This past year was one to behold, and as we kick off the new year, it’s vital we look back at 2022 and see the shifts that changed the retail and pharmacy industry. How did the way we operate change as we settled into a new normal where convenience is king and supply availability is uncertain? There are five key technology trends 2022 saw that impacted the retail and pharmacy space, and in this blog, we will unpack them to determine better what we may face in the future.
1. Inventory Management Software
One of the most notable technology trends 2022 saw was the shift in supply availability and how pharmacies and retailers had to operate to ensure they had the needed stock. It quickly became apparent that just-in-time ordering was a thing of the past. A once reliable way to acquire prescriptions and commonly purchased items was no longer an option. With supply chain issues creating extended order and shipping times, retailers and pharmacists needed a new way to think of inventory management and ordering.
Many turned to their point of sale (POS) inventory management software for assistance in staying ahead of stockouts. Advanced POS systems come equipped with innovative tracking and ordering technology, like scientific purchasing and replenishment purchasing, to combat these issues. These solutions utilize sophisticated calculations to assess information such as historical orders, inventory on hand, seasonality, next order date, and lead time to inform managers of an accurate assessment of when they should order next, with automated reordering when stock gets too low. When paired with vendor management software, your POS system becomes a keystone for your managers to keep track of inventory, incoming orders, and vendors in one place.
2. Advanced Payments and Payment Processing
Another technology shift the retail and pharmacy industries have seen has been advancements in payment and payment processing technology. The onset of Covid-19 quickly increased the need to reduce touchpoints, resulting in a massive overhaul for many businesses. Pharmacies and retailers rushed to incorporate advanced payment terminals and partner with suitable payment processing and merchant service providers. To speed up transactions and give customers the flexibility to pay how they wish, many needed a company they could trust with excellent customer service to help them get through the transition.
In 2022 most major retailers readily provided NFC payment solutions paired with wireless and LTE payment devices that enabled curbside pickup and delivery. The convenience these solutions offer customers has made them a mainstay that will likely adapt in the coming years, advancing checkout lanes across North America.
3. Better KPI Tracking with Reporting
After years of unprecedented market shifts measuring key performance indicators (KPI’s) to assess how your business is performing has become even more essential. There is a wide array of reports you can run to take the reins of your business; whether it’s inventory reports, accounting, operations, or customer stats, your POS should empower you to get advanced business insights. If you’re only running basic reports for accounting and inventory purposes, you should reevaluate and see how your POS system can help you identify room for growth and assist in making data-backed decisions.
4. New Commerce Channels
During this past year, online stores provided retailers access to customers from all over the world, creating new customer experiences that blended social selling, brick-and-mortar, and eCommerce. These omnichannel experiences allowed for higher brand awareness and improved customer experiences and loyalty, increasing sales and store traffic.
Many pharmacies learned that to create this experience for their customers, they didn’t have to go very far. An eCommerce site can be updated through the point of sale, providing retailers with an easy way to integrate online sales with in-store sales. These integrations communicate with a suite of solutions your POS system has to easily manage all ends of your online and brick-and-mortar store with:
- Automated inventory management
- Automated order management
- Data synchronization
- Built-in data collection and analytics
5. Customer Loyalty Software
Demand for new ways to bring customers back into stores made customer loyalty one of the top technology trends in 2022. Retail pharmacies needed the ability to draw in their customers by running unique and flexible promotions, in addition to fostering a loyalty program that targeted customer interest. Those who saw great success enjoyed the convenience of creating and managing these promotions through their POS system. With costs rising due to inflation, customers will continue looking for ways to save money on purchases and may shop at multiple stores to get the best price. Loyalty programs help customers keep more of their money and incentivize them to centralize their shopping experience.
What We Learned From Technology Trends in 2022
Technology trends in 2022 have been unique and answered the demand of changing customer preferences. What is the overall trend? Create smooth shopping experiences. Your POS solution can allow your business to have everything your customers want on hand, get those products when and where they want them, pay for them quickly, and get deals that make it cheaper to shop at your store. These five technology trends have impacted merchants the most and will continue to advance, with new developments sure to come in 2023. If your point of sale didn’t help you embrace these technology changes in 2022, Auto-Star’s POS solutions could help. Reach out and contact us today!