A retailers strategy is anything but stagnant. Operators are continuously looking for new ways to change and improve their processes. Especially right now, organizations are asking themselves a number of questions regarding the POS environment. Do we allocate our entire budget toward mobile technology? Do we wait to see what other retailers do, and adopt alongside the late movers? What is our target customer demographic; do they even have smartphones? If so, would they use tablet/mobile technology if we had it? All of these are excellent questions, and I am sure prior to the New Year most retailers have either determined the answer, or will be making a decision after attending NRF in January. Ultimately, despite the new technology, retailers are forced to make choices based on the current state of the economy as well as what will increase sales. Aside from these factors, this blog post attempts to connect another business philosophy. The question at hand, can it be applied to the Point of Sale?
Think Local, Act Local
There is a popular business philosophy called “Think Local, Act Local.” This strategy allows businesses to tailor operations and offerings depending on their smaller communities and followers. As opposed to, “Think Global, Act Local,” where processes are centralized, retailers have the ability to connect with their smaller communities while still maintaining a strong global presence. While this philosophy is not a new phenomenon, social networking and a greater focus on customer loyalty has allowed retailers to think about “Think Local, Act Local” in a different light. I believe this implementation will continue to spread as companies adapt and realize monetary potential with this strategy.
Here’s one example, in a recent Washington Post Business article entitled Holiday 2011 Shopping: A tough economy sharply divides winners and losers, Macy’s Department Store is on top of the list of winners. Specifically stated, “The department store chain is benefiting from its sweeping plan to tailor merchandise to local markets (sound familiar?).”
How does this relate to POS?
Now comes the question: how do you apply this localization concept when determining the point of sale for your stores? For example, take a single Walgreens Pharmacy. If Walgreen’s has a location in the vicinity of a senior living facility, investing in smartphone checkout may not be wise (or profitable). Wouldn’t it be ideal for stores to match their POS technology with their specific store demographic, just as it is for McDonald’s to match their product offerings to reflect the areas culture.
Understandably so, most retailers have certain point of sale reporting that needs to go to corporate. My question is, as long as the reporting is still standard, can the point of sale be tailored on an individual store level? If so, the answer to investing in mobile technology seems pretty simple. Know your audiences — “Think Local, Act Local.”
I would love to hear what you think on this topic. Maybe my ideas are far-fetched, or maybe retailers have already considered this? Tell me about it!