Breaking Free Blog

Blog: Breaking Free From Traditional POS and Self-Service Coupling

October 03, 2023  |  MATT MILES

More than three decades have passed since the introduction of grocery self-checkout. Yet, how much has the landscape of POS systems and self-service technologies truly evolved since then? More importantly, what has stayed frustratingly the same? 

If you have found yourself struggling with the complexity of integrating self-service technologies with your legacy POS software solution, reliant on an existing self-checkout vendor, held back by the rigidity of a traditional environment, or become frustrated by the lengthy timelines and steep costs associated with implementing innovation, you are not alone.

Thankfully, an increasing number of IT leaders recognize the need to move away from these traditional confines, opting for a more agnostic and adaptable approach in their retail operations. Let us dig into why this shift is happening.

The Limitations of Traditional Architectures
For years, retailers have relied on monolithic architectures, where POS software, self-service hardware, self-service software, and other key tech components were tightly coupled. This coupled nature often required keeping two ecosystems in sync, especially for business logic. A change in one system required changes in the other – even something as simple as a bag fee. This model was once effective, as it was specifically tailored to streamline the traditional customer journey, particularly in the retail grocery vertical. However, the rapid progression of the digital age is causing cracks in these once-dependable foundations.

With the rise of tailored, consumer-centric retail experiences, the limitations of these inflexible systems have surfaced. The one-size-fits-all model cannot keep pace with diversified consumer demands.

To thrive in the current retail landscape, the message is clear: Migrate from these inflexible structures to platforms that allow for agility and scalability. The question is: How do we break free from these constraints?

The Next Era: Openness and Flexibility
The key lies in openness – an approach that allows retailers to ‘break free’ from the constraints of traditional POS software and hardware coupling solutions, combining open APIs with modular solutions. By adopting this approach, retailers gain true flexibility in their choice of POS software by decoupling that choice from the self-service/checkout solution they wish to use (and vice versa).

It is open APIs and touchpoint microservices that allow disparate systems to communicate seamlessly. Indeed, once a retailer opts for systems that leverage modern, open APIs and touchpoint microservices, they are no longer confined to the ecosystem of a single vendor, but instead allowed to mix and match or ‘cherry pick’ those solutions that best align with their unique requirements.

This approach simplifies integration, minimizes complexities, removes the need to duplicate business logic, and is more cost-efficient. Moreover, it nurtures a culture of innovation, allowing retailers to evolve at the pace they set, not one set by their technology partner.

Open, Flexible Retail in Action: A Practical Illustration
One notable example of an Open Retailing approach comes from a leading grocer that deployed Diebold Nixdorf’s self-checkout hardware across multiple countries, with POS software provided by a third party. Using Diebold Nixdorf’s Open API framework, an adapter was developed to handle all self-service transactions without duplicating any of the POS business logic. In fact, the Open API framework is so well-constructed that this grocer extended the use of the adapter to other self-service touchpoints, such as personal mobile scanning devices, without changing a single line of POS software code!
At DN, we pride ourselves on a consultative approach to our engagements. We understand that each retailer’s IT infrastructure and objectives are distinct; hence, our strategies are tailored to meet individual needs. The result? Shoppers across the globe can now enjoy a consistent shopping experience across all touchpoints with their beloved grocery brand.

Retail IT leaders have the power to reshape the customer experience. Liberating from traditional POS and self-service coupling constraints allows retailers to offer a more personalized shopping experience. This also enables continuous investment, reinvention, and growth without overhauling their existing systems.

You do not have to take this journey alone. Contact the experts at Diebold Nixdorf and begin your Storevolution today.

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