can help retailers with specific tasks like in-store pickup and in-store navigation. Using the Sales Assist app, employees can even locate shoppers using the retailer’s app in-store through iBeacon technology.
With a plethora of physical and mobile payment options gaining traction with consumers, retailers need to be able to accept any app, card, and barcode that may come their way. Palo Alto-based startup Poynt introduced last October a POS terminal that can do just that, accepting a dizzying list of technologies: magstripe cards, EMV cards, Near Field Communications, Bluetooth, QR codes, and beacon.
Although some retailers initially rebelled against Apple’s new Near Field Communications-based payment system, the addition of many more banks and retailers since its announcement makes Apple Pay almost an inevitability for stores. Once both the consumer and employee become accustomed to its easy tap-and-go payment process, check-out lines may be shortened—or even become non-existent.
In a recent partnership with department store Neiman Marcus, touchscreen provider T1Visions unveiled new interactive tables in three of the retailer’s shoe salons. Using the table, shoppers can look at both in-store and out of store inventory and create a wish list, while store employees can receive updates of inventory and the status of shipped merchandise. The long term goal for these interactive screens is to become another POS checkout for customers, making the buying process both interactive and self-sufficient.