POS systems or point-of-sale systems have been around for a long time now. Most customers are used to the classic ‘ka-ching’ sound given by the terminal when a sale is processed but technology is moving with leaps-and-bounds. In fact, over the last decade, POS systems have seen several innovative changes that have streamlined the retail billing industry.
According to statistics, almost all retailers have shifted over to modern POS systems but that could change very shortly. Traditional POS systems utilized a computer, a barcode scanner, printer, etc. The billing station was cluttered with hardware and appliances and it frequently resulted in billing issues, missed sales, and damage to the POS system, states iPad Enclosures. All this changed with wireless POS systems. With the advent of wireless systems, retailers shifted their attention to Wi-Fi based billing systems that decreased hardware but sped up the billing system. In fact, the latest POS systems are sleek, handy, and can be fit into an ordinary pocket.
Latest Tech Advances in the World of POS Systems
Do not get us wrong. In-store cash transactions will be popular with consumers but POS software may make even cash transactions redundant due to recent innovations like the following:
Ambulatory billing systems – Smartphone and tablet based billing stations are now the wave of the future. Apple has already implemented mobile billing stations and done away with traditional billing stations. Support staff wanders the store and helps customers with their queries. If the customer buys the item, the sale is processed on an iPod immediately. However, stores are now taking this innovation a little further. Stores now leave iPads or tablets on customer tables, in hotel rooms, on clothes racks, etc. Customers are encouraged to use the iPads to order food at restaurants or through room service in hotels. In fact, Royal Caribbean cruise line also leaves an iPad in customer rooms to keep them updated about on-ship events, for ticket bookings, room service, etc. Even the Hampton Jitney bus service uses an onboard POS system to book tickets, check reservations, and print out receipts.
Digital Wallets – Consumers were wary of shopping online and sending cash online. Now, digital wallets are the norm. With so many different digital payment options online, POS systems have adapted to include all kinds of virtual cash payments. Vendors like Shopify can include all kinds of virtual payment apps on the same system and this is a godsend for business owners. Apart from payment options, mobile and tablet payment options have changed too. For example, Casino Supermarkets in France now have NFC tags on their shelves that carry product information. With the right smartphone, customers can just swipe the phone and buy goods instantly through the mobile point of sale system. Similarly, Kellogg’s set up a tweet store or pop-up store in London. Customers with an ePOS system were encouraged to pay for their products with a tweet.
Social Media Integration – Wi-Fi systems changed the entire face of in-store billing states Gridleyco. Apps like Ibotta and Shopkick are very popular with consumers and they are an easy way for consumers to find relevant products for purchase. Now, customers can access store Wi-Fi through their smartphones and the store POS can reach out to customers directly. As a result, consumers can research the product they want, and the store POS can detect these searches and send the customer targeted coupon codes, freebies and discounts for these goods. This may seem like a sci-fi move but Apple has already come up with an app called iBeacon that does just that and much more.
No-Wait Billing Systems – Advance billing through integrated store POS and smartphones is possible. For example, systems can recognize customers and they can take repeat orders. Customers can also log on to a secure part of the store POS, order their goods, pay for them online, and get them home delivered the same store POS system. The technology is available and it will become popular as consumers start to use it.
All-In-One Hardware – Although we do not really have any facts about this, POS systems could be completely integrated into a single appliance. At present, mobile or tablet POS systems require cash drawers and barcode scanners. However, with an advanced inbuilt camera and a credit card scanner, it could be possible to phase out cash drawers and handheld barcode scanners as well.
Retailers are actively eyeing wireless POS systems as the next best thing states Demandware. Multinationals like McDonalds and Pizza Hut have already transitioned to mobile billing stations with wireless barcode scanners to expedite the billing process. Innovative new tweaks to the existing Wi-Fi system could reduce employee workload, lower labor costs, ensure faster billing and result in happy, satisfied customers. What more could you ask for?