POS (or point-of-sale) systems have always been popular with retailers. They are a simple and easy way to process sales, track inventory, estimate taxes and calculate payroll. However, as technology changes, the POS systems have also evolved to incorporate these changes.
As a result, the traditional ka-ching (or countertop-based POS systems) are slowly being phased out. Newer technology – and better processing systems – means that retailers now have a huge range of products to choose from for their stores. Here are a few of the top POS trends on the marketplace.
Cloud-Based POS Systems
Cloud-based POS systems are very popular at the present time. Unlike traditional systems, cloud-systems store customer data online on the vendor company’s server. Edgl comments that stores have nothing to worry about regarding data storage and data security due to the centralized nature of this system. The technology uses Wi-Fi or Broadband connections to remain online, and users can access the system through a simple app. The app connects to the online server quickly, and billing is simple and easy. As the entire system is online, vendors are now offering iPads and iPhones as mobile processing systems to be used with the cloud-based system.
Hybrid POS Systems
Most retailers have already started using cloud-based systems, but vendors now offer a unique version called hybrid POS systems that contain both cloud-based processing and traditional POS processing. This system was created in case an internet connection problem occurs and the cloud-based system was unavailable to process sales as a result. Vendors created the hybrid systems in order to overcome this potential issue. In the event that Internet connectivity was lost, a hybrid system would record data on the computer, tablet or iPhone. When the connection comes up again, the data is automatically transferred to the cloud server.
Retailers already know that they need to connect with customers on multiple platforms. Vendors have been quick to realize this trend, and they now offer omni channeling; this technology means that customers can interact with store processing systems using multiple methods. For example, UK fashion retailer Oasis offers customers the option of browsing in their store but buying online at the store. Shoppers can have their products shipped home or to a store. In case the product is not appropriate, it can be exchanged at the store or online. Almost every store now offers this kind of omni channeling, and POS vendors communicate with the store POS and the website POS to provide an integrated billing system.
Personalized In-Store Experience
POS systems can now interact with customer mobiles due to Bluetooth Low Energy technology. This innovative technology allows the in-store POS to register the customer as soon as he enters the store. As the customer moves through the store, the POS system sends targeted offers, discounts, coupons and deals directly to the mobile. To make use of this feature, customers simply have to download an app that will allow them to receive these personalized messages, coupons, codes, freebies and discounts directly to their mobiles.
Times have changed and customers are more than willing to pay through credit card. As a result, says RIS news, most cloud-based systems offer customers the chance to bill their products anywhere in the store through mini credit card processing terminals attached to iPhones and iPads. Apart from this, POS vendors now also accept mobile and tablet payments for products through gateways like PayPal, Square Wallet, Dwolla, and Google Wallet. Some POS systems can also accept any kind of non-traditional currency payment, such as Bitcoins. iPad point of sale is convenient and easy for customers.
Social Media Loyalty Programs
As the newer POS systems are cloud-based, the system can automatically link to social media platforms. Some systems can coordinate with social media websites and offer targeted deals and offers to customers interested in receiving deals. This feature is particularly useful for restaurants and retailers, as they can connect to customers directly and ensure a much better loyalty program.
POS systems also collect a lot of data, and this helps retailers get tremendous insight in customer shopping habits. An article in VendHQ describes how POS systems collect data about offers, deals, and discounts from a variety of sources, and thus this technology helps retail owners change store displays and streamline customer movement patterns through their store.
These are just a few of the top trends in the POS system revolution, and as the The-future-of-commerce reports almost 60% of all retailers have already incorporated new cloud-based systems in to their stores. Retailers like Burberry and Apple in particular have already started using iPad POS systems to process sales and create targeted loyalty programs for customers. However, technology changes in leaps and bounds, and POS systems are expected to transform into even more innovative processing systems by the end of the year. As a result, retailers can expect faster billing, fewer queues and a range of other features at the same traditional price.
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