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Retail Technology Trends in the New Year

Retailers are always looking to improve their customers’ shopping experiences. A critical factor in this will be finding ways to leverage technology an[1] [2] d upgrading stores to create a personalized shopping experience that better meets customer needs. To attract more customers, they must research how they can upgrade their store, find the best point-of-sale system, utilize delivery services, and become more environmentally conscious.

How the POS System Has Changed Over the Years

As the world changes, so does technology and how we interact with it. For instance, the point-of-sale system has constantly evolved since it was first invented in 1879. In 1879, it was referred to as a “cash register,” recording transactions with mechanical keys. It wasn’t until 1973 that the first computer-driven point-of-sale system was introduced to society. Customers who used credit cards had a harder time paying when there was no microprocessor around, and they had to manually input their information.

With many consumers using credit cards to make purchases, the point-of-sale system and credit cards have formed a convenient marriage. In 1984, McDonald’s started bringing in POS terminals and the first microprocessor cash register. On the right side of the microprocessor is a swipe slot for customers to swipe their cards when paying for the transaction, and there is also a PIN pad where they can enter their card information. Fast forward to the 1990s and 2000s, when the evolution of a point-of-sale system became more than just completing a sales transaction. POS systems started becoming cloud-based, transforming how users accessed their data. The data can be accessed from any device connected to the cloud software.

Today, modern point-of-sale systems have integrated systems such as inventory management, camera integration, tobacco scan data, ID scanning for age verification, employee time clocks, customer tabs, e-commerce, loyalty programs, and so forth. These systems can be controlled from any device, anytime, anywhere. With technology continuing to advance, developers will create more programs to assist business owners in modernizing and improving their stores in the coming years.

Contactless Credit Card Processing

In 2005, contactless credit card processing was introduced in the U.S., which has changed how people shop in stores by providing a more secure and convenient way to pay for goods. Credit cards have surpassed cash as a preferred payment method, and it is predicted that by 2030, more than 1.25 billion people will be using credit cards[1]. Since the pandemic, shopping online has become increasingly popular, and so have store contactless payments. Many people were weary of touching microprocessors and leaving their homes to shop. However, many people like using credit cards because of the convenience, the fact that they prevent fraud, and the offers they receive. As a result, using credit cards as a form of payment is here to stay and will continue to be so in the future.

That is why many business owners are now purchasing a point-of-sale system compatible with a credit card reader to seamlessly take customer payments. Now, many point-of-sale systems accept more than just major credit card companies and accept EBT, EMV, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. This provides customers with more payment options and increases the likelihood of customer satisfaction as they have more ways to complete a purchase. Businesses that accept credit cards online and in person can reach a larger consumer base, increasing their profit margins, which can help them in the long run.

Delivery Services

Online food delivery has soared through the pandemic, and the market is expected to grow to $266.05 billion from 2023 to 2027[2]. Approximately 60% of customers prefer to order takeout rather than dine in, and many customers find ordering online more convenient and love that they can get more discounts when ordering online. Food delivery services like DoorDash, Instacart, Caviar, GrubHub, and UberEats notify customers when their food is ready, picked up, and delivered to their door. These apps show when a customer receives their food, whereas there is no way to predict when they will receive their food in a restaurant. Customers no longer have to wait hours in restaurants for food, revolutionizing the food industry.

Business owners should take advantage of this opportunity and offer these services to customers. Offering these services can lead to more customers, a stronger online presence, and higher revenue. Not only that, but it can be beneficial for people who do not have enough time to shop or are medically unable to go out to eat. These people can find the store from wherever they are, and who knows, they might become repeat customers.

Going Green

When customers place their orders, it is best to use biodegradable or recyclable bags, utensils, and straws. Many states are now making it illegal to use all plastic items; regardless of where a business is located, it is always a good idea to follow state law. However, if no state laws govern where a business may be located, being more environmentally friendly has become trendy. Inform customers about the store’s commitment to being more environmentally conscious. Restaurant owners, for example, can purchase recyclable and biodegradable restaurant supplies that clearly state that they are environmentally friendly. When ringing up customers, give them the option of receiving their receipt via email or text rather than printing it.

In order to keep up with customer demand and remain competitive in the marketplace, store owners should strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to developing trends. That is why it is critical to constantly research what new retail trends are emerging each year. Of course, the trends will continue to be popular for many years to come, but store[3]  owners can always develop them further. It is possible that by expanding on these trends and using more creativity to promote a business, a company will look more successful than its competitors ever did. So, start researching, planning, and implementing these trends and strategies for your business today.

[1] https://wallethub.com/edu/cc/number-of-credit-cards/25532

[2] https://www.yahoo.com/now/global-online-demand-food-delivery-113300258.html

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