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Retail microservices can have a meaningful, tangible impact on business performance, particularly in the store.
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Retail microservices: Five tangible business impacts to store operations

Retail today is in a state of perpetual evolution, driven to almost constant change by ever-shifting consumer expectations. And legacy technology, particularly in the store, is typically incapable of keeping pace with consumer demands. In POS systems, retail microservices architecture marks a significant advancement from traditional monolithic software designs.

Retailers can benefit from unparalleled flexibility and scalability by breaking down each capability or feature into discreet, independently deployable services, each designed to handle a specific business function.

Read on to learn how the modular structure of retail microservices boosts scalability, flexibility, and resilience in many of the most important aspects of store operations.

So, what exactly is retail microservices architecture?

Retail microservices are like code bundles that can complete retail tasks, but with a twist - they are very small bundles that can adapt to different business needs far more effectively than a big chunk of code. Retail microservices enable swift deployment of new features, simplified maintenance, and improved integration capabilities with other systems and technologies.

By implementing solutions on microservices architecture, retailers can enhance their ability to respond to market changes and customer needs, ensuring a smooth and efficient shopping experience.

5 reasons why retail microservices boost success

Incorporating microservices into retail POS systems and other aspects of the business management process enhances operational effectiveness and drives success.

Here are just a few of the reasons why retail microservices are better positioning retail enterprises to grow and keep pace with their customers’ expectations:

1) Speed to market

Retail microservices make it easier than ever to roll out new features or updates, ensuring retailers can keep up with changing consumer demands and market trends. This architecture's modular setup enables separate development, testing, and deployment of individual services, ensuring smooth integration without system-wide disruptions. By adopting microservices, retailers can boost their flexibility and responsiveness to the ever-changing market.

2) Flexibility & scalability

Unlike legacy systems where everything is tightly connected, retail microservices architecture breaks down capabilities into smaller, loosely linked services. This design makes it possible to deploy (and scale) capabilities separately as needed, optimizing resources and costs. The flexibility of microservices allows for agile development and faster responses to market changes, making it a top choice for modern retail systems focused on scalability and efficiency. Particularly in the stores, where 75% of most transactions still occur, and where agility has traditionally been the hardest to achieve.

3) Lower total cost of ownership

The adoption of retail microservices architecture significantly reduces the total cost of ownership. Breaking down applications into more manageable services helps trim development, deployment, and maintenance expenses. This modular approach efficiently utilizes supporting technologies and resources, avoiding the need for expensive large-scale updates common in older systems. Scaling services enables retailers to invest resources as needed, avoiding unnecessary spending on unused capacity. This smart resource allocation, in turn, results in higher cost-effectiveness and profitability.

4) Better IT/business alignment

Retail microservices architecture fosters a symbiotic relationship between IT and the businesses they support, greatly improving alignment and collaboration. Unlike traditional setups deployed on legacy architecture, tech changes take a lot of time and resources and delay business initiatives. Retail microservices allow for the independent development, deployment, and update of each service. This agility enables IT to swiftly respond to business needs without major system-wide changes. Business units have much greater ability to experiment with new ideas and strategies, with IT offering more flexibly and minimal disruption.

5) Greater Ability to Innovate

Retail microservices help retailers push the boundaries of innovation, especially in enhancing the customer experience. Businesses can quickly test, iterate, and deploy new features by breaking down different aspects of the POS system into smaller, independently functioning services. This dynamic capability makes it much easier for retailers to deliver shopping experiences unique to their customers’ preferences. Adopting retail microservices places retailers at the forefront of customer experience innovation, equipping them to exceed evolving consumer expectations in the digital marketplace.

Conclusion: Retail microservices matter to the stores…and to the bottom line.

Transitioning to a retail microservices architecture in POS systems represents a significant leap toward more responsive, flexible, and scalable retail operations. This architecture addresses the need for quick adaptation to market demands and offers a pathway for continuous improvement and innovation in customer service and operational efficiency.

By leveraging microservices, retailers can achieve a competitive edge, enabling them to thrive in the fast-paced and ever-evolving retail landscape. The benefits of retail microservices, including faster time to market, scalability, cost efficiency, enhanced IT/business alignment and improved innovation capacity make it a strategic choice for any retail business looking to future-proof its operations and deliver exceptional value to its customers.

All of which is why Aptos has invested heavily in retail microservices. Aptos ONE Cloud POS is delivered on a cloud-native, retail microservices platform designed for flexibility, scale and resiliency. Want to learn how Aptos ONE can help with your microservice aspirations? Check out this guide to our approach to retail microservices.