February 25th, 2019 - Payments, POS
Retailers around the world are facing overwhelming pressures from multiple sources which are impacting store networks. Katherine Brown, Director of Product Management, at TNS explores the latest challenges and how retailers can use payments technology to ease this burden.
Being a retailer has never been more demanding with technological and behavioral changes happening faster than ever. Data consumption requirements have grown exponentially and made it essential to have ‘always on’ store networks. Layered on top of this, compliance requirements related to taking payments are increasing.
In today’s retail world the abundance of information now available to retailers is enabling many to gain a competitive edge. CRM tools and smart payment terminals capture vital intelligence, allowing retailers to adapt their offering and communications to address and influence consumer behavior. This facilitates digital marketing activities which in turn feeds back into the machine and perpetuates the growing amount of data available.
50% of consumers now use smartphones to complete payments at physical stores, either through customized orders in advance, in-store apps, or a mobile payment platform at the checkout+. Growing numbers of consumers also expect mobile apps to enhance the in-store experience with customized promotions, store maps and virtual queue times, for example.
Other drivers that are shaping retailer store networks include:
As the retail industry adapts to changing technology, evolving consumer behavior and the phenomenal growth of data, a number of issues can stand in a retailers’ way. Firstly, real-time data is often lacking and legacy system changes are typically slow. Closed network infrastructures are often not compatible with digital devices and they only have limited ability to monitor, control and manage existing networks. Retailers themselves must also be careful not to fall into the ages old ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’ mentality as that can easily hinder progress.
Progressive retailers set key objectives, such as:
A global, fully managed ‘zero-touch’ multi-connectivity solution, such as TNSLink for Retail, can connect POS terminals, kiosks and other remote payment devices to the payments community and other relevant merchant partners (e.g. CRM providers, cloud partners etc.).
Look for a solution which enables the secure, high-speed transport of transactions without restriction on the type of equipment used and capable of handling whatever transaction volumes the merchant estate requires. This will help to accelerate checkout, enhance the point of sale, support self-checkout initiatives and meet PCI DSS compliance requirements. Choose one which can also handle video surveillance data and other data streams, offer high availability through multiple redundancy methods and can enable real-time inventory control, gift card and loyalty programs.
With cloud services growing in popularity, the best solution will deliver traffic to cloud based platforms as well as traditional locations. This will also help you prepare for the opportunities which cloud innovation creates.
This kind of solution is readily available today and will help ensure that your retail business moves seamlessly from a traditional model of “set and forget” to an environment of continual change to keep pace.
If you would like to know more you can contact Katherine on firstname.lastname@example.org.
+Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018, PWC
* Juniper Research, AI in Retail: Disruption, Analysis and Opportunities, 2018
^ Juniper Research, IoT in Retail: Strategies & Forecasts for Retailers and Platform Providers, 2018