Developing an accurate picture of what the future of point of sale systems could look like can feel about as productive as using a crystal ball to determine the next big thing. As the POS market continues to evolve to stay up to date with business and consumer expectations, staring blankly at a Google search page is simply not good enough. The options and functionalities offered today are no longer one size fits all. In fact, many point of sale market trends prove to be one-size-fits-none.
Conducting an investigation into which point of sale market trends are worth keeping your eyes on, and determining which may have a place in your business is at best a convoluted process. Knowing where to pinpoint your focus is essential to guard against using your valuable time looking into POS options that are just not quite ready for real-world business applications. But can you make this determination on your own? And what if the trend you select turns into a money pit versus a money saver?
We have developed a shortlist of point of sale market trends that continue to evolve into products that everyday POS users can easily utilize. While this is not the end-all, be-all, of POS trends, it is a concise presentation of the latest developments in POS software technology. This presents you with a smaller target from which to develop your own POS strategy, and gives you the tools you will need to execute changes successfully and achieve the full financial benefits.
The March Into the Cloud Continues
The movement we have seen in taking POS systems into the cloud has grown from a trickling brook to a rushing river. According to Capterra, 43% of business owners now prefer cloud-based software solutions, or SaaS, over the legacy on-premise installations of POS software. The trend towards the cloud is growing as businesses move to implement new, more technology capable, POS solutions into their operations.
A key factor driving the burst of cloud-based POS installations can be seen in the average age of currently used POS solution. Roughly 60% of surveyed businesses have implemented a new POS solution within the past two years. This means that a majority of businesses are opting for cloud-based POS solutions over on-premise installations. The number of factors driving this move is focused on providing options for continued growth, as well as to address the technology expectations of consumers.
Building a POS software solution in the cloud provides additional layers of scalability and flexibility that serve in making cloud-based POS the new normal. That business owners can leverage towards gaining a competitive edge. Protecting data is easier, and provides you with a business continuity strategy that is not possible with an on-premise POS instance. Data, reporting, staff management, and inventory controls are all key business functions that can be moved to a mobile app for higher levels of proactive actions.
Mobile POS Making Gains Against Fixed POS Terminals
A related and cloud-dependent trend that has been riding the coattails of the POS SaaS trend is the movement towards mPOS terminals. The revenue that is processed on mPOS-based systems versus fixed POS terminals is growing at an astounding average rate of 40%. Built with improving the customer experience, these systems, once the sole domain of food trucks and mobile businesses have made recent inroads into brick and mortar retail and restaurants.
The growth of the mPOS market should not be all that surprising. Consumers walk through life armed with smartphones that allow them to interact with any business that has a web presence at any time of the day. This has created a challenge for the business world, as they must improve their technology to satiate the technology expectations of their prospective clientele. This assists businesses, especially small retailers, in retaining their foothold in increasingly competitive marketplaces.
There are more than a few definitive advantages to be gained when looking to implement an mPOS solution (link to mPOS piece once live). The foundational technology of mPOS unlocks the world of mobile payment acceptance, as well as opportunities around having an omni-channel presence. To understand the full picture of what an mPOS solution can bring into your business, consider this scenario.
A customer walks in and is observed hurriedly viewing items on your shelves. A member of your staff approaches the customer with an iPad in hand. After asking the customer a few pointed questions, your employee performs an inventory search without leaving your customer’s side. The particular item is no longer produced, but your employee is able to hand the table to the customer so they can look at a very similar item that is in stock. They graciously accept the item, and your staff member rings them up and processes payment right there. Meanwhile, another employee receives an alert directing them to pull the item from stock, and delivers it to the customer just as the transaction is completed.
This is exactly what can distinguish your business from the others. From boutique retail and into the restaurant and foodservice industry, mPOS gives you creative ways to build deeper relationships with your customers. And, as consumers continue to build a dependency on always available shopping and purchasing options, moving to an mPOS system will make it easier for you to develop an omni-channel business strategy.
Omni-channel Has Morphed Into the Hot Game in Town
A recent BRP POS customer survey indicates that 43% of businesses saw omni-channel as a top technology priority for this year. As users of POS software solutions march forward into the future of innovative POS technology, the omni-channel model has developed an established following. Consumers crave the ability to interact with retailers and restaurants at times convenient for them. This creates the need for business owners to provide app, social media, and website engagement points if they hope to stay in the game.
With the benefits of moving into the omni-channel operating model are well known at this point, the evolution of the capabilities in an omni-channel environment continues to evolve. Is the omni-channel path marches towards maturity, the functionalities available to you will only improve as time goes by. Gaining another storefront to entice and engage potential customers is a winning proposition for any retailer.
Restaurants can take advantage of this as well, by providing online reservation capabilities and presenting menu changes. Some restaurants allow for advanced ordering, or for diners to create a profile in which they can select the items that are allergens or are not appealing. This gives diners control over their restaurant experience, and in turn, gives a restaurant the ability to gain a better understanding of what its customers desire when they walk through that door.
Remaining Updated on Key Point of Sale Market Trends
Taking the time to select the POS market trends to pursue invites business owners to take deeper looks into how their business operates. Developing or adjusting your goals for the future are now interdependent upon the technology you use to run your processes and analyze data for trend discovery. Getting this right, and choosing the right trends to follow, will make a positive impact on your business processes and in customer retention efforts.
Seeking outside assistance is a crucial step that eases this process for you. Engaging with an outside consultant will provide you with the answers you need, and will help in cutting through the fluff. They will utilize their POS technology experience to get to the core of your issues and concerns, helping you to devise a long-term strategy to aid you in achieving long-term projected growth.
Knowing which point of sale market trends you need to be taking advantage of requires the guidance of an expert. Selecting and aligning trending POS technologies is a talech specialty. We gain a deep level of understanding around your current POS solution and your long-term goals to develop a future-thinking strategy that sets you apart from the rest. Contact talech today for a free demo and more information on how to bring cutting-edge technology to your customers.