The last thing people attending an event want to do is stand in a line waiting to buy something or withdraw cash from an ATM while everyone else enjoys the show.
To combat this, one approach many event organizers take is issuing near field communication (NFC)-enabled wristbands that let attendees make purchases without using cash. However, what’s really been trending among event vendors is the use of cloud-based payment technology that works with the contactless payment platforms that most people already use.
More and more, event venues are going cashless:
- CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and MLS’s Seattle Sounders, has gone completely cashless. Patrons who don’t have a credit card can use an ATM to convert cash to a payment card with no fees.
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta recorded a 16% increase in patrons’ spending on food and beverages for games played by the NFL’s Falcons and MLS’s Atlanta United.
The San Francisco 49ers, Las Vegas Raiders, and many other professional sports teams have also gone cashless at their venues or plan to do so soon. The trend is a win for both event sponsors and patrons; attendees spend less time waiting to purchase refreshments, souvenirs, and other merchandise, encouraging them to spend more.
Cashless event systems aren’t limited to high-profile events, however. The technology can provide many benefits for anyone hosting an activity of any size.
Important Aspects for Consideration When Planning to Sell at a Cashless Event
Before going completely cashless, event vendors need to consider whether their operation is prepared for cashless-only transactions. For example, your POS software has to be able to accommodate various types of cashless payments. The standard till-and-card-reader setup will need to be replaced with a POS system that supports EMV, swipe cards, touch-pay options, and digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Another consideration is whether the event will take place in an area that requires vendors to accept cash payments because some customers won’t have access to credit cards or other cash alternatives. Even when retailers have successfully identified that going cashless is feasible, they must make sure their POS system makes it possible for employees to easily record and track their sales commissions, tips, work hours, and shift schedules, as well as other pertinent work-related information.
These are among the steps involved in making a successful transition to a cashless operation:
- Alert customers as early as possible that the event only accepts cashless payments, so they have time to prepare and adjust to making purchases without cash.
- One way to help your customers accommodate cashless payments is by allowing them to use prepaid cards, pay by phone, or pay online via your cloud-based POS system.
- Make sure your customers know that their confidential payment information is secured via the encryption features of your POS system.
The Building Blocks of a Cashless Event POS System
Modularity and versatility are key characteristics of modern cloud-based POS systems. Both these attributes facilitate retailers in meeting the needs of their customers when operating at an event. When implementing a cashless event system, vendors must consider these four building blocks:
- Give customers more control over their shopping experience through the use of multimedia iPad or Android tablets loaded with your custom POS app. Mobile devices allow merchants to bring the sale to the shoppers rather than requiring the shoppers to come to them.
- Provide customers with a range of options at the time of the transaction, including the ability to split bills, redeem discounts, and view special offers based on their purchase. The systems make it easy to capture customer information so you can keep in touch with your customers long after the event is over.
- Prevent running out of stock of your best-selling items or overstocking others by maintaining inventory counts in real-time, including automatic alerts when product levels fall below a preset threshold.
- Make sales reporting more intuitive by using your POS system’s dashboard interface to immediately view sales trends, the effect of price changes, and the performance of various promotions and discounts.
How Cashless Event Systems Serve the Mobile-Business Boom
There has never been a better time for retailers to go mobile. Uncertainty is the new normal for the time being, which means merchants have to be ready to switch gears with little or no warning. Participating in events opens up new markets and opportunities for restaurants, food vendors, and other retailers. Operating a cashless event system enhances the event experience for customers and boosts sales for vendors because transactions take less time to complete.
- With cashless payments, every sale gives merchants a chance to promote their brand and invite customers to use the vendor’s website and mobile app for their future shopping needs.
- Vendors operating at events serve as surrogates for the event hosts and sponsors, so the merchants are able to make a connection with customers at cashless events that builds on attendees’ memories of the occasion.
- Operating a mobile business at a cashless event helps vendors gain valuable experience with wireless technologies. They also learn how to run a retail operation in locations with limited facilities.
A retailer’s success depends on their ability to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way. Cashless event systems capitalize on two of the most pronounced trends in the retail industry: the first is mobility, which lets retailers meet their customers more than halfway; and the second is fast, secure, and convenient transactions that minimize direct contact to help keep your customers and employees safe.
Today’s cloud-based POS systems provide the features customers have come to expect and the functions that vendors increasingly rely on, including support for the growing range of cashless transactions. Make sure your POS system is ready to let your business participate in lucrative cashless events.
When you partner with talech for your mobile POS needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to create an innovative cashless event system that will expand your reach and allow you to capitalize on a number of new opportunities.
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