One thing is clear as Intel Internet of Things retail solutions begin to take shape: consumers are quickly embracing the opportunity to compare products in real-time, as well as responding favorably to more convenient payment options being made available to them. In this guest blog post, Mario Carrillo, senior manager of payment technologies for Panasonic, shares his thoughts on where the future of the retail floor is headed using Intel Internet of Things retail solutions technologies. ~ David McKinney
The Future of Retail Is Here: Mobile Power, Secure Payments
The retail world is changing at lightning speed. And customers want more browsing and payment options and more information than ever before—including every detail about every product they buy. Today’s sales process is truly omni-channel, looking to provide a seamless shopping experience whether customers are buying online, from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
All this convenience for customers puts a lot of responsibility on retailers. In today’s high-tech, data-driven retail environment, salespeople need the power to solve problems, compare products, check inventory levels, and close the sale now—before the customer walks out. At the same time, retailers must deal with hackers, data breaches, and credit card security issues. In today’s world, security is more important than ever—with fraud liability shifting from credit card companies to retailers.
Meeting Everyone’s Needs
At Panasonic, we saw the need for a retail point-of-sale system that could meet all the needs of both customers and retailers. But creating one was a big task. The system would have to:
- Let retailers turn browsing shoppers into buyers and close sales right from the sales floor instead of having salespeople stand behind a cash register
- Provide an immersive shopping experience, helping customers compare products, check inventory, or change an item’s style, color, or size from the sales floor in real time
- Let salespeople easily pull up customer information, including purchase history and other preferences, enabling cross-selling opportunities
- Take most types of payment anywhere, anytime
- Provide encryption at the point of swipe, plus the ability for retailers to layer on their own encryption software
Although retailers agree they want a mobile system, they have very different ideas about how they want to use it. So the solution we developed would have to be flexible enough to meet a variety of retailers’ specific needs.
Standards Based for Flexibility
Taking all these needs into account, Panasonic built the Toughpadz* FZ-R1, a 7-inch, all-in-one, mobile point-of-sale (POS) tablet for retail environments. To make sure the system could meet the needs of the widest possible group of retailers, our engineers built it based it on Windows* 8 tablet and Intel® Celeron® processors. Using these industry-established technologies means plenty of power and versatility plus less development and training—as well as more security and scalability. It all translates to faster deployment time.
We also made sure the system had a rugged design built for day-in, day-out use, an impact-resistant screen, and all-day battery life to make it ready for action.
The system needed to handle all forms of digital payment and give both retailers and their customers confidence that their financial data is secure. So the Toughpad FZ-R1 includes an integrated Europay*, MasterCard* and Visa* (EMV) reader with a PIN pad, encrypted magnetic stripe reader, and NFC compatibility.
Other features include a 10-point capacitive multi-touch screen, optional POS cradle, and a wide range of configuration options to meet retailers’ specific needs on the sales floor.
Today’s shoppers want more options than ever before. And retailers are looking to enhance customer engagement, improve satisfaction, and turn showroom browsers into paying customers. With technologies from Microsoft and Intel, Panasonic has made the Toughpad FZ-R1 a sales tool that can help take retailing into the future.
Go Further With Intel Internet of Things Retail Solutions