4 Must-Have ICT Systems in Every Mall and Retail SpaceApril 16, 2021 2022-02-24 12:40
4 Must-Have ICT Systems in Every Mall and Retail Space
With the trend of online shopping platforms, such as Lazada and Shopee on the rise, consumers are becoming increasingly technology-savvy. Corporations too, are beginning to appreciate the commercial benefits that comes from integrating ICT (Information Communication Technology) systems with business. As the industry moves towards the new norm of smart retail, here are some common ICT systems that should be implemented in every shopping mall:
- Cashless Payment
As the world recovers from the aftershock of the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic wallets or contactless payments have become the preferred method of transaction between customers and vendors. An August study conducted by Rapyd, an international financial technology organisation, revealed that 60% of responders would like to use touchless payments in the future, due to the pandemic. It is not hard to see why: besides maintaining hygiene, digital payments are also quick and efficient, resulting in automatic debit and credit of linked accounts. Automatic reload options can also be enabled for e-wallets, reducing the need for consumers to make cash withdrawals at ATMs, which in turn diminishes the risk of being a target of crime. It is evident that the cashless trend is here to stay, and shopping malls would be wise to install contactless payment systems in all their outlets.
- Anti-Theft Systems
Anti-theft systems are not new among the retail industry and are a ubiquitous feature of every outlet – they are the tall, almost-rectangular electronic sensors present at every entrance and exit of a department store. Known also as an Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system, they prevent the illegal removal of property from the premise and operate on a combination of radio frequencies, electromagnetic technology, and RFID. Each item in the store is labelled with an active tag, which is deactivated only upon payment. Should a shoplifter attempt to bring out an item with an active tag, the EAS alarm system detects it and is triggered immediately. The EAS system can be further combined with close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, which provides constant and reliable surveillance of the premises. Should any discrepancy arise, the CCTV system can always be referred to as evidence. Anti-theft systems are therefore extremely efficient and essential to the secure operation of any business.
- RFID Tags
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology commonly found in supply and logistics, such as the management of attendees in a large conference, or the tracking of valuable company assets. They are a form of automatic identification and data capture, and work by transmitting digital data to a radio receiver. RFID is also applied in inventory control, where the purchase, sale and distribution of every item can be monitored and updated. RFID tags are unique and assist in object identification. This allows for seamless exchange of information; for example, whenever the barcode of an item is scanned for sale, the relevant quantity of the item in stock can be updated correctly. By having RFID tags in place, shopping malls and retail outlets can benefit from improved efficiency and reduced labour costs.
- Public Address System (PA)
When it comes to delivering a message effectively to a large crowd, such as within a bustling mall, a PA system is the best option. The installation of speakers in strategic spots will ensure that the announcement is able to cut through any loud noise or chatter, grabbing the audience’s attention effectively. Besides delivering important announcements, a public address system also helps in locating specific individuals or customers efficiently. Messages can be pre-recorded for key events or incidents, for example, to provide instructions. Installing a PA system is a worthy investment to make for effective mass communication.
Combining these ICT systems, malls and retail spaces will benefit by having better security, communication and overall consumer experience- in turn boosting its reputation and revenues in the long run.