February 28, 2019
6 min read

No Checkout? Please. No POS? No Way.

Recent headlines show that more and more retailers are implementing new checkout concepts in the store. Cashierless checkout technologies behind store concepts like Amazon Go are quickly gaining popularity in an effort to meet consumers’ expectations. Mobile POS, associate mobile devices and smart carts are also helping retailers take away the pain point that is the checkout line and give customers a more frictionless and speedy shopping experience. These new technologies are replacing stationary, traditional point of sale hardware. However, what retailers must understand is the software making it possible is still built on the same unfailing POS logic and will continue to stay that way in the future. Let’s explore this topic further to understand why POS can’t be eliminated and what it takes to build a frictionless checkout experience.

The History of Point of Sale

In order to understand the basis of POS logic, we must go back to 1879, when the cash register was invented. Stores would manually keep track of the number of sales and the amount of each sale that was made. In the 1900s, the traditional cash register evolved into computerized point of sale systems, complete with credit card terminals and touchscreen displays.

In June 1974, the first product, a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, was scanned at a POS in a supermarket, but it would take until the mid 80’s before the barcode technology was widely adopted. Some retailers, like German Aldi Nord would not use barcode scanners until 2003 because their cashier were trained to be faster than a scanner. In 2014, just a few years ago, mobile point of sale (mPOS) made a huge impact by replacing clunky registers and bulky computers with sleek tablets and phones.

As you can see, we’ve come a long way since 1879. Today, we are getting ready for the future of POS. According to Grand View, Research, Inc., the global POS terminals market size is expected to reach $116.06 billion by 2025. The future of payment has a lot in store, including AI, image recognition, smart cards, shelf-label readers, PIN On Glass and more. The possibilities are endless as we explore new ways to create a frictionless POS experience.

Understanding POS Logic

Now, if you really look at all the new technology behind, for example, Amazon Go’s cameras and shelf sensors, you’ll see that the “Business Logic” behind new-age Frictionless Stores is actually the same as the logic behind the barcode scanner. Really, these new innovations are just another way, although really cool way, to identify a product, just with different clients, peripherals and frontends. The core of the POS will always be the same and the underpinning logic can’t be eliminated.

So, what does this mean for retailers? Today, integration with new technologies and systems requires a new perspective on the same logic. When deciding to implement a new system, retailers are making a platformdecision, not a POS systemdecision. In omnichannel retail, there should be consistent Data and Business Logic throughout all channels, from Brick and Motar stores to Webshops to Mobile Retail.

Conceptualizing the Store of the Future

While the logic will be the same, the store of the future will be built on the “Invisible POS” – many retail verticals will soon switch to this system to make checkout as frictionless as possible. In many ways, invisible POS is like when you drive on a toll road. Instead of having to pay in cash at the booth, you can zip on by with the tag on your dashboard. The experience is the same when you go into the shop and you don’t have to pay at the cash register. Customers don’t want to go back to fiddling with cash. The store of the future must be frictionless, enhancing customer experience while benefitting retailers with a more convenient payment experience.

Enable the Store of the Future with GK Software

GK Software is giving retailers the ability to deploy retail concepts on any hardware device to meet the demands of modern shopping preferences - all with the same quality and service of a stationary POS. With GK’s point of sale solutions, retailers can be confident about enhancing the customer experience with frictionless POS.

To learn more, reach out here.