Some brands are built on image. In fact, some entire retail installations are built on image. Look at the fragrance industry- bottles of only a few ounces of inexpensive liquid sold to consumers at huge markups. They happily pay it, too- why? Maybe they like how it smells, or maybe they just like how it looks.
Retail stores themselves also have an image to uphold. Customers are starting to flock to more advanced retail outlets like Apple stores. Traditional retailers and startups alike are looking to jump onboard this trend with updates to their POS systems. In particular, movement to the cloud looks to be a huge priority. 38% of businesses aiming to buy new cloud-based POS software are looking for more advanced functionality (http://pointofsale.com/201412103869/Point-of-Sale-News/Survey-Results-Who-Is-Seeking-New-Point-of-Sale-Software.html). So what are some of those functions that will make purchasing easier?
New forms of payment
It remains to be seen if Bitcoin will overtake the rest of the world’s currencies. However, there are many new forms of payment that allow for the exchange of established currencies in nontraditional methods. The rise of the e-wallet, for instance, along with the prevalence of smartphones and even the abundance of tech wearables, has the potential to revolutionize the way we make payments.
According to Hospitality Technology, 56% of restaurants say enabling new payment options like e-wallet are a top business goal that’s influencing new POS upgrades. The retail sector is no different. Although customers might enjoy shopping in pretty stores and taking their time looking through expensive inventory, many stores are set up to service people as quickly as possible.
In either case, nobody wants to wait in line. E-wallets and similar methods of payment allow a streamlined purchasing experience. In many cases, all a customer has to do is tap their phone to the POS device, and the payment is received. It’s faster than cash, credit, and makes customers and employees happier.
Online purchase, in-store pickup
Despite the rise in ecommerce and online sales in general, brick-and-mortar retailers have found a way to stay strong. It’s been proven that customers enjoy the experience of seeing something in person- it’s a tangibility that this modern world sometimes lacks, and retailers are taking advantage. According to Internet Retailer, 65% of U.S. shoppers will shop online, but then buy in-store afterward.
Using a cloud-based POS system can allow you to take advantage of this. It will ensure that the inventory of your store is accurately represented. It will make it easier for customers to come find you and make their purchase. It will also make it easier to do the actual buying- you can set up a system for making purchases via your website with pickups at your retail outlet.
It’s the best of both worlds. A customer has the ease of shopping and comparing prices online, and they don’t have to wait in a long line. They make their purchase, and the in-store employee sees it via the cloud-based POS. They grab the stock, it comes out of the inventory, and it is ready for pickup from the register when the customer comes to get it. This would simply not be possible without a cloud based POS.
Forget clunky cash registers
We mentioned Apple stores before. Although they are known for their iconic minimalistic retail approach, where is this idea coming from? The first thing you notice when you walk in an Apple store is the rows of computers and phones. The next thing is that there is no centralized POS station with several massive desktop cash registers sitting next to each other. Instead, employees are buzzing around the store with POS systems in their hands. Not only does it look nice, but it’s good for business too.
According to Mobile Commercial Daily, 35% of respondents to their survey say they would shop at a store more often if it offered a mobile POS solution. On top of that, 51% of individuals surveyed believe that traditional cash registers are outdated. They’re right.
There is the issue of space: many small retailers are better off using their limited amount of space for actual product. If they can handle transactions more efficiently with less space, they should definitely do that. In addition, there is also the small businesses that like the ability to sell from anywhere and not just their store. With pop-up stores becoming more and more popular, being able to accept more forms of payment than cash from anywhere in the city is a huge advantage.
On top of that, customers are more likely to buy on the spot with a mobile POS. They won’t have a chance to “think about it,” put it back down, and then immediately forget about the item and fail to make the purchase. The cloud-based POS will make things more simple for the employees and the customers, ensuring a better experience all around- resulting in increased sales, too.