Mobile POS systems, or mPOS, are the kind of technology that, once we start using it, we wonder how we ever got along without it. The mPOS trend is a game-changer for small retailers in particular who are able to adopt the latest POS technologies without the high upfront costs that many innovations require.
mPOS essential converts an entire store into a point of sale terminal. In fact, the technology goes even further, allowing businesses to take their wares on the road by connecting retailers wirelessly to their cloud-based sales, inventory, scheduling, and other data. These are the five best mPOS benefits for retailers and their customers.
Feature #1: Any Smartphone or Tablet Becomes an mPOS System
Retailers appreciate technologies that are inexpensive and simple to implement. The best mPOS systems check both boxes by working with the low-cost hardware and devices you and your workers probably already own.
An mPOS application installed on a smartphone or tablet connects to a credit/debit reader via an audio jack or wirelessly. The mPOS app supports contactless payments and mobile wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, and it can link wirelessly to barcode readers, receipt printers, and other devices, although many businesses will prefer to send customers their receipts via email or text message.
The mPOS application also links directly and securely to the vendor’s bank account or to its wired POS system. Customers benefit by having their transactions processed faster, bypassing the typical wait in the checkout line. Retailers save floor space by requiring fewer POS terminals, and mPOS apps provide the same features of a full-featured POS system, including automatic calculation of sales tax, real-time inventory tracking, and managing employees’ work hours, tips, commissions, and other information.
Feature #2: mPOS Systems Help Mobile Businesses Manage Their Cash Flow
Ensuring ready access to sufficient cash is important for all businesses, but managing cash flow for a mobile business presents unique challenges. For example, the mPOS system has to be able to calculate tax rates and track the permitting process in a range of locations, and across wide seasonal variations in sales. The sales data collected by an mPOS application can be used to plan for the swings in cash flow that many mobile businesses experience.
By improving the efficiency of seasonal inventory management, the mPOS system reduces overstocking slow-moving items and understocking high-demand products. All businesses can appreciate the improved ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions by using the sales-analysis features built into mPOS software. The systems can process transactions in offline mode, which is especially important to mobile businesses that need to be able to operate when network connections fail.
Feature #3: mPOS Systems Put More Customer Information at Employees’ Fingertips
Customers increasingly expect their favorite retailers to offer them special deals or incentives. Young consumers in particular have integrated their online and in-person shopping, moving seamlessly from one to the other. Mobile technologies and cloud-based POS are keys to meeting the expectations of today’s consumers.
The mPOS applications collect information about customers’ purchase histories and other activities that let retail employees tailor discounts and other special offers to the interests and preferences of each customer. This is a great way to establish an emotional connection with customers that helps convert them into ambassadors for your brand.
Feature #4: mPOS Systems Integrate Seamlessly with Online Order Processing
Businesses large and small, mobile and fixed are becoming fully digital operations, relying first and foremost on their digital presence for their success. The first experience a growing number of customers have with a retail business is the company’s website or mobile app. This is where people browse the retailer’s wares, make purchases, set appointments, and take other actions.
The vendor side of the equation is the vast amount of information retailers are able to collect and analyze about the effectiveness of their digital operations and about their customers’ shopping and purchasing tendencies. In addition, all of this data—sales figures, inventory, employee schedules, and more—is accessible at any time from a mobile device. Integrating online and in-person shopping via mPOS systems enhances the value of data and the efficiency of the business’s record-keeping.
Feature #5: mPOS Systems Prepare Retailers to Operate Under Any Circumstances
Being prepared has taken on new significance as retailers adapt to COVID-19-related restrictions. The more potential scenarios in which a business can operate, the less likely the chances of the business being impacted by unforeseeable situations. The lessons that mobile businesses have learned about operating in a wide range of environments and circumstances apply to mPOS systems for all businesses.
Cloud-based mPOS systems put the features of a full-fledged POS in your pocket:
- Daily sales reports
- Split tender
- Order-level price adjustments
- Sales adjustments by percentage
- Multi-level tax support
The systems also support a range of pop-up retail operations:
- Street fairs
- City-sponsored events
- Subleased locations
Even temporary retail operations in parking lots and outdoor shopping areas can be run with access to all the POS features the business relies on when operating under normal circumstances.
Retailers are pulling out all the stops in their efforts to sustain their businesses in an era of social distancing and other public health precautions. The low cost and simplicity of implementing an mPOS system come at the exact right time for stores looking for ways to do more with less. Most importantly, the best mPOS features bring retailers closer to their customers, allowing them to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
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