New and exciting advances in POS and mobile technologies have merged to create an innovative set of tools for small businesses. Cloud-based software has opened up the potential for small businesses to use powerful tools that were previously out of reach. Advanced data management has made harnessing and analyzing large amounts of data simpler and easier to accomplish. But questions have emerged when it comes to the hardware required to bring it all together.
Users of mobile POS technology need to know what the exact hardware requirements are for using a mobile point of sale terminal. Mobile POS terminals have grown in capability alongside cloud-based POS software, making seamless integration of devices with POS software a number one concern. There are a few other points to consider when choosing the best fitting mobile POS terminal for your purposes to achieve the most gain.
How Important is the Background POS Software to Having a Mobile POS Terminal?
This is the small business technology version of the age-old question: What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps the most common question asked about mobile POS terminals are whether you purchase those first and add POS software to fit the hardware, or is it better to buy the software first then add the hardware. The best solution to this quandary is to purchase your POS software first and then add your mobile POS terminals. But why is this?
Many mobile POS solutions come with concise recommendations for the hardware that best integrates with the POS software. And better yet, the top POS solution providers have an all-inclusive technology path, meaning that you get both the cloud-based POS software you desire along with tested and proven mobile POS terminals. This approach reduces costs and compatibility issues, while making support channels more consistent and complete.
In addition to ensuring full hardware compatibility, the POS software you utilize will be the power behind the hardware. In other words, as important as your mobile POS terminals will prove to be in your daily operations, it is the POS software that provides the apps, data, reporting, and monitoring that are crucial in driving towards a successful future. Also, the software will make your work tasks easier, and will lead to more effective usage and support.
Is There a Level of Support and Lifecycle Management Best Suited to Small Businesses?
An important element that will affect your mobile POS terminal decision-making process is the support and lifecycle management it will receive. Consider the following:
- Support Availability: In some cases, mobile POS terminal support ends within 30 to 90 days after they are purchased, even if they were packaged with the foundation of POS software. You will want to seek hardware that is reliable and provides the support you need for as long as you own your device.
- Support Quality: The support channel for your hardware will vary greatly. POS vendors offer differing hardware support options, and the differences between using Android-based devices or Apple devices will come into play as well. Apple devices in particular stand out from the crowd, both in terms of support and security. Apple’s award winning support lessens your reliance on POS vendor support, and places you in a better position to get out of band, or after hours support, to keep you up and running.
- Support Lifecycle: A nuance that is often missed when examining mobile POS device support is lifecycle management. Determining who will foot the bill when mobile POS terminals fall out of support, or when the background POS technology is upgraded past the point of the hardware remaining functional, is an important “must-know” needed before making any purchase. This will allow you to make the best decision for your budget, while still utilizing the exact type of mobile POS terminal that fits your needs.
What Are the Most Common Types of Mobile POS Terminal Devices?
Having the knowledge of what your POS software is and how hardware support looks like gives you an edge when selecting your mobile POS equipment. The best mobile POS terminals will vary from business to business, but that does not mean that you need to guess at which options are correct. The fundamentals behind mobile POS terminals will always be based on one point of wisdom: the best mobile POS terminal device is the one you forget about.
Tablets are by far the best choice for use as a mobile POS terminal. Apple-based devices, such as the iPad line of tablets, are a particularly strong choice. Apple iPads will give you consistent and familiar usability that comes with fantastic customer support on both the hardware and software. Compatibility with almost any POS software is a given, and their durability and reputation for top-notch security makes utilizing iPads in your business a strong choice.
Using tablets as your mobile POS terminal of choice will also present you with a number of ways to stand out from your competitors. Tablet-based terminals can be detached from mounts and carried into the aisles, to your tables or workstations to provide a higher level of customer service. Staff will find themselves empowered to create personalized experiences for customers due to all pertinent customer information being merely a few taps away.
Add a Mobile Point of Sale Terminal the Easy Way
Determining the best mobile point of sale terminal hardware for use in your business is a decision you cannot neglect. The ability of your POS software to maximize cloud-based, mobility functions will determine the exact type of hardware you can use. Support that matches your budget and operating hours is a necessity, as is having a clear path for managing devices throughout their lifetimes and beyond.
A valued POS solutions provider can help you dig through all of these important factors. This places an experienced set of eyes next to you as all of your mobile POS terminal options are laid out. They will craft an integration of your hardware and software, and will work to ensure that your new devices and POS platform are supported no matter the time or day. In the end, you will look at your final solution with confidence and start to enjoy spending your valuable time with your customers.
Implementing a fresh mobile device strategy must start with the selection of a successful POS solutions provider. Starting a relationship with talech is gives you access to our business savvy consultants and knowledgeable POS product engineers. They will work to implement the perfect mobile POS solution that is crafted to meet your unique challenges. Contact us today to see first hand how talech can deliver a transcendent POS solution to you.