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How Hardware has been hastily ignored in Retail

Why your retail hardware selection is more important than ever before

Hardware isn't as sexy a topic as eCommerce, Omni-Channel or Customer AI chat-bot support and hasn't really been on the radar for most independent retailers, SMB chains and mid-range distributors - But continuous incremental, evolutionary steps in how customers interact with brands and their own personal devices has slowly crept up on retailers and bit them hard.

How to wear a hard bite with upgraded Hardware

We've broken this down into a few sequential steps that need to be considered when seeking to align your business operations with customer and employee ergonomics in your environment.

  • Hardware Integrations - This is something here at Aulter we work very hard on to ensure you don't need to worry about it, as we relentlessly keep speed on what the primary and peripheral hardware providers are doing across the landscape. Integrations are vital across your domains, whether it's marrying eCommerce to in-store ePOS or ensuring your stock inventory is accurate enough to successfully gauge shrink and loss prevention. You may be an independent that is simply seeking harmony between your eCommerce provider and your in-store terminals but ensuring you know what hardware manufacturers is applicable with your software vendors is paramount in avoiding serious headaches and costly errors further down the line. 

If you are in such a position please read our diagnostic comparison between Shopify and Lightspeed Retail for Independents seeking to upgrade their presence without compromising on the functionality that larger investments in the Salesforce Commerce Cloud can deliver. 

  • Customer Choice - Your customers are carrying around a powerful smart computer in their pocket wherever they go, embedded in that device are exceptional capabilities in retail from payments to loyalty, as well as augmented reality, search, video editing and much more. You need to ensure that your hardware is modern enough to be compatible with the latest offerings from Apple, Samsung and co. That means being able to process NFC biometric payments, contactless payments, QR code (2D code) payments and loyalty, as well as being supported with cash terminals that are up to date with the weight of new Sterling currency, Euro's on the continent and upgrade dollars in Canada and Australia.
Zebra Technologies DS8100 SERIES CORDED AND CORDLESS 1D/2D HANDHELD coming April 2017

Slightly less importantly, are you prepared with thermal printers that can reliably push out loyalty enabled barcodes and are you equipped with RFID tagging printers for in-store and product labels.

Ensuring you have this equipment on the applicable service level agreements, at the best price with guaranteed required integrations and outstanding support is why Aulter is here to help.

  • Reliability and Security - There are plenty of micro solutions available to retailers and Independents of all sizes,  iZettle is a great example of this however perhaps such a hardware solution cannot scale with your business demands. Uptime for a retailer with their hardware offering is critically important, a reminder of the problems that downtime cause was showcased at ASDA last year. At Aulter we ensure that we don't just partner and recommend the most applicable hardware providers but we determine how best those providers can continue to support your operations and keep your customers secure and happy.

Because of this we have decided to forge strong partnerships with;

Zebra Technologies
World Pay
Hewlett Packard

Hardware providers that deliver exceptional, robust reliability and the offering to scale with your business as you continue to grow. As expanding providers, capable and renowned Internationally, they can provide you with the necessary support and swap outs of your hardware if the worst is to happen.

If you're seeking to upgrade your positioning in the market or are planning to re-establish your eCommerce presence alongside in your in-store setup and would like to know more about how we can engineer this shake-up for you, then please Contact us today for a walkthrough.


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