The “New Normal” for Consumer Facing Businesses

No matter what we do and where we are, all we hear these days is about the new normal. I would argue we heard about it before this year’s pandemic, but COVID-19 has certainly brought significant changes to how we serve our customers’ expectations. With forecasts that COVID-19 will be with us well into 2021, our businesses need to ensure we are making the investments to not only survive, but to thrive where possible.

Technology has long been a game-changer, but it is even more critical now. Below are the technologies that were once nice to have, but they are now critical for competing for today’s customers:

1. Modern Point-of-Sale (POS) Platform
Whether it is enabling an agile and always available point-of-sale platform for customers, today’s POS platforms offer significant advantages to those of 5 years ago. Many can be cloud based making them more cost-effective. These also offer customer friendly displays and information that customers find useful and preferable, including enhanced ability to enable frequent shopper or frequent guest options. Their data collection capabilities accelerate back-end data analytics so important to our sophisticated businesses. Finally, they enable many of the other technologies that follow.

2. Mobile Point-of-Sale (POS)
Mobile POS offers us so many customer service options. Whether it is line busting to speed up checkout in busy times or facilitating the now mandatory option for curbside pickup, mobile POS is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. Safe and secure mobile payment options are also a necessity.

3. Digital Signage and Order Boards
Customers respond to having more flexibility in how they shop. Many still like traditional shopping where safeguards are in place, but they want to checkout quickly and safely, which is where more crowding occurs. Is your Point-of-Sale quick and efficient? Do you offer Self-Checkout as an option? Can a contactless payment be made?

4. Protective Equipment
Customers and associates are expecting their shopping and working experiences to be as safe as possible. Plexiglass protection at checkouts and service desks is an easy solution. Temperature checking kiosks at entry identifies someone who might be carrying a virus prior to them coming too far inside. Likewise, temperature sensing cameras can also identify potentially ill people as they enter a facility. Is your business doing enough?

Macro Integration Services offers advice and solutions across all of these areas for our customers in Retail, Grocery, Quick Serve Restaurants, Hospitality, and Entertainment. Our expertise and commitment combine to make our customers the heroes of their companies.

Terry Morgan, CEO – Macro Integration Services