The recent National Retail Federation – NRF Retail’s BIG show and expo in New York was an enormous success for the Ergonomic Solutions Group. With two booths, we followed the theme of the conference sessions by looking at how both static and mobile technology can be enabled to deliver that all important customer journey. Convergence between a store’s online offering and the bricks and mortar walk-in experience is where successful retail will be measured, in the future. As Jeremy King, CTO of Walmart, said, “When a person returns an item into the store that was bought online then this would have previously had to go back to the online business but now that it’s all integrated it’s so much simpler”.
But getting those basics right has its own challenges. The decline of the department store on a global scale is proof of what happens when traditional retail doesn’t keep pace with the expectations of their customers. Tired looking interiors, with a slow fashion cycle is a turn off and retailers such as Sears have found 4 out of 5 customers failing to return. In Germany, Karstadt and Kaufland’s merger comes at a time when Amazon has become the 6th largest retailer in that country. In the UK, the trials and tribulations of Debenhams and House of Fraser are well known.
However it is not all doom and gloom. Those savvy bricks and mortar stores grow their online and in-store business in parallel – Zara and H&M are great examples. Fashion and accessories are still touchy-feely purchases, and it’s key that the store environment is the place where those transactions still occur, rather than the high street becoming just a showroom with online being the place where the shopping purchase takes place.
The use of both static and mobile technology including tablet mounts, that supports the customer’s purchasing journey from enquiry all the way through to payment can provide that all important difference. The SpacePole booth at NRF 2019 reflected this need and addressed the serious practical issues that need to be taken into consideration for that investment to deliver, day in day out.
We had the busiest trade show in our history with interest across our range of technology mounting solutions for the point of sale, point of payment and point of service. Whether static or mobile, it is the enablement of that technology to deliver the customer experience whilst enhancing productivity for the store assistants that’s key. Our tablet-based technology mounting solutions resonated with many of our guests and reflected their need for a more agile approach to customer service.
Cloud based point of sale solutions have revolutionized the retail space. They answer the need for high functionality software based upon consumer grade tablets. Ensuring that these solutions deliver day in day out is key. We launched SpacePole TabPOS®, a stylish mounting solution for a tablet and printer combination which complements our pop-up C-Frame solution and sophisticated A-Frame universal tablet mounts to create a range of TabletPOS solutions for retailers of all sizes.
It’s all about reach
Accessibility is a right and not an option and our Accessibility Arm for payment terminals answers ADA requirements in the US and European accessibility legislation. Designed to offer a quick and easy way for the operator to adjust the height and tilt of the payment device for all customers to use. It is ideal for environments where access is difficult, or wheelchair use is required. The arm importantly keeps the payment terminal secure. Solutions that allow the terminal to be removed by the customer are always prone to tampering – it only takes seconds for a 3-D overlay to be fitted and the terminal to become compromised.
The ergonomic theme was on show across both stands. Our height adjustable adaptor for VESA mounted screens was also demonstrated for the first time. Mounted at a seated or standing position at the Point of Sale the Adapter plate enables screens to be comfortably positioned with easy access from a neutral posture.
With over 400 visitors to both booths, it was clear that our product offering was demonstrating the understanding of the issues facing retailers as they strive to use technology to answer some of the traditional challenges of using IT effectively in-store, whilst also providing solutions that enable the in-store experience that todays 24/7 multichannel shoppers demand.