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How POS software vendors can adapt to demands of omni-channel commerce




As the omni-channel ante goes up, retailers must deploy point-of-sale (POS) solutions that can deliver the seamless, frictionless, cross-channel customer experience that today’s consumers expect.

To highlight those vendors that are leading their POS innovation, IDC Retail Insights recently published IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Point-of-Sale Software in Large Enterprise Retail Apparel and Softlines 2017 Vendor Assessment.

The first in a new series of IDC MarketScapes for the apparel and softlines retail sector, this new report examines POS software vendors’ capabilities against a broad list of omni-channel scenarios and capabilities in the areas of technical capabilities, integration, customer (record/engagement), product, transaction management, and fulfillment. The ten vendors evaluated in the Large Enterprise report include: Aptos Inc., Cegid, Diebold Nixdorf Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., GK Software AG, Infor Retail, NCR Corp., Oracle, PCMS Group Ltd. and Veras Retail.

A follow-on IDC MarketScape will address small and midsize business (SMB) apparel and softlines retailers.

With the rise of hyper-competitiveness in the retail sector, delivering a differentiating immersive experience has become the obsessive focus of retailers that want to not only survive, but thrive and prosper.

At the center of the store systems that can impact this is the POS. POS systems have, in fact, been at the top of the list of the hardware and software IT investments that stores have been making for at least the past two years, according to IDC’s research.

To assess how well POS software vendors are adapting their solutions to offer these new scenarios, IDC delivers the new IDC MarketScape series to provide an extended look at specific retail sectors.

Based on this research, IDC provides a number of recommendations:

Customer Journey

Retailers should understand their particular experiential retail mission, their customer journeys, and what this means for their requirement for a best-of-breed point of sale versus an omni-channel commerce suite, in order to make the best POS software solution investment.


Retailers also need to take a close look at the underlying technology, understand the vendor’s technology strategy and stack, and what the POS software vendor is doing to future-proof their technology stack. Included should be a consideration of the vendor’s ecosystem strategy, and how the integration process with partners is structured.

Single Real-Time View of Customer, Product, and Shopping Cart

Retailers and POS software vendors need to talk about how the POS technology will deliver a single, real-time omni-channel view of customer, shopping cart, and inventory across the enterprise. Is this a native capability available out of the box? What Order Management System or capability is provided?

Omni-channel POS Functions and Use Cases

Omni-channel commerce areas that should be probed in an assessment of POS software solutions include technical and integration, customer (record, and engagement); product; transaction management, and order/fulfill anywhere; this should be aided by explicit omni-channel use cases or customer journey roadmaps from the POS software vendors.

“Our research provides a comprehensive look at the point-of-sale software vendor landscape from a fresh perspective. While the omni-channel commerce retail environment is changing rapidly, the POS continues to be the central nervous system for the store. To respond to the escalating expectations of consumers in this hypercompetitive industry, POS vendors must deliver technology that can support a differentiating, immersive customer experience,” said Robert Eastman, research manager, Worldwide Retail Technology Strategies at IDC Retail Insights. “This research should serve to highlight the vendors with omni-channel commerce-enabled offerings in the apparel and softlines sector, and which vendors are leading in their POS innovation.”

IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors.

IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants and end users.

Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys and the input of a review board of IDC experts in each market.

IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions within the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor’s characteristics, behavior and capability.

@TechEconomyNG connects past-present-emerging technological impacts on Businesses, People and Cities. All Correspondence to: [email protected]