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Retail technology: What is next?

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Retailers are aware of the impact and importance of technology in our way of living and doing everyday things, including shopping. The 2012 study “Retail Sector Technology Adoption Trends” by CompTIA found that 72 percent of retailers believe that technology is important to their business success and it is expected to reach 83 percent this year.

In recent years, retailers have upgraded the customer experience through technology. How many of you remember the long checkout lines, produced among other things, by cash registers? Now, that is part of the past. Retailers are using Point-of-Sales (POS) to deliver a faster and more secure shopping experience, not only for its customers but for retailers itself. But, if you think that the latest retail innovation, let’s talk about the “Mobile POS Era”.

Mobile Point-of-Sale (POS)

Technology giant Hewlett Packard, better known as HP, developed the impressive HP MX 10. According to its November 11, 2013 press release, it is a Windows-based mobile POS designed for retail and hospitality to give flexibility to meet customer needs anytime and anywhere.

Some of its key features are: barcode imaging scanner in one or two dimensions (1D/2D) for price and inventory check, scan items for sale, and 3-track bi-directional magnetic stripe card reader (MSR) to process checkouts on the sales floor, even at the fitting rooms. So do not be surprised if you will be able to checkout your clothes with a sales representative right at the fitting room without any queues, with a HP MX 10.

Also, the HP MX 10 provides an easy integration into your Windows-based IT retail infrastructure. This mobile POS promises to create a better customer engagement and in-store shopping experience.

And talking about shopping experience, one of the focal points to customers is the marketing and signage materials. Customers are used to see through retail stores, cardboard marketing signage which shows informational product description, special offers, product pictures, and catching messages to influence buyers’ decisions. Now, retailers have other option to the traditional cardboard. It is called digital signage.

Digital Signage

Digital signage is the new way to advertise retailers’ products in an innovative way. Digital signage allows retailers to create rich vivid content which carry advantages. Five main advantages of this kind of signage are: 1) creates a dynamic retail store environment, 2) attracts customer traffic, 3) better brand communication, 4) increase sales, and 5) reduces your printing costs.

Designer brands are starting to acknowledge this business opportunity and are designing more technological stores, like Burberry. Burberry trusted in the experience of ZetaDisplay, a leading supplier of digital signage to major chains in the retailing and service sectors of the European Market, to supply state-of-the-art digital signage for its flagship store. ZetaDisplay turned Burberry flagship store into an interactive and full-of-energy store, which invite customers to go inside and experience a total new level of product presentation and advertising.

For those of you interested to experience the ultimate digital signage innovation, the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) will take place in Las Vegas, NV from February 11 to February 13, 2014. DSE The world's largest international trade show dedicated to digital signage, interactive technology, and out-of-home networks.

Retailers are investing capital in technology to evolve into something interactive an exciting to appeal and engage customer responsiveness. In the “Retail Industry Outlook Survey” conducted by KPMG in 2012 and mentioned in a research report by Platt Retail Institute, indicates that retailers plan to increase their IT spending in 51 percent. Retail budget numbers supports that the use of technology will set the bar among retail competitors to obtain competitive advantage.

We can expect more retail innovations ahead. What do you think will be next?

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