Magazine Article | June 21, 2011

Guest Opinion: POS: This Time It's Personal

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By Brad Tracy, VP, North America retail channel sales, NCR

It used to be that retailers knew their customers and what they wanted. Similarly, customers trusted their shopkeeper's knowledge of products and prices. Today, consumers are less loyal, more time-starved, and more digitally empowered. Technology gives them access to limitless product information, and bargain hunting is just a click of the smartphone away.

Over the years, retailers collectively spent billions to get to know customers better. But despite all of these advances, retailers don't know customers as well as they did 50 years ago. With all the buzz around social media, online shopping, and smartphones you might be tempted to think that the store is less relevant for shoppers today. While it is true that nearly half of retailer volume is influenced by the Web, industry estimates show approximately 94% of transactions are still completed in a physical store — and consumers are still looking for an enjoyable shopping experience when they get there.

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