Industry Insight

IT Hardware Solutions

Try Before You Buy

Good tech isn’t cheap and easy. Price points do vary, but the range of products on the market can make choosing the right devices or software for your needs problematic. It’s essential for any business that they make the right decisions when it comes to purchasing and implementing new hardware or software, due to the cost of the kit and the fact it’s often expected to be with the business, potentially in a critical role, for a long time to come. This easily warrants them the maximum amount of research and consideration possible.

Retail technology is a continuously changing and evolving landscape, and for even the most experienced tech professional, it can be difficult to keep up with all the developments. It makes sense then that retail managers research as much as possible into the options available, no matter how large or small the technology needed may be. In addition, there will be many factors to take into account; for example, a high-level device or system will ensure some level of future proofing in order to remain usable and compatible with new technologies years after installation, an important consideration when investing in new tech. When it comes to product research, the best way to find the right product is through interactive demonstrations – after all, there is limited appeal to seeing a dead till or a scanner on a shelf!

Interactive and visual demonstrations are by far the most powerful way of displaying the tangible benefits of a product, and are really the only way to physically compare two different pieces of hardware to find the right one for you. For example, our line of Epson Business Inkjet printers use up to 70% less power than a conventional printer, and only an interactive side by side comparison of the two devices will provide the prospective buyer with a real, tangible display of the power consumption of printing out a document – which is much easier to get a grasp on than words on a page.

To help make it easier for retailers to find the right equipment for the job, we at BMc Equip have created our own demo area. This provides a space for retailers to ‘try before they buy’ and get a better feel for a solution before committing to purchase, by showcasing the latest products and solutions on offer in an interactive area, where visitors can interact with the technology being displayed and be given visual demonstrations of the benefits of the equipment.

Between our in-house expertise and specialist partners we can apply customers’ existing gold build images to our hardware where appropriate to demonstrate their capabilities. We also have example images for both retail and hospitality that can be loaded to allow visitors to fully experience the equipment working. The centre piece of the area is the interactive self-checkout that can be seen in the pictures. This is set up to function as if it were installed in a retail environment, allowing items to be scanned, demo transactions to be completed and a receipt printed. It even has voice prompts just as it would in a real-world application.

There is far more to come from the demo area in the near future. We will be installing the digital signage and interactive screens on the walls, along with the solutions area that will soon showcase digital shelf edge labelling, live queuing systems and low power printing solutions. The completed area will be central to the BMc Equip offering, as along with the obvious benefits of displaying the hardware to both potential new customers and existing customers visiting our facility, it will allow us to create mock-ups of retail POS spaces combining a multitude of hardware solutions. We can create not only full demo lanes, but also incorporate other technologies such as smart queuing solutions, digital signage and digital shelf edge labelling. This allows customers to experience much more than the POS terminal in isolation and get hands-on with complimentary solutions that may not have been previously considered.

The exciting new technologies we have on offer won’t be limited to the demo area as we are also rolling out the technology to other areas of the business. The warehouse operatives have been given tablets for real time stock tracking and recording and we’re also building a new sign-in system for visitors, utilising tablets and mobile printers. This will allow us to not only demonstrate the equipment working in real world scenarios, but also to carry out ongoing testing of the devices so that we can better advise our customers on the most suitable solutions.

Through physical and visual product testing, Business Managers are able to get a real sense of how various hardware and software works in a way that just isn’t possible through product descriptions, online reviews or personal recommendations. Thorough research is essential for any procurement, but without testing and comparing the products yourself, you can never truly be sure you’ve made the right decision.

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