No single category seems to suffer the retail apocalypse more than fashion. For example, look at the running tally of retail victims in the US. Fast-fashion, luxury fashion, and department stores abound in bankruptcies and closures. The fact is, the purpose of all retail is boiling down to two things. First, to provide a great experience. Second, to make omnichannel fulfillment a reality. However, if apparel retail is most sensitive to these shifts, they’re going to need the right tools to make it happen. They need a kind of fashion POS.
The Fashion POS for the New Brick-and-Mortar
The word “apocalypse” conjures images of the end of the world. But, its root simply means “revelation.” In the latter meaning, “retail apocalypse” makes a lot more sense. Brick-and-mortar is currently adapting to the revelation that customers don’t come to a big store to browse aisles of products waiting around to be purchased. They can shop online, but they like to visit stores still. Fashion retailers are giving them options to do either, and for that, they need a fashion POS suited to the task.
The emerging functions of brick-and-mortar focus on omnichannel customer engagement, not a high volume of transactions. Thus, instead of many aisles of products, retailers need smarter, creative, and dynamic spaces that focus on brand and products, not on the one-off sale. “Less stores, more stories,” is how one expert puts it. Or as Cin7 Founder Danny Ing puts it, the function of brick-and-mortar comes down to one of two things. First, to win over customers with a great experience, as in a showroom where a customer won’t walk away with a product. Secondly, as a kind of mini-depot or distribution center that has enough inventory to cover store sales and to fulfill orders from other channels. Both work in the service of ongoing engagement in an omnichannel setting. A fashion POS has to accommodate those functions.
A POS for the Omnichannel
Even as older fashion retailers close, online-only startups add brick-and-mortar channels, even after swearing they’d never do that. Meanwhile, older fashion retailers, like Express, turn their fortunes around by going omnichannel. The lesson is clear. Brick-and-mortar will continue to play a crucial role in fashion retail. But it has to be smarter, smaller, and more creative than that of its large-volume retail ancestors. Retailers need to be able to meet customer demand online and in stores. And for that they need a fashion POS tailored to omnichannel fulfillment.
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