From point of sale to point of engagement with Verifone’s innovative solutions

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23.07.2018 12:05:41 Page views 203 views

Today’s retail industry is revolving around modern consumers who are demand-ingan innovative shopping experience. Their changing expectations often repre-sent challenges but do also offer undreamt possibilities for merchants to reach, interact with and win over new customers. How can they leverage them in the best way to do so?

Today’s retail industry is revolving around modern consumers who are demand-ingan innovative shopping experience. Their changing expectations often repre-sent challenges but do also offer undreamt possibilities for merchants to reach, interact with and win over new customers. How can they leverage them in the best way to do so?

Retail is greatly influenced by consumer behaviour and needs.In particular, in this dec-ade’s digital revolution new expectations have evolved which merchants have to meet to be successful. With the rise of a global e-commerce industry, consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience, simplicity and security of the online shopping experience. As they are now expecting the same benefits in the e-commerce as well as in physical stores, retailers have to adapt their store concept on-site. Verifonehelps merchants to grow and interact with their customers in new wayswith the new Engage series which combines the online and offline experience.

The best of both worlds

Considering that still only a minor amount of retail sales in Russia are generated online, it is clear that the reign of the physical retail is far from over. The challenge merchants are now confronted with is making the experience instores similar to the one online. When consumers walk into a shop, they expect offers that are personalized and rele-vant as they are used to be presented with when they log into their online shopping accounts. And they likely spend more money in stores where they are greeted by name and treated like a valued customer.

The key to this personalization is data. In online shops relevant personal information is already integrated in algorithms which create an individual shopping experience. How retailers use data in their physical stores to understand their customers and respectfully customize processes will reshape offline experiences.

During visits of stores and restaurants, consumers increasingly have their smartphone at the ready to aid their purchases – whether to compare menu items, or to find deals and locate products as they walk the aisles. Even at the checkout a growing number of people draw their smartphones to pay via NFC, QR or barcodes instead of their bank cards.Smartphonesare more and more becoming the go-to companions when it comes to shopping and dining. At the same time, new consumer-facing technology such as cloud-based apps and digital payment methods are constantly being introduced, and consumers will expect to use them in the physical store.

Verifone’s Engageseries for connected commerce

Connecting online and offline channels can provide merchants with access to advanced consumer data and analytics which are needed for better targeting, consumer insights, and personalization across all customer touchpoints. Considering the complexity and ever-changing nature of technology, apps and regulation, integrating online and physi-cal storefronts in a way that is consistent and seamless from the consumer’s point of view represents a major challenge for retailers.

Advanced payment technology such as Verifone’s new Engage series offers a solution for merchants to overcome these obstacles. The Engage terminals have transformed POS technology from simple devices for settling transactions to multifunctioning smart engines: The Engage series combines design and ergonomics with innovative tech-nologies. Besides the latest Linux-based operating system, the Engage devices are equipped with an open architecture and a modern application framework that offer high functionality and commerce capabilities. They connect cashless payments to value-added services while providing a high-performance communications platform.

In Russia, Verifone is now launching theEngage series, meeting the needs of different market environments and retailers: Partly equipped with touch screens and printersthe devices ensure maximum flexibility and offer solutions for both, stationary and mobile use– fromsmall to high performance environments with a large number of transactions per day.

Verifone’s new Engage series: from countertop, pin pad, to multimedia and mobile

Transform the customer experience with Beacon technology

By natively supporting beacon technology, all Engage devices offer merchants numer-ous use cases. Given thatthe use of smartphones is taking a considerable part of con-sumers’ everyday life,this offers merchants the possibility to learn more about their customers and approach them with targeted offers. Using beacons, retailers can identify and understand individual shopping behaviour through their customers’ smartphones that allows them to send out personalized content.

Small transmitters based on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard are integrated in every Engage terminal. Prerequisites on part of the customers are an activated Blue-tooth connection on their smartphones and an app of the merchant’s shop. As soon as a corresponding smartphone is close to a beacon, the app recognizes its signal and sends this information to a linked beacon and customer relationship management sys-tem (CRM). By comparing customer and campaign data, the merchant can send per-sonalized push notifications with individual buying incentives to the consumer’s smart-phone.

Besides the direct approach at the POS, merchants can use beacons to collect cus-tomer data and gain more consumer insights for further retargeting in other communica-tion channels. By placing beacons in different areas of a shop, they can identify and record the customers’ activities during a shopping trip.

Thereby, not only online and mobile seized data can be considered for retargeting, but also information about the customers’ buying behaviour on-site.

Engage devices with integrated beacon technology for personalized content

With value-adding servicesto new interactions

Verifone’sEngage series comes with an intuitive user interface that facilitates cashless payments and guides customers easily through their transaction process. In combina-tion with Verifone’s Media Management system, the Engage terminals’ brilliant displays can be used for digital signage – transforming the devices into innovative advertising platforms. The Engage terminals guarantee the customers’ eye contact and attention while they are waiting at the checkout. Merchants can place and manage for example advertisements, announcements, discount campaigns or videos on the terminal dis-plays, and thereby, increase the attraction of the checkout for an improved customer experience.

The Engage series offers all payment options available: including contactless and mobile payments

Moreover, all Engage devices are cloud-connected and provide access to popular business and consumer applications.These apps can be developed and tested using developer toolkits and downloaded via Verifone Connect, the company’s new App Marketplace. By integrating applications on payment devices, merchants can customize their terminals to their needs and extend their functionality. The devices then can be used for materials management and reporting or for personalizing the shopping experience with product recommendations. With value-adding services, payment devices are becoming an interface for interactions between merchants and customers right away at the POS.

Payment methods at highest security

Thanks to the integrated NFC and QR technology, the Engage terminals can also ac-cept contactless and mobile payments such as Alipay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. In view of the unprecedented growth in the digital payment industry with more alternate payment options available, security will become even more necessary and needs to evolve. All merchants – regardless of size – are vulnerable to payment system attacks, and customers are concerned about the security of their information when making a payment. At Verifone, security will continue to be the highest concern. Therefore, all Engage terminals offer highest security according to the international standards PCI 4 and PCI 5.

Always at the cutting edge

The payment process is often the last contact the customer is experiencing with the merchant, taking this last impression with him. Therefore, it is crucial for retailers to interact with their customers at the checkout. Beacons, apps and other technologies will noticeably enrich the shopping experience. But these innovations demand new solu-tions. Future-oriented POS terminals such as Verifone’sEngage devices change the customer experience from simply processing transactions to engaging with consumers at the checkout – constantly fulfilling the needs of retailers and consumers worldwide.

Journal:  PLUS Journal 5 (252) 2018

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