Tagged in: Customer Service

Versatility – The Key Trait of Tomorrow’s Successful POS System

As technology becomes more advanced, customers continue to demand more from their shopping experiences, both online and offline.

To meet the needs of both retailers and shoppers, POS systems are becoming more and more versatile in the services they offer.

When debit and credit card readers were first introduced, they began to transform the way we make purchases. Current POS systems encompass a wide range of business functions, such as cashless transactions to data collection.

Today, keeping the customer happy in a competitive marketplace means offering a superior “customer experience.”

In other words, it is the retailer’s job to make the entire shopping journey, from product selection to checkout, as pleasant and user-friendly as possible.

How Versatile POS Systems Help the Retailer and the Customer

Business owners are certainly aware that a POS system can automate or semi-automate many business tasks, from inventory to order entry to data collection.

However, as technology and new payment methods continue to advance, versatile POS systems will become even more necessary.

Here are just a few of the diverse features that retailers should pay attention to when looking at the evolving POS market:

Cashless and Digital Wallet Capabilities

Though digital wallets – the ability to pay directly from your smartphone – have their fair share of skeptics, the number of digital payment options continues to grow. And the number of customers using these digital wallets also continues to grow.

Android Pay, Google Wallet, and Apple Pay are among the biggest names. But many other companies are jumping onto the bandwagon, including Chase Bank, Amazon, Alibaba, Samsung, and others.

Delays in adoption are due to security concerns, as well as slow adoption rates by both customers and retailers.

However, the sheer number of digital wallets being implemented suggests that this may become more than just a fad.

EMV Compliance

Another major trend we see in the payment processing world is the transition to EMV credit card readers.

On October 1st, 2016, banks shifted liability for fraud cases over to businesses, in cases where those businesses had not adopted chip-enabled card readers.

Though some argue that this is no reason to panic – after all, no one will be arrested if they aren’t EMV compliant – it’s clear that banks and industry leaders are aggressively pushing for EMV adoption.

And, as they do, more and more customers are being issued these cards, and security concerns may drive some people to shop where EMV cards are accepted.

Mobile POS Integrations

The biggest benefit to mPOS solutions is their portability.

They can be used on the floor, in the field, or wherever your staff happen to be. These systems often include a host of other functions, from cloud updates to design flexibility to data collection.

POS vendors are also continuing to introduce new integrations, such as mPOS devices that are able to accept both EMV cards and digital wallets.

Though mPOS devices are still in the minority, they are currently the most versatile devices, and may prove to be the standard at some point in the future.

Tomorrow’s POS Integrations

Although the POS and payment processing industries have encountered obstacles during their growth, expect technology to offer more integrations in the coming years.

Expect to see POS systems that offer even more advanced technologies and functions, such as:

  • Age Verification
  • QR / Bar Code Scanning
  • Acceptance for All Major Digital Wallets
  • Contactless Cards

Ultimately, the POS systems of tomorrow will be much more versatile than today’s most current models, making life easier for both retailers and customers.

The Bottom Line

If you want to keep up with the demands of your busy customers – and stay competitive – it pays to keep an eye on the busy world of payment processing.

The checkout line has a significant impact on customers’ wait times, their retail experience, and their perception of a brand or company.

Though all new technologies have an adoption curve, the history of credit cards shows how new technologies can eventually become the norm. In a few years’ time, all retailers may be using versatile POS systems that do much more than read magnetic stripes.

Study Finds that More Personalized POS Provides More Profit

A recent study performed by Forrester Consulting explains that a retail store or restaurant’s future success ties directly into their usage of integrated POS systems.

In our technologically advanced marketplace, a POS system should extend beyond monetary transactions.

By updating the digital usage within a business’ physical location, businesses can achieve a number of benefits:

  •      Improved customer experience and interaction
  •      Employees that are better equipped and more prepared
  •      Enhanced flow of operations
  •      Access to increased data sources

Ability to Better Serve Customers

In a pool of 150 surveys:

  • 87% of the respondents declared that they are interested in tablet-based POS systems as a means of improving employee-customer interactions
  • 93% believe that it is essential to integrate a digital experience into physical locations.

As technology advances and provides better customer experiences, consumers and shoppers are becoming more demanding.

Today’s customers expect employees to have thorough knowledge about the business, including inventory and other options. The majority survey respondents also note that their digital presence has become a direct extension of their physical one. This leads to an increased desire to utilize digitized options within retail shopping and dining.

The following are some of the most common expectations that business owners and employees are being forced to try and meet:

  •      Ability to check store inventory, including that of other locations
  •      Ability to fulfill restaurant and shopping orders both tableside and in store aisles
  •      Rapid checkout procedures
  •      Increased customer security assurances
  •      Access to customer profile and purchase history
  •      Capacity to recommend items and selections

Making the Move to Advanced POS Systems

The vast majority of decision makers who were surveyed also recognized that advanced POS systems positioned them to better meet the needs of today’s customers.

Just as the customer is looking for improvements in their shopping experience, though, businesses face a number of concerns when making the switch to integrated POS systems.

  •      High costs
  •      System Reliability
  •      Customer education
  •      Ease of use

All things considered, our society is on the cusp of a major transitional movement.

Customers are more educated and hyper-aware of what is available, while businesses are working dutifully to meet their evolving needs. It will be interesting to see what the next few years will bring in terms of customer-employee interaction.