Your Last Traditional POS

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1 RIS News Custom Research Your Last Traditional POS Examining the future of retail POS in a brave new omnichannel world produced by

2 by joe skorupa Your Last Traditional POS Examining the future of retail POS in a brave new omnichannel world Trending analysis reflects popularity of a sort, but it should not be compared to an election that produces a definitive winner. In polls, surveys and studies, the majority does not always rule or produce the biggest takeaways. Sometimes the big findings are tucked away in the small numbers that reveal emerging trends poking their heads up just over the horizon. A perfect case in point is revealed in this custom research report. It emerges in a question that asks whether or not retailers are deploying or planning to deploy their last traditional POS. This is a bold question to ask because the current POS model is a proven, retail-hardened, deeply established technology that works just fine in virtually every brick-and-mortar store in the developed world. Today s POS conducts billions of dollars in transactions every day, serves shoppers and retailers reliably, and sends data to dozens of enterprise applications in near-real time or, at the very least, every night. Why would retailers want to change an IT system so rocksolid and central to the financial health of their businesses? The quick answer is that a majority of retailers don t want to make a change 53.8% tell us it is too early to tell if they plan to shift away from their current POS model. Another group (12.8%) is more definitive about their opinion and say they have no plans to even consider such a shift. (Figure 1.) But this is not the big finding. The big finding is that one third of retailers say, yes, we are deploying or planning to deploy our last traditional POS. That s right, one third of retailers. This is a major takeaway in the study and one that sets up the rest of our report, which examines the future of retail POS in an omnichannel world. The Customer Is King In retail, the customer is king (or queen) and if she wants om- Combining the breadth of online with the immediacy of the store Store metrics such as revenue, margins and comps are one measure of success, but it s the ability to capture, convert, and retain the well-informed, technically savvy shoppers who transcend channel barriers that marks the future of retail. Research shows shoppers who leverage digital and physical touchpoints interchangeably to make purchasing decisions are significantly more valuable than their single channel counterparts. OneView Commerce Store brings a single point of commerce into the store giving associates the enterprise view of customers, products and sales information they need to deliver exceptional customer service and increase conversion. OneView uses a single platform of shared services, based on the latest mobile development technologies, to drive all commerce transactions across the brand. This eliminates traditional channel barriers and transforms the traditional store experience by combining the depth and reach of the online experience with the immediacy and personal interaction of the store. Shoppers may now browse online, add items to their virtual basket and schedule an appointment, purchase online and pickup in-store, ship to store or reserve online. This information is sent to the store where associates are immediately empowered to engage the customer with specific upsell, cross sell, promotion or customer service strategies. Additionally, associates now have a 360 degree view of customer information including purchase history, order information, loyalty program and wish lists, allowing them to make product recommendations, locate stock or complete orders based on a customer s unique buying behaviors to further increase in-store conversions. OneView Commerce M AY / J U N E R I S N E W S. C O M

3 FIGURE 1 nichannel shopping, then she will get omnichannel shopping. She will get it from you or if she has to look around, she will get it from one of your competitors. In this environment, retailers find themselves rushing into things they never thought they would do, never wanted to do or never thought possible. One of these things is changing the underlying foundations of tried-and-true POS. When we asked retailers to tell us their long-term POS plans the largest group (31.6%) said they plan to converge their store POS and e-commerce platforms into a tightly integrated hybrid model. (Figure 2.) Today, store and e-commerce transaction systems are separated into silos because e- commerce was added to the business model long after stores were established. As a result, there is a known issue in the retail enterprise around the problem of aggregating transaction data. It can and is being done, but it is fraught with complexity, the enemy of cost effectiveness and accuracy. A hybrid approach, often achieved using an enterprise service bus or a services oriented architecture, is an evolutionary step that enables retailers to achieve benefits while leveraging deep investments in legacy systems. It may not be a forever solution, but it enables retailers to operate more efficiently today while preserving value in current technology investments. Once again, the biggest takeaways are found in the smaller numbers, especially those that touch upon a unified commerce model. We see that 13.2% say their longterm plan is for POS to assume a central role in a unified commerce model, which is sometimes called a unified transaction engine. Another say they plan to shift to an e-commerce platform that assumes a center role in a unified commerce model. Added together this totals 18.5%, or nearly a fifth, who say they are in the early stages of exploring a revolutionary future for POS, a solution that does not actually exist right now but is gradually emerging. To benchmark where retailers are in their omnichannel journey we asked which functions had clear definitions and procedures at the store level. One of the big issues with omnichannel retailing is that it is often not clearly defined. (Figure 3.) We find that in-store return of online or- I am currently deploying or planning to deploy my last traditional POS and I believe I will ultimately shift to a unified commerce platform. FIGURE 2 What are your long-term omnichannel POS plans? FIGURE % Disagree 53.8% Too early to tell 33.3% Agree Converge POS and e-commerce platform into a hybrid commerce model Connect mobile POS devices to a growing range of omnichannel solutions No plans to alter POS to fit omnichannel model POS assumes central role in a unified commerce model E-commerce platform assumes central role in a unified commerce model Wait until a new omnichannel commerce solution emerges 13.2% Which of these omnichannel functions have clear definitions and procedures at the store level? FIGURE 4 How do you measure the overall business impact of your omnichannel strategy? Sales by channel Traffic by channel Conversion by channel In-store return of online orders In-store pickup of online orders Sales support and product information on mobile devices Credit strategy for multi-channel sales Handling save-the-sale transactions for items not carried in stores Making transactions for items found in other stores Clientelling or customer profile information on mobile devices Creating split baskets for in-store and online purchases 29.7% 27% 89.2% 13.5% 18.4% 51.4% 45.9% 43.2% 37.8% 32.4% 32.4% 26.3% 67.6% 31.6% R I S N E W S. C O M M A R C H

4 FIGURE 5 ders is the top function that retailers have mastered at the store level. This is a big area of concern to retailers because the return rate for online purchases is many times higher than it is for in-store purchases. Returns have to be accounted for and need to be well managed to avoid big losses from occurring in sell-through rates and inventory counts. In-store pickup of online orders is rapidly becoming a mainstream offering in retail with 51.4% of retailers telling us they have clear definitions and procedures to manage this omni-channel process. These functions, as well as the others listed in Figure 3, are key elements in omnichannel shopping that are having a big impact on POS. They require delivering realtime, accurate enterprise-class information to sales associates on the sales floor. This information includes product descriptions, inventory location, availability for sale, customer profiles and more. The majority of POS systems deployed today were not designed to handle these complex tasks, which is why many retailers are seeking major upgrades. Getting Granular about Omnichannel One of the major goals of this report is to more closely define the effect of omnichannel retailing on the evolution of POS as well as on the transformation of the entire industry. So, we asked how retailers measure the business impact of their omnichannel strategy, and a basic truth emerges: there is a need for retailers to appear to be omnichannel to their shoppers, but there is also a need to manage channels individually within their organizations. Deploying monolithic systems is not what omnichannel is all about. (See Figure 4.) An overwhelming majority of retailers (89.2%) say they measure the impact of their omnichannel strategy by using a salesby-channel method. No surprise here. Metrics for sales are tied to plans, goals, budgets, incentives and just about everything else in the enterprise. Therefore, channel sales have to be monitored closely. However, it is surprising to learn that traffic is not often tracked (only 29.7% do it now) nor is conversion by channel (27%). This means that these metrics are advanced Which of these granular omnichannel metrics do you track? FIGURE 6 How much of the total IT budget do you estimate goes toward omnichannel costs? (Includes current projects, ongoing expenses, outsourcing, internal staff, external staff and consulting services?) FIGURE 7 Store sales influenced by digital channels Online sales of products picked up in stores Sales made or influenced by in-store mobile devices Digital and store sales influenced by social networks Digital sales influenced by stores How much of the total IT budget do you estimate goes toward omnichannel costs? <1% 1%-5% 5%-10% 10% -15% 15%-20% 20%-30% 30%-50% >50% 2.6% <1% 2% 3% - 4% 5% - 6% 7% - 10% >10% 12.9% competencies and they will likely be rolled out in future phases. Digging deeper (See Figure 5.) we find that retailers are interested in determining how store sales are influenced by digital channels (58.8%). Other omnichannel sales metrics that retailers are beginning to track 10.5% 7.7% 7.7% 13.2% 12.9% 23.5% 17.6% 15.4% 18.4% 32.4% 29.4% 21.2% 23.7% 58.8% 30.8% include: online sales of products picked up in stores (32.4%), sales made or influenced by in-store mobile devices (29.4%), digital and store sales influenced by social networks (23.5%), and digital sales influenced by stores (17.6%). What about sales gained or lost due to

5 FIGURE 8 omnichannel readiness? Do you have an idea about what this figure might be? We asked our respondents to provide us with their best estimation and they say lift would be 6% higher if their organizations were omnichannel ready. In other words, a billiondollar retailer would lift sales by $60 million if it were omnichannel ready today. Put another way, it can be said that a retailer of similar size is losing $60 million by not being omnichannel ready. RIS has tracked this figure in several surveys in the last 12 months and due to different respondent samples a range has been established between 5% and 8%. Therefore, the finding in this survey is a confirming datapoint within the range established by other studies. Make no mistake about it, a great deal of money is at stake in the rush to become omnichannel ready. (See Figure 6. for a more detailed breakdown.) Clearly, POS is being impacted by omnichannel forces, but it is fair to say the entire IT department has also been feeling its effects. To find out what these effects are in dollar terms we asked how much of the total IT budget goes toward omnichannel costs for current projects, ongoing expenses, outsourcing, internal staff, external staff and consulting services. Our respondents say 10% to 15% of the IT budget goes to omnichannel projects. So, for a company with an IT budget of $100 million it means that $10 million to $15 million is dedicated to an omnichannel transformation. No doubt this figure will rise as competitive forces heat up and proven omnichannel pathways emerge. (See Figure 7. for a more detailed breakdown.) The final point we wanted to find out was how long it will take retailers to arrive at their omnichannel destination. The answer to this question is three years, according to our respondents, who recognize there is a lot of work to achieve omnichannel nirvana. (See Figure 8. for a more detailed breakdown.) Getting Granular about POS One of the big paradoxes that has arisen amid the buzz of mobile POS has to do with a key question: Where are all the mobile POS units being deployed in the marketplace? Despite the huge amount of activity As you gain perspective on your omnichannel journey how long do you think it will take to get where you want to go? FIGURE 9 What is the chain-wide status of mobile POS in your stores? FIGURE months 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 5+ years 7.9% 28.2% No plans 10.5% Planning 15.8% 28.9% 10.5% 31.6% 15.4% Piloting 12.8% Rolled out chain-wide 7.7% Rolled out in targeted stores 10.3% Early testing What is your timetable for a major POS upgrade? (Major upgrade means replacing significant elements as opposed to an update or adding a new function.) 10.3% Will start within 12 months 10.3% Will start within 6 months 20.5% Will start in months announced by retailers around the country, the truth is that it is very difficult to find a brick-and-mortar store associate actually using a mobile POS to serve customers. This is borne out in the finding that only 12.8% of retailers say they have rolled out mobile POS chain-wide. No doubt retailers 33.3% No plans Currently upgrading are discovering there are challenges to overcome with mobile POS that include issues with connectivity, sleds, devices, store processes, associate training, payment, shrink, security and more. (See Figure 9.) That said, there is huge amount of mobile POS activity taking place in retail today

6 FIGURE 11 and, in fact, a vast majority of retailers are in some phase of testing: are currently planning, 10.3% are in early testing, 15.4% are piloting, and 7.7% are rolling mobile POS out to targeted stores. Only 28.2% say they have no mobile POS plans and that is not likely to change much over the years, because not all retail segments are ideal candidates for using it. As RIS found out in its recent 2014 Store Systems Study, overall there is a massive amount of POS upgrade activity going on today say they are currently in the process of upgrading and 10.3% will start within six months. Combining these two numbers, we see that more than a third of retailers have budgeted projects in place for major upgrades. Nothing more clearly shows the effect mobile and omnichannel forces are having on POS. (See Figure 10.) Finally, we wanted to gauge the impact of the looming EMV/chip-and-pin mandate set for October 2015 by the credit card issuers. Will it have an effect on POS plans and budgets? The short answer is, yes, but not much. We find that 41% say there will be no impact in This doesn t mean that the deadline for enabling the use of EMV smartcards is being ignored, it just indicates there is no urgency at the moment. Most retailers say they have already begun some form of preparation: say planning has already begun, 15.4% say deployment has already begun, and 10.3% say planning will begin by end of year. The remaining portion, nearly 50%, apparently plan to begin and complete their EMV rollout in less than a year. Let s wish them the best of luck! Methodology This study was conducted during the month of April and only senior executives from national or large regional retailers were invited to participate. The results do not include any store-level, field-level or regional employees. Only headquarters-level staff responses were included. Conclusion So, what is the answer to our bold question: Are you deploying or planning to deploy your last traditional POS? Today, the answer for mainstream retailing is not yet, but it is clear that the forces What will be the impact of the EMV/chip-and-pin mandate set for 2015 by the credit card issuers on your POS plans and budgets? 15.4% Deployment process has already begun FIGURE 12 What was your company s revenue in the most recent 12-month period? FIGURE % Planning and deployment will begin in % Planning will begin by end of year 25.0% More than $5 billion 25.0% $1 billion to $5 billion 7.7% Not on radar, no plans Planning has already begun 41.0% No impact in % Less than $100 million 27.8% $100 to $500 million What was your company s sales performance in the most recent 12 month period? 13.9% Increased more than 5% of change are blowing. Mobility and omnichannel retailing are having a major effect on the future of POS. Upgrade activity has never been higher and some of it is occurring in the area of merging traditional POS systems with e-commerce to create a closely coupled hybrid solution. Some retailers are 55.6% Increased up to 5% 30.6% Decreased even contemplating a unified transaction platform. Omnichannel readiness, which this study examines in a unique level of granular detail, is a multi-year journey that is having a major impact on sales, IT budgets and, in no small part, the future of POS. RIS

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