Both customers and merchants prefer a checkout process with as little friction as possible, prompting manufacturers of POS systems to create “Smart-POS terminals.” Although highly complex, the most frictionless checkout solution is implemented at Amazon Go stores.
According to an article published in the “Retail Customer Experience,” the checkout process works as follows:
A customer uses her Amazon Go mobile application to gain access to the store.
Cameras connected to machine-learning software activate her Amazon account.
Shelf sensors record her item selections and charge them to her account
.She leaves without having to scan her items or interact with a POS terminal.
A truly automated checkout process without cashiers or queue lines—instead routing the payment through a mobile application connected to the customer’s Amazon account—has shifted the standard brick and mortar terminal completely online.
Such a process consolidates the once two different methods of payment into one. Instead of interacting with a cashier, customer service agent, or unique hardware terminal, the customer interacts with a familiar online marketplace on their personal mobile phone. This style of checkout process is directly bridging the gap between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce payments.
While this checkout process is desired, it may not yet be affordable or possible to implement for the vast majority of merchants. In this case, the next line of advanced POS hardware involves an updated mobile LCD touchscreen “Smart-terminal” running POS software.
These new devices, much like the mobile phones we are used to every day, may include a continuously updated “app” store that allows merchants to download the necessary process improving or integration apps. By using this new POS hardware and software, merchants consolidate their back-end process, and accept payment wherever needed, creating a low-friction checkout process.
Driven by consumer needs and merchant competition, POS hardware and software continues to evolve, creating a frictionless purchase process and consolidated platform.
Overview by David Nelyubin, Research Analysts at Mercator Advisory Group