From The Editor | August 26, 2013

The New POS — A Branding Opportunity


By Bob Johns


Brand image is everything to a retailer. Without it, the company just blends in with all of the other stores out there. The brand image is the differentiator. One of the ways retail brands set themselves apart is with store design, and a large part of this is the system hardware deployed throughout the store, from the POS to self-service kiosks.

With this in mind, Toshiba developed the TCxWave to mesh seamlessly with the modern design of today’s omni-channel retailer. “From a design standpoint, we used an award-winning design team that spends a lot of time in the retail industry, studying the elements retailers and customers look for in a solution,” says Erin Dorshorst, worldwide marketing manager at Toshiba. “Our goal was to create a store system that could deliver a positive brand image throughout the store.”

To accomplish this, the TCxWave was developed to serve as a multi-use product from the ground up. Many retailers have tried to adopt consumer-grade devices in the retail environment, and while they look cool, many of these deployments have been met with limited success due to the demanding retail environment.  The Toshiba device is built specifically for the retail environment by using industrial-grade glass with anti-glare protection. Additionally, all devices go through a series of retail-hardened testing — spill and drop tests, thermal testing, lint/dust testing, and electrical testing — all of the challenges in a retail environment. Yet, at the same time the designers utilized a very sleek and appealing design with a large, wide screen coupled with the latest in multi-touch and gesture technology.

This wide screen allows for many different capabilities throughout the store. For associates, different parts of the screen can bring up customer loyalty data, order data, and product information, making the interaction with the customer much more intuitive and rewarding. At the same time, essential KPIs can be shown in the corner so that associates are able to meet company and personal goals for customer service, sales, or checkout.

For the customer, self-service kiosks can offer branding opportunities and ways to reach the customer when they are using the kiosk. If they search for a certain dress, why not have part of the screen show a coordinating pair of shoes and purse? Send them a special offer only good if they make a purchase at the kiosk, or offer a special coupon on products they looked at and abandoned. By combining the TCxWave hardware with an omni-channel solution like TCxGravity, the possibilities are endless.

“The TCxWave is designed to not only be good looking, but with mutli-use functionality, it can be deployed throughout the store,” says Dorshorst. “The system is fully functional as a point-of- sale, kiosk, or self-service unit.” Associates can use the device for multiple store operations from any location in the store, whether it is looking up a product for a customer, or completing an operations task. By positioning the devices strategically throughout the store the associate and customers alike will never be far from your entire omni-channel inventory and another point of interaction with your brand.

The POS used to be a square, monochrome screen sitting on top of a rectangular box. With the TCxWave, it can be a true differentiator in brand image both in looks and capabilities. Pair it with a top of the line software solution, and the POS just became more than just a checkout, it takes POS from the point-of-sale to the point-of-service.