Boosting social media at the point of sale

Social media plays such a huge role for retailers, allowing brands to showcase their values and what they stand for, as well as tell stories that resonate with their audience. To demonstrate the power of social media, 76% of consumers have purchased something they saw on a brand’s social media post.

The need to build social into a marketing and engagement strategy is especially strong for brands looking to attract a younger, Gen Z, audience. This is a customer group whose preferences move fast. It’s therefore vital that brands capture their attention quickly, effectively and where they live when online and all of this means social media. Make no mistake, these are customers who are used to and expect a high level of online social engagement from companies and are extremely adept at using the technology that facilitates social media interaction. 

And if you’re really serious about engaging this audience, occasional posting on social media profiles isn’t enough. Engagement needs to be highly personalised and responsive and works most successfully when product recommendations are tailored to the individual, even when the business doesn’t offer a bespoke or tailored service.  

When a customer is in-store then you might feel that this is one place where online social media has no role to play, however it’s still possible to build the physical store into the social media experiences and softPOS is a great way to do this.

What is SoftPOS?

With softPOS or software POS, merchants can take payments on smartphones or other enabled devices – e.g. tablets. Customers can pay with contactless cards or from smartphone wallets, using the likes of Apple Pay, Google Pay or Android Pay.

The merchant doesn’t need any additional hardware, not even a point of sale (POS) terminal. All that’s required is a smartphone or other device that is Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled. The payment software is simply downloaded to the device. Once it is, staff can walk about the store and take payment at the point of interaction (POI) with customers – there’s no need for customers to join a formal queue to pay at the till. This is one of softPOS’ benefits and means both customers and staff can move more freely around a store and interact more easily.

Social media at the point of interaction

And it’s this capability to meet the customers at the POI that is helping retailers innovate on social media.

As the staff on the shopfloor have access to a smartphone or other similar device, they can quickly access social media channels to create social media posts with customers at the point of purchase.

For example, staff can ask customers to pose for a picture with their new purchase for a chance to win money off or pick up other prizes. The photo can be published on social media to promote the item and also highlight the in-store experience. Some stores and venues now offer backgrounds that people can use for selfies that include the name of the store. More advanced setups may offer lighting or a kiosk that offers multiple selfie options so the customer can customise their look, making it even more likely they will share images on social media. 

Or it could be something as simple as prompting customers at the checkout to follow a retailer’s social channel with messaging such as “With a single click, you can follow us on TikTok and boost your chances of winning a voucher.”

If certain products are on sale in-store and online, staff can engage with customers when they’re purchasing these sale items. A quick testimonial from a customer can be posted to social media with the option for other customers to purchase that same sale product online directly from the social media post.

Staff in-store can also post asking users who’ve bought the same item online to share pictures with their new purchases. By utilising a consistent hashtag, your in-store staff are connecting your online and offline customers whilst promoting your products too.

Product recommendations at the POI

As well as promoting customer purchases at the point of interaction, softPOS also enables staff to enhance the customer experience.

Due to the open APIs of softPOS systems, the likes of inventory management and customer relationship management software can be integrated too. This gives staff plenty at their fingertips to better serve customers. A customer that buys one product can be shown complementary products at the point of interaction. They can purchase both there and then from the same sales assistant, with their purchases also linked to their customer account – this enables them to receive loyalty points as well as a digital receipt.

And if they’d be happy to pose for a picture with their items, it can be used to create social media content at the point of sale too. Then the whole cycle can begin again for other customers.In convenience store retail and particularly where self service opportunities are being embraced, after completing a transaction, retailers can prompt a link to their social media channels, prompting customers to interact with the brand online.

The right technology can enhance customer engagement offline and online

By tapping into the capabilities of softPOS, retailers can enhance their customer experience in-store, but they can also boost their social media engagement online. And with the two combined, comes a new opportunity to communicate with their audience. Plus, it makes the purchase process in-store simple, efficient and cost-effective.

At Aevi, our platform provides the orchestration and the integration for in-person payments, tying in in-person payment with e-commerce. Discover more about our platform and what it can mean for in-person payments and online engagement.

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