Zucchetti Switzerland SA
The already rapid evolution of the grocery store reached full tilt during the COVID-19 pandemic as essential retailers were even more pressured to deliver a robust slate of omni-channel options. As adoption of self-checkout (SCO), mobile and online ordering, delivery and BOPIS reach a fever pitch, grocery and food retailers need a point-of-sale (POS) solution to help them keep pace with customer demands, navigate inventory complexities, and manage workforce issues. While addressing these challenges and more, grocers maintain the same set of several key priorities including growing store-sourced revenue, increasing merchandise/assortment accuracy, and executing omni-channel fulfillment efficiently. To achieve these objectives, grocery and food stores must leverage technology that is designed to address the complexities of the grocery segment. POS providers that emerged as leaders have addressed the unique challenges grocery/food stores face. Point-of-sale software (SW) providers must adapt to be innovative in a rapidly evolving space. The need for self-service is not unique to grocery, but the scope of inventory, perishability monitoring/verification and the need to weigh certain items, creates more intricacies than simply enabling self-service kiosks and scanners. In addition, grocery has a more acute need for real-time data integration across channels as the pandemic drove bigger uptick in areas such as online grocery shopping and curbside pickup. With this, 64% of food and grocery retailers say that the top consideration when selecting technology solutions is the provider’s depth of industry expertise to dovetail technology acumen.
Retail organizations of all sizes have realized the importance of digital strategy and capabilities. As such the point of sale must be both enabler and partner to provide the scope of rapid innovation and flexibility that the grocery space needs. The pace of change is a concern for all organizations as many admit to feeling the pressure to invest in innovation to remain competitive. This is echoed in the need for technology partners to both offer out-of-the-box solutions in tandem with the ability to integrate to other solutions. It’s important for retailers that vendor partners participate in ecosystems of services that collaborate and compete. Taking all these factors into consideration, this IDC MarketScape identifies the following as key trends and differentiators for point-of-sale providers:
The intent of this research is to present an evaluation of enterprise-level vendors offering omni-channel POS software solutions globally. The inclusion criteria allows for the assessment to include providers that are all-in-one systems or a module within a unified commerce or omni-channel retail suite. In doing so, we present a view of the POS software landscape with a lens focusing on the rapidly evolving omni-channel capabilities that are increasingly vital to the grocery industry.
Toshiba is positioned in the Leaders category in this 2022 IDC MarketScape for worldwide point-of-sale software vendors in grocery and food store retail.
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba TEC, is based in Durham, North Carolina, with nearly 3,000 employees, more than 3.5 million POS systems deployed, 1 million lanes of POS software installed, and in use by 500+ retailers globally. Toshiba TEC is 50.02% owned by Toshiba Corp., and the two companies are separately publicly traded companies. Toshiba was formed as a result of Toshiba TEC’s acquisition of IBM’s Retail Store Solutions (RSS) business and point-of-sale solutions in August 2012 and is now one of two retail organizations within Toshiba TEC. The Retail Solutions Business Group (RSBG) serves the domestic Japan retail market, while Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is the primary organization that serves the rest of the world outside of Japan.
With 50 years of experience in the POS market and retail overall, Toshiba has firmly established itself in the upper echelon of POS software systems installed. Since 2017, Toshiba has pivoted to a platform-centric focus, first with the introduction of its TCx Elevate in 2017 and currently with the all new ELERA open, modular commerce platform, launched in 2020.
Toshiba’s POS solutions are a component of the company’s broader, cloud and digital-native, ELERA end-to-end modular, unified commerce platform. The platform is designed to alleviate the problem of traditional monolithic application architectures in which store, mobile, and ecommerce apps are developed independently, leading to data silos and fragmented experiences for customers.
The ELERA platform embraces modern technologies to take unified commerce to the next level including microservices, retail store digital twin, IoT, edge, data analytics/visualization, and computer vision.
ELERA’s microservices architecture, with more than 50 microservices and over 550 APIs, utilizing API first principles, allows for seamless interaction between applications, devices, and services across channels — enabling a common, consistent consumer experience across all channels, whether head or headless. ELERA also simplifies management for retailers providing a comprehensive view of the entire retail infrastructure and one source of customer data (one source of truth).
Modules built on the ELERA commerce platform currently include POS, self-service, ecommerce, loyalty and promotions, frictionless store, shelf inventory/queue management, item recognition, and commerce analytics. Payments and experience are the other two main modules of the platform, including areas such as payment analytics, alternative payments, and customer analytics. Retailers can take a “mix and match” approach, selecting the modular components best suited for their operations, as well as utilize their own or third-party applications.
Toshiba has infused the platform with a range of modern technologies such as IoT and edge control that allow retailers to enable a range of use cases built using computer vision and AI/ML and edge devices such as item recognition, loss prevention or shelf monitoring, unified data lake, and data visualization/analytics. ELERA also includes self-enablement tools that allow retailers to develop, experiment, trial, and scale their own unified solutions, enabling them to respond quickly to shoppers’ changing preferences and needs.
Toshiba traditionally focuses on the high-volume retail segments where speed is essential, including grocery, mass merchandise, and drugstore, targeting tier 1 retailers. It serves tier 2-4 customers through an extensive partner program and network supporting other software applications for hundreds of tier 2–4 retailers. It is currently engaging partners to extend ELERA to these customers.
Geographically, Toshiba has a global focus with clients around the world and provides end-to-end support for its customers. Its biggest regions are North America and Europe. With a focus on cohesive customer experiences across channels and retailer control and empowerment, Toshiba has steadily introduced a stream of new features and enhancements for ELERA over the past two years, including produce recognition, self-service kiosks, enhanced loyalty and promotions, and mobile applications. Toshiba’s road map moving forward includes furthering the company’s vision for building new and enhancing existing platform solutions such as frictionless store, shelf monitoring, consumer mobile applications, and new payments abilities.
To be included in this study, IDC stipulated that a vendor should meet the following criteria:
IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants, and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys, and the input of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions on the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information, and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor’s characteristics, behavior, and capability.
This IDC study represents an assessment of worldwide point-of-sale (POS) vendors in grocery and food store retail. This research is a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the features, functionalities, and strategic road maps that explain the success of the major point-of-sale software providers in the grocery and food store segment, with a particular focus on omni-channel features and capabilities relevant to the grocery subsector. Grocery and food stores in IDC’s retail taxonomy includes grocery stores (SIC 5411); meat and fish markets (5421); fruit and vegetable markets (5431); candy, nut, and confectionary stores (5441); dairy products stores (5451); retail bakeries (5461); and miscellaneous food stores (5499).
This IDC MarketScape is part of a series of point-of-sale software provider evaluations that will comprise large apparel/softlines, SMB apparel/softlines, and POS services.
POS software is related to the management of transactions and sales in retail, including sales reporting, sales indicators, credit system reporting, and cash accounting.