SoftPOS and high-street fashion
The high-street doesn’t look like it did 10 or even five years ago. High-street retailers don’t serve their customers in the same way as they once did. And rightly so. Today, the customer experience is central to the success of the high-street. Not just in being able to find the best products quickly on the shop floor, but also in how customers pay for those products and how retailers can offer a personalised experience in store and at the POS.
Right now, we’re seeing more retailers adopt softPOS payment solutions in their stores. So, what is softPOS and why are they doing it? Here we’ll take a look at what it is and how it can impact the high-street fashion industry.
What is softPOS?
SoftPOS or software POS enables merchants to take payments on smartphones, tablets or other enabled devices. Payment is taken from contactless cards or from smartphones (from wallets like ApplePay, Android Pay or SamsungPay).
No additional hardware is needed, not even a point of sale (POS) terminal. The only requirement is that the smartphone or other device is Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled. This is where the software comes in – it’s just a simple download.
How high-street fashion can take advantage of this innovation
So, what does this innovation mean for high-street fashion retailers? It all comes down to the customer experience. Just a simple bit of technology not only revolutionises how customers can pay for goods, but it also completely changes the way that the retail staff interact with the customers on the shop floor.
Queue busting and portability
We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all been there. You choose the clothes you want, you’ve tried them on and then you see the queue. It’s snaking up and down and looks like it will take ages to get to the front.
SoftPOS systems offer a simple solution. They can be much faster and more efficient than traditional POS systems, as there’s no need to queue up to use them. Staff can meet customers on the shop floor armed with a softPOS to take payments on the spot. It’s super-efficient and fast, and great for the customer experience.
This portability also allows stores and venues to consider offering completely new experiences for customers. This could be something like paying for goods outside a store on the pavement. Or consider being able to quickly vary where experiences are offered, for example by opening popup shops rapidly.
SoftPOS systems can be integrated with other systems due to their open APIs. This means that retailers can integrate their inventory management and customer relationship management software with the device. It’s a simple and efficient integration.
When staff are dealing with customers and taking payment for the items they’ve chosen, this means that they can also identify products that complement them and offer them to customers during checkout. It’s a simple way to upsell and cross sell and boost the customer experience at the same time. It’s helpful for the customer and the merchant.
More payment options
SoftPOS systems offer a wide range of payment options, including contactless and mobile payments. They also provide enhanced security features such as encryption, tokenisation and fraud prevention.
It is also easy to integrate new payment methods into the mix, through seamless API integrations.
Elevating customer engagement
As staff no longer need to be manning the checkouts and waiting for customers to queue, they can get out on the shop floor and speak to people.
This means that as well as taking payment, they can build relationships with customers, recommend products and sign customers up to loyalty programmes. Their time is now spent engaging with customers and boosting the customer experience, rather than simply waiting for customers to reach the front of the line.
A softPOS can be integrated with customer data and can help retailers provide a personalised service and personalised experiences for customers.
Take loyalty programmes for example. The sales assistant can provide the customer enrolment, collection or redemption as part of the retailer’s loyalty scheme on the spot.
Detailed understanding of customers
A softPOS system can provide real-time data that can help fashion retailers to understand sales patterns, identify trends and make data-driven decisions.
All this can impact potential sales, but it also provides the opportunity to better enhance the customer experience in real-time.
Building a positive image
By being freed to spend time with a customer and understand their preferences and needs, sales staff are able to make recommendations deeply specific to that particular customer. By demonstrating this kind of understanding and by making a strong personal connection, brands can offer great experiences that create positive and lasting images of the brand. These positive images are, in turn, likely to keep customers returning to them and becoming advocates for them for a long time.
These kinds of positive experiences can quickly become strong differentiators that set brands apart from their competitors and improve the reputation of the brand to the point of being standouts.
Younger, GenZ customers are particularly receptive to these kinds of experiences. To take a real world example, stores have used a softPOS device such as smartphones and tablets to take pictures of customers immediately after purchase, which the customer then uploads to Instagram, tagging the brand and securing a discount of their next purchase. This creates a great experience for the customer, builds the presence of the brand and showcases an innovative use of technology.
Speaking of innovation…
Innovation at the point of interaction
With softPOS, fashion retailers can innovate and boost the customer experience at the point of interaction (POI) with their customers. It offers a quick and efficient way for customers to pay, but also for the retailer to upsell and integrate with loyalty programmes. It makes the purchase process much more interactive and engaging, and it also helps drive efficiencies on the shop floor.
With a simple and cost-effective solution for the shop floor, comes an immediate boost in customer experience, loyalty and brand love. 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 for the fashion industry.