April 16, 2024

How to Create the Perfect Endless Aisle Solution

How to Create the Perfect Endless Aisle Solution

Image of endless aisle used for POS System

Retailers know out-of-stocks mean lost revenue. Inventory management solution provider Netstock reports that consumers won’t wait until the item is back on the shelves. If an item isn’t available, 43% of consumers will look for a similar product, and 65% will try a new brand. Furthermore, 43% of consumers will no longer purchase a product after two or more stockouts. Fortunately, there is technology that can help. An endless aisle solution can save the sale, keep revenues in the store, and maintain customer loyalty.

Is there a specific “endless aisle” definition?

“Endless aisle” doesn’t describe just one type of solution. It’s a broad term for solutions that allow shoppers to search a store’s entire available inventory and find the products they want. If inventory isn’t available at the store or in its stockroom, the solution will provide a way for the customer to order products and have them delivered to their homes or shipped to the store for pickup.

Why endless aisle solutions are vital now

Endless aisle solutions aren’t new. Arguably, they’ve existed since shoppers could browse paper catalogs in a store and place orders on green-screen computers. In the digital age, however, they’ve become essential to maintaining revenues and customer loyalty.

More consumers now consider themselves omnichannel shoppers, using both online and physical channels to engage with retailers. Therefore, they’re accustomed to the ease of searching online for the products they want, checking their availability, and arranging for delivery or pickup. Their online experiences may also include recommendations from the retailers for complementary products or consumables they need to get the most satisfaction from the purchase.

When those same shoppers visit a brick-and-mortar store, they want those same conveniences. Chris Todd, CEO of Theatro, which conducted a 2023 study of consumer shopping preferences, told Retail Customer Experience, “Consumers prefer physical retail for a lot of reasons, such as the ability to see and feel products before buying them and the immediate gratification of taking a product home. But they’ve also become more accustomed to the advantages of e-commerce, such as avoiding long lines and having an almost infinite amount of product information at their fingertips.” Endless aisle meets those demands in-store.

In addition to enhancing customer experiences and maintaining loyalty, endless aisle solutions are an important part of a retailer’s revenue strategy. Giving consumers the ability to order an out-of-stock item can help merchants capture every possible sale, a critical capability at a time of rising prices, economic uncertainty, and tough competition.

Optimizing endless aisle experiences

To provide the best possible endless aisle experience for shoppers and the greatest operational efficiency for retailers, endless aisle solutions need software, hardware, and management systems with the right features.


Endless aisle software must make a retailer’s complex inventory searchable and accurate up to the minute. Consumers should be able to navigate the solution easily, even if they aren’t particularly tech-savvy. The solution should also be as easy to use as online shopping so it will deliver consistent experiences to the 67% of U.S. consumers that use buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) options.

The solution should also provide retailers with an easy way to display product images, for example, via a product image API to provide visual appeal as shoppers search inventory and to help them confirm that they’ve selected the correct item for purchase.

The software will provide added value to retailers if it enables upselling and cross-selling, informing customers of items that other shoppers purchase together or bringing promotions or specials to the shopper’s attention to help increase sales.

Finally, the solution should give customers an easy way to enter their contact and shipping information and make payments with their preferred payment method.


Kiosks with touchscreens are popular choices for endless aisle solutions. This allows retailers to deploy them in convenient locations, both visible to shoppers and out of the way of store traffic patterns. Additionally, touchscreens make interacting with endless aisle solutions simple and intuitive, and they make finding products and placing orders fast. Research shows touchscreens reduce the time it takes for computer tasks to decrease by as much as 20% compared to a mouse or keyboard, particularly if the touchscreen uses fast, sensitive projected capacitive touch (PCAP).

The perfect solution will also be large enough to display images and product descriptions and aesthetically pleasing, with edge-to-edge glass. A solution like Elo Backpack® can turn any display into an interactive screen, capable of optimizing the view of products in a retailer’s inventory. Additionally, the display must be durable and able to resist scratches or other damage from use over its lifecycle.

An endless aisle kiosk must also be equipped with all the peripherals necessary to provide a good customer experience, including secure payment card readers, a printer to give the customer the option of a paper receipt, and a scanner to make loyalty program or product data entry quick and easy.

Device Management

An endless aisle solution isn’t complete without a way to manage it. Device management for kiosks should give retailers streamlined software deployment processes, an easy-to-use content management system, remote monitoring and management of endless aisle kiosks—and other devices deployed in the store—for centralized management, maximum uptime, and security.

Integration with Systems for Fast, Efficient Fulfillment

The ideal endless aisle solution also integrates with systems that manage fulfillment processes. It should immediately communicate orders and update inventory for an accurate, real-time account of what’s on hand. It should also direct orders to stores, warehouses, or distribution centers that will fulfill the order for smooth processes, ensure orders arrive on time at the right destination, and, as a result, customer satisfaction.

The ideal solution is possible

With vision, planning, and the right technology, retailers can deploy endless aisle solutions that meet today’s consumers’ expectations for in-store experiences, help retailers avoid lost sales due to out-of-stock items in the store, and provide loyalty-building customer experiences.

Elo touchscreens are a part of effective endless aisle solutions around the world. Contact us to learn how to create the optimal solution for your business and your customers.