Let’s get ‘phygital’: Changing trends of cash payment solutions in retail at NRF 2018
Photo courtesy of NRF.
|Charlie Allen is the OEM marketing manager at Glory Global Solutions.|
By Charlie Allen
A mere seven hours' flight from London to New York City to attend this year's NRF Exhibition, and no sooner than I had arrived and checked in to the 50-story art deco Millennium Broadway hotel, it was time to get to work.
First off though, a chat with a vice president of SlabbKiosks, who is extremely buoyant about his company's prospects this year, confirmed the demand for informational and self-serve payment kiosks — including those with wayfinding and interactive advertising features — is exceptional. The sheer number of exhibitors at NRF in this sector was clear evidence of this.
After meeting colleagues at our own booth and spending time visiting clients and other exhibitors, some consistent themes as to where the retail industry was heading emerged in my mind.
Omnichannel and ecommerce emerge
Certain exhibitors have been quick to recognize the changing face of retail and are rapidly responding to the commercial opportunities. Digital ecommerce, emoney and omnichannel solutions (anywhere, anytime, any payment methods) are having to evolve and embrace the consumer's retail habits faster than ever, so it's especially important that we in the payments industry keep up. Retail customers must automate their cash processes to increase efficiency, enhance security and release staff to focus on the experience they deliver.
The mid-range priced, compact cash recyclers are in great demand, for both front and back office cash management purposes.
Software is an area in which I suspect there will be significant growth and was very much in evidence with the number of analytics solutions providers in attendance.
The 'phygital' experience
The opportunity for strategic partners is to merge the physical and digital worlds. This is a game changer for the industry, and the winners will be those who are best able to understand the interplay between the two to create the ultimate "phygital" experience.
We've seen retailers in the U.K. recently announcing record performance who have cracked both worlds whilst continuing to keep customers at the heart of the experience. In this vein, there were exhibitors with a reputation for software development displaying solutions which showcased their understanding of redeploying resources and retail trends, such as inventory management and online grocery picking, which streamline the processes for customers from order to delivery.
There were also convenience solutions allowing those using petrol pumps, for example, to order while filling up, ready to collect by the time they pay for their fuel.
So, if retailers want to get "phygital," the emphasis for technology suppliers to this industry must be on making sure we assist them on their quest by developing and delivering the most relevant and valuable products.
Bringing a wider range of world class, hybrid, intelligent retail cash management solutions to the market is one way of making sense of and sharing in the success within an industry that continues to accelerate its pace of change.