Which in-store tech trends are actually win-win?January 15th, 2011 | Posted by in Uncategorized
Washington D.C. – In a bold step towards our world looking more and more like the Jetsons, ViVOtech recently announced the launch of their “contactless Near Field Communication payment system.” Which is tech talk for “people can pay for things with nothing more than their smartphone.”
According to ViVO, The ViVOpay 8800e features “a 16 million color HD display and tactile keypad,” which is tech talk for “this is going to be expensive.” With a price tag of $600 per unit (or 4 thousandths of a penny per color), equipping even a modest convenience store network is a sizable investment, especially after you consider training and any additional labor.
Is the ROI there? If you ask ViVO, they certainly believe so: “With tens of millions of NFC mobile phones about to hit the market in 2011 and EMV continuing to gain traction in the US, merchants have to be ready for the surge with the right technology.”
While that sentiment is hard to argue with, even ViVO acknowledges that you need to figure out which new gadget is “the right technology.” Lots of tech trends are projected every year, most of which don’t pan out. While being an early adopter can buy you cool points with your customer and generate positive publicity, cool points don’t always have cash value. ViVO isn’t the only player in the space: Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey founded Square, which has introduced a credit card reader that can be integrated into a mobile phone; Starbucks recently announced it is accepting payments via mobile phone apps as well. Some leading retailers have recently announced paperless receipts that can be emailed to consumers.
Test & Learn
How do you separate important trends from short-lived fads? How can you tell which technologies will just amuse your customers and which will be a deal breaker if you don’t have them? How can you tell which will provide a better experience for your customer AND drive profit improvement? The answer is simple: try them on a limited trial basis in a subset of your network.
Over the past decade, we at APT have seen lots of gadgets come and go. But we’ve seen the smartest companies stay on the cutting edge without bleeding their budget dry by designing low-cost tests of new technologies before making a big investment. The tests not only let them know ahead of time how important the technology is to their customer, but they also help them understand which kinds of customers (and stores) will respond favorably to the investment.
Learn more about how APT works with leading convenience retailers to maximize the ROI of in-store technology investments.