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With the economy prospering and consumers flowing confidently into the new year, retail trends are scoring high in the opening days of 2019. Though giant retailers, such as Sears, have succumbed to the struggle. Others have still found a way to not bite the dust and flourish, while still finding their niche market. Yes, it’s no question that online sales have impacted physical store retail space. Many brick + mortar stores are thriving into the future. Many retailers have chosen to view the store as a local warehouse in operational standards to gain revenue and market share. Here’s to looking forward to new trends in the retail industry and how ISVs can get involved in the following 5 trends:
1. Tablet-based POS
Mobile POS connected to tablets has peaked last year. You’ll probably even notice that many small and new restaurants and retail spaces use tablet for their point of sale systems. Why would this be? For starters, they’re lightweight. They’re fast. They’re affordable for business owners who are just starting out in the industry. Tablet and Mobile POS users are able to cut down on line queues, multi-task through checking inventory and even increasing shopper loyalty.
2. Retail Cash Management
Monitoring cash management is a growing trend in retail as time goes on. Retailers are seeing productivity improvements and operational alternatives to old issues with cash management. Rather than spending the whole shift reconciling drawers and counting small bills and coins, store owners and cashiers are able to cut back on that and enhance their customer service abilities. Let technology handle the cash management processes both at the front end and in the back office, to prevent interrupting any active transactions. These update cash management systems are working to reduce cash loss through accurate cash tracking in real-time. Metrics and analytics are provided using these capabilities as well.
3. Mobile Wallets
Mobile wallets are everywhere and they are multiplying by the numbers. Though you can make a purchase through the comfort of your smart phone, maybe they aren’t so convenient as perceived. Mobile devices can lose charge, prohibiting you from accepting and processing those payments. It’s also shown that PCI certifications are strung along with costly fees as well, This causes mobile wallet options to be quite the burden on retailers. Those that wish to support a large range of mobile wallet platforms can pay up to $10,000 per platform, making it a no-go for sure. Extending off of that, the jury is still out on determining if these digital wallets will receive in the long run.
4. EMV Deployments
EMV hasn’t fully been embraced. Retailers find it too expensive and that it only benefits the banks. Many retailers have calculated the risk to forgo EMV, but U.S. automated fuel merchants have until October 2020, or risk being liable for insecure POS hardware and software. The process of updating card readers can be a heavy expense to retailers, but the horror of the $400 million dollars in annual gas station fraud trumps that expense entirely. It’s likely that many c-stores and gas stations will see updates in their chip readers as the time goes on.
5. Robots & Beyond
2019 will bring the emergence of many new technologies as well, including A.I. and IoT. Robots are projected to start having a more dominant presence in both physical stores and online as chatbots. It’s predicted that retailers can see advances in digital signage options and more intelligent price labeling choices.
As the new year unfolds in the upcoming weeks, ISVs and VARs should be aware of how they can get involved with these projected trends. Retail is an ever-changing market. Those key players will continue to evolve with new desires and needs to stay above the competition. That’s where ISVs can get involved and control the game.