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The Latest in Retail Technology

by Tillpoint Editorial Team 16 Oct, 2016

All forms of technology are inexorably moving forward, including advancements in retail, with many companies attempting to revolutionise the customer experience, making life easier for people like you and me. The POS industry is a booming market, with over two hundred point of sale apps on the App Store alone, not to mention the multitude of newer, more intelligent systems currently in development. No one can predict the future, but with all this exciting growth in retail technology, we can make an educated guess.

Customer Cashiers

The days of queuing up behind obnoxious shoppers may be over thanks to clever self-checkout services. And no, not exactly the ones you’re used to. New tech will allow you to turn any mobile device (like a smartphone, iPad or tablet) into a barcode scanner and subsequent payment terminal. These devices effectively turn customers into cashiers, allowing them to process their own purchases. This would allow you to scan and pay for all your items as you comfortably browse the store. When you’re finished, head to a cashier who’s job it will be to confirm that your digital receipt matches the items in your bag. Alternatively, there could be weighing scales, similar to those at current self-checkout machines, that weigh your items to ensure everything has been paid for.

self checkout counter

Self-Checkout Delivery Service

The South Korean supermarket chain, Homeplus, who were formerly owned by Tesco PLC, have taken retail technology into unprecedented territory. They opened a virtual store like no other, having large photos to recreate normal shopping aisles, including all the items you’d typically see. Each item has its own corresponding bar code, to which a person can scan using a mobile device and pay for the items. The items would then be sent directly to the customers house, in time to meet them there. Think of it like a pizza delivery service, but for normal, everyday items. These virtual stores were strategically placed on rail station platforms, a place where people would usually just spend time waiting for their train to arrive. That small amount of frustrating time has now been transformed into efficient shopping minutes.

woman scanning item with smartphone
Courtesy of Lildoremi

Mobile POS

Point of sale systems are undoubtedly going in the direction of mobile, with more and more cloud-based solutions cropping up everyday. Online POS systems certainly have more benefits over the older and more traditional cash registers, which is why many companies are now opting for fully mobile systems. The prospects of better online security and an unrivalled level of accessibility are what’s caused this shift in regards to retail technology. Until brain-computer interface is the standard, it seems that online point of sale systems are what will dominate the coming decades. 

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