Waterstones places focus on in-store point of sale

Bookseller Waterstones has invested in new point of sale (PoS) technology as part of its wider business strategy to boost in-store engagement with its customers.

The retailer has faced significant pressure from eCommerce players such as Amazon in recent years, but it has been focusing on ensuring it provides positive face-to-face interaction with its shoppers as it looks to carve out a distinct point of difference from those selling books solely online.

A revamp of in-store systems, which has seen the business implement Omnico Group's hardware across its estate, has aided the process, according to Hazel Cleaver, head of IT projects and development at Waterstones.

"In line with our aim to excite customers about reading, we wanted to update our legacy PoS system to increase the time that booksellers spend with customers and to make the transaction itself as quick and seamless as possible," she explained.

"We selected Omnico Group as it is known for being one of the largest and – through its digipos brand – longest-running retail brands. We had confidence selecting Omnico Group and knew that the hardware would be fast and trouble-free, and it would integrate with our Omnico loyalty system."

The tech company's hardware is used in Waterstones' 300 stores across the UK, and the retailer says it can typically train staff to use the systems in around 20 minutes. Omnico also powers the loyalty programme, which is linked to the PoS hardware.

In a further endorsement of the Omnico technology, Hazel said: "The Omnico solutions have been hugely reliable with a very low failure rate so there have been fewer instances of till downtime, which can result not only in a loss of sales but also lower customer loyalty.

"We've also found that the customer experience has been improved dramatically, enabling booksellers to increase sales through upsell and better customer service."

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