Industrial design transforms retail technology
Technology was an afterthought in the design of retail spaces. Often aesthetically unappealing, a point-of-sale (POS) terminal was considered a “necessary evil” at checkout. Retailers aiming to create unified, brand-centric retail spaces have struggled to tuck the POS system under the counter or cover it with unappealing shrouds, creating a barrier between associate and associate. customer. In less sophisticated stores, dreary and bulky point-of-sale hardware dominated the cash register, completely at odds with the store’s interior design.
Today, as technology plays a central role throughout the customer journey and retail experiences are carefully curated, the industrial design of point-of-sale systems must reflect the vision and atmosphere of the store. store.
An elegant and modern POS or displaying product information can transform a retail space. Exceptionally designed retail technology enhances the customer experience at checkout. Instead of hiding bulky and ugly point-of-sale terminals, sleek front-of-checkout devices set a new bar of sophistication at the very last, crucial stage of in-store customer experience. Modern retail systems reflect the design vision of the interior designer, not undermine it.
“In our 25 years of designing retail spaces, we’ve made an effort to almost hide technology in our environments. Today we just accept it and let it work on its own. As designers we are always looking for the cleanest solution… what is refreshing about the new generation of technology is that it is not only user friendly, but is better designed to complement the sensibility of our retail interiors. Said Paul Filek, director of Burdifilek.
The materials used today in the construction of point of sale terminals also reflect modern attitudes towards industrial design. Brushed aluminum provides a light yet strong chassis, allowing point-of-sale terminals to resemble thin and light consumer devices, while still being durable enough for many years of continuous service. Post-consumer recycled plastics now represent a high percentage of plastic content in systems, reflecting retailers’ growing emphasis on sustainability in all aspects of their operations.
To help retailers realize the in-store vision of retail designers, Stacy Wolff, global design manager at HP, led HP’s industrial design team to imagine a point-of-sale device that helped retailers to break down barriers and distill technology in its simplest form, while providing the functionality required at checkout. As a result, the HP Engage family of all-in-one terminals feature a minimal footprint, clean modern lines, a choice of colors, and a clutter-free architecture without cumbersome cabling above the counter. HP Engage Go provides a mobile option for retailers who want to use their point-of-sale device both behind the counter and roaming throughout the store.
From shelves in the hands of associates, to product information kiosks on store walls and locker rooms, as well as point of sale hardware at the checkout, the design of today’s retail hardware must uplift consumer experiences throughout the retail journey. Retailers who overlook the importance of a thoughtful aesthetic of all components of the customer journey, including the technology supporting in-store processes, risk disconnected retail experiences in their stores.
About the Author: Dmitry Sokolov is the Global Industry Strategist at HP and works with retailers and solution providers around the world to transform the future of retail experiences. From point of sale, mobility and self-service to distributed edge architectures, HP helps retailers excel in an ever-changing retail environment.