By Michael Gavin
The POS is ever-changing. Businesses that could not justify the investment in traditional, legacy POS systems are now taking advantage of more affordable, software-as-a-service based solutions accessible via smart devices, such as Apple iPads or Android tablets. Tablet-based POS solutions continue to gain popularity in the payments world, and it's critical for industry professionals to keep their fingers on the pulse of this growing market to advise their customers of the latest trends.
Tablets provide many advantages to businesses, giving them the flexibility and mobility they need in today's world. Business owners can manage their enterprises on-the-go by accessing their sales data and analytics from any mobile device, one of the major benefits of cloud-based technologies. These devices also bring mobility into companies, allowing employees to process transactions from anywhere within the merchant location. Tablet-based POSs also helps streamline business processes, enhances the customer experience and improves inventory management.
Tablet-based POS solutions are not limited to large, enterprise companies or specific industries. Their affordability, ease-of-use and low maintenance make them a simple solution for any size or type of business to implement. Here's a look at how different industries can take advantage tablet-based POS solutions:
The retail industry can greatly benefit from tablet-based POSs to process sales, conduct returns, and look up inventory from anywhere in the store, which helps eliminate long checkout lines. This can drastically boost sales, as more consumers are likely to purchase items rather than walk away from a long checkout line. Tablet POS solutions also enable retailers to implement rewards and loyalty programs that enhance customer engagement and personalization.
According to Retail TouchPoints, In the Pink, a signature retail store, has had tremendous success using tablet POSs in their stores. Within just 41 days after implementing a mobile POS solution, their sales increased by 60 percent (see http://retailtouchpoints.com/topics/pos-payments-emv/the-move-toward-mobile-pos).
Two other retailers, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters, are also taking advantage of the new technology, eliminating long checkout lines and improving their customer engagement. According to a recent survey, the number of retailers using mobile POS systems is expected to triple by the year 2018 (see www.infogrouptargeting.com/about/news/survey-retailers-using-mobile-pos-expected-to-triple-by-2018).
Fine-dining restaurants are getting on board with tablet-based POS solutions to enhance their guests' dining experiences and improve overall restaurant operations. Some restaurants have installed individual tablet devices at each table, allowing customers to order directly from the device.
Using tablets provides restaurants a substantial upselling opportunity; they can include high-resolution images of recommended food items, tempting customers to order appetizers and desserts with their meals. One great example is Genghis Grill, which saw a 27 percent increase in sales within 18 months after implementing tablets (see http://hospitalitytechnology.edgl.com/news/Restaurants-Make-the-Move-to-Tableside-POS92583). Empowering customers with tablets and giving them the opportunity to place their own orders also reduces order errors.
Tablet-based POSs in restaurants allow customers to pay tableside, whether they have a tablet at their table or if a waiter brings it to them. This tightens security and puts dining guests at ease by keeping their credit cards in their hand at all times.
Paying tableside allows restaurants to flip tables faster and gives waiters more time to spend focusing on their guests. It also requires less wait staff since waiters can manage more tables at a time. Whether a restaurant places tablets at each table or waiters carry mobile devices, it can drastically improve restaurant processes, customer satisfaction and overall business efficiency.
Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) need speed and efficiency to run a good business and to keep customers satisfied. At peak lunch hours, QSRs receive a rush of customers who do not have the time or patience to stand in long lines or wait for food orders. Today's fast-paced, on-the-go consumer wants quick service, which is what QSRs should provide.
A few such restaurants are already exploring tablet-based POSs to help eliminate long lines and speed up the order process. According to Quick Service Magazine, McDonald's is testing iPads for customers to simply order with the ability to customize their food orders (see www.qsrmagazine.com/exclusives/burgers-design). With speed being QSRs' number one priority, there is no reason not to switch to tablet-based POSs.
Tablet-based POS solutions can significantly improve and streamline business processes, giving customers a more enjoyable experience and putting business owners at ease. They are affordable, effective and efficient, making them a great fit for any business to implement. The popularity of tablet-based POSs will continue to grow this year and in the coming years, so getting your customers up to speed now can set them apart from competitors and prepare them for the future of the POS.
As Cayan's Senior Vice President, Sales, Michael Gavin is responsible for day-to-day management of the company's direct sales efforts including organizational structure, sales forecasts and overall strategies. He also oversees all sales activities within the company's agent channel, a growing network of more than 400 independent representatives throughout the United States. Michael has served as a key leader within the organization since joining the company in late 2000. An individual who has made numerous key contributions, Michael was the architect behind the design and development of the agent channel. Michael is a graduate of Merrimack College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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