INDUSTRY OPINION: The end of the paydesk as we know it?
Published 28 May 2018 | Julian Fisher
With the traditional high street facing the squeeze as consumers move online, it is more important than ever that ‘bricks and mortar’ stores evaluate how they interact with customers. It is far from all doom and gloom. Consumers continue to appreciate the chance to physically go shopping: to touch and try out products and access expert help when needed.
However, high street stores must up their game if they want to guarantee long-term success. Online shopping offers customers convenience. They have access to a wealth of information, deals and personalised offers – and paying for a product is often quick and easy.
This payment process must become just as fast and intuitive in a shop if high street retailers are to survive and thrive in what are increasingly difficult times.
Already, the most forward-looking are looking at radical ways to eliminate the need for traditional PoS stations. Mobile solutions hold the key, with the latest available near field communication (NFC) technology enabling customers not only to view relevant product details simply by tapping their phone on a sticker located next to the product but also pay by tapping the same phone against a check-out pod before leaving the store.
It is an approach that has the potential to eliminate many of the barriers from shopping, helping cut down on congestion, while reducing the need for equipment and floorspace. Shoppers benefit not just from the streamlined payment process itself but also because the approach opens up space in the store, giving them a sense of greater freedom.
That does not mean cutting out the interaction between shoppers and store employees, of course. In fact, the reverse is true. Removing the paydesk removes the barrier between the shopper and shop staff.
The new technology should be focused on removing some of the bulk from the retail environment, helping to facilitate enhanced interaction and engagement. After all, in this mobile age, shop staff should be just that; mobile, roaming the shop floor, giving help where needed, interacting with the customer and taking the hassle out of payment.
The future of ‘bricks and mortar’ retail is taking shape – but the traditional paydesk will not be a part of it.
Credit: Retail Jeweller