Point-of-Sale Technologies at Retail Stores: What Will The Future Be Like?

Point-of-Sale Technologies at Retail Stores: What Will The Future Be Like?

Richard Clodfelter (University of South Carolina, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2919-6.ch027
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Abstract

This chapter provides a review and synthesis of information related to technologies available at the retail POS (point-of-sale) checkout. Several POS technologies available to retailers are described, detailing their benefits and drawbacks for both retailers and consumers. The five technologies described and analyzed are barcode scanning, electronic shelf tags, shelf-checkouts, RFID tags, and fingerprint authentication. The extent to which retailers have implemented these available technologies is described, and perspectives on the future implementation of these technologies and emerging trends are also presented. Findings would indicate that there will continue to be innovations in retail technology at POS, and shopper expectations will continue to change. At the same time, retailers will probably remain cautious in deciding if and when to adopt new technologies. They must be convinced that the innovations will deliver sufficient value to offset their expenses.
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Conceptual Framework

New technological advances offer new opportunities to retailers for retailers to better manage their firms and enhance the shopping experience for customers, particularly at the point-of-sale (POS). This chapter is designed to deepen the reader’s understanding of how technology is being implemented at point-of-sale (POS) and its impact on both the retailer and the customer.

Recent research (Pantano 2010) suggests that retailing can benefit from the implementation of new technologies. In fact, some researchers (Weber & Kantamneni 2002) have found that a retailer’s ability to build and defend a competitive position in the market depends to a large extent on the willingness and capacity of the firm to invest in and use technology. Yet, there is a belief by some practitioners that more technology is preferable to less technology; while some researchers (Sethuraman & Parasuraman 2005) suggest that good technology must be “appropriate.” In other words, retailers should adopt the technologies that meet their specific strategic aims. Timmor & Rymon (2007), however, found that there has been little effort to measure customer satisfaction with new technological “improvements” and determine what is the most “appropriate” technologies to be used.

More recently, Gil-Saura et. al. (2009) found that not all technological solutions are equally valued by customers. Even though a technology provides benefits, it may not be appreciated by customers. These researchers stressed the need for retailers to invest in new technologies, but to prioritize implementation based on those technologies valued by customers.

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