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Is It Time to Upgrade Your POS System?


Are traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems still your best bet? Inventory management, loyalty program administration, basic analytics and of course, payment processing are all viable functions of current expensive fixed-line network terminals, which still make up most of the POS systems in retail.

A traditional POS system could cost more than $1,000, not counting added expenses, like networking requirements, software licenses and security measures. The daily cost of a store running five POS terminals can be considerable.

Tablet-based POS solutions are usually half the price of an existing POS terminal. Also, it’s a lot faster and easier to update mobile tablets than fixed-line POS systems, and the operating system for an iOS or Android tablet enables stores to easily integrate any new features or applications they wish, without having to rely on expensive IT staff to reconfigure the POS.

But, retailers are now realizing how they can use the newer mobile technology to increase profits, boost productivity and reduce costs.

Mobile everything is growing in popularity. According to the new Mobile POS Software Market Share report from global research and advisory firm IHL, the overall market of mobile POS software and hardware is projected to grow by more than 320 percent by 2018.

The case for investing in mobile POS Retailers is strong. One primary reason involves the mobile savvy consumer’s demand for an improved shopping experience. Consumers with smartphones have become used to the efficiency of mobile apps. They expect more personal service, faster transactions, and greater convenience. Retailers seeking store loyalty, increased sales and profit, need to respond by enhancing the buying experience through mobile POS hardware, devices, and apps that deliver new value-added services and faster transaction times. At the same time, stores can reduce operating costs and POS floor space requirements and improve much needed customer analytics.

Training on a mobile system is also less expensive and significantly easier to execute than on a fixed POS system. Tablets are more intuitive—employees can learn a tablet POS in minutes, and when new features or services become available, staff members can easily load these onto the device.

In The Pink, a chain of Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores, recently rolled out a custom mobile POS cart featuring a retail management solution from Springboard Retail in eight stores in Massachusetts that will be part of its mobile transformation. Approximately 41 days after implementing the system, In The Pink saw sales increase 60%. Transaction volume and total units per transaction also improved.

Larger retailers are using mobile POS to enhance in-store traffic flow, boost sales and free up store space. Trend-setting Nordstrom has long been eliminating checkout lines by using mobile POS devices enabled with a solution from Infosys. Using modified iPod Touch devices with credit card scanners attached, employees can check out customers from anywhere in the store, as well as tap into inventory data and place special orders without having to scurry to the stockroom

Today, the new smart printers contain enough computing power and services to become a complete POS system, supporting a wide range of connected mobile devices. Such systems are able to deliver customer analytics and a rich set of cloud-based services. These technologies allow retailers to deploy flexible configurations, such as highly efficient checkouts throughout the store, in-store kiosks, mobile POS, or pop-up stores and/or store-within-a-store concepts. These advances in mobile POS have morphed devices like printers beyond their traditional use to include functionality such as human resource tracking and time clocking, and when used as a hub, provide payment functionality and customer interaction behavior data.

Retailers will get the most out of their POS investment by choosing the right mix of mobile and traditional POS hardware with an eye on which technology is expected to have the longer useful life in their POS environment.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, retailers, management, staffing,
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