POS Industry Updates and Trends of 2016

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We are now in the middle of the POS industry redefinition. 2016 and 2017 will be very interesting years where we will see major players rising and others disappearing in the industry.

In the last few years, mPOS solutions have proven that tablet devices are a reliable hardware solution for many retailers, and that the cloud is a reliable solution to provide instant information on not only one, but multiple retail locations. The POS of the 21st century was born, and is continuing to grow quickly.

What we see now is a strong demand for small, and easy to deploy POS solutions. Since most of the POS solutions now provide a cloud solution, the need for heavy store hardware has decreased significantly, and many POS providers are rethinking their hardware offering.

For many restaurants and retail stores, a simple tablet, cash drawer, and receipt printer is all that is needed . And don’t forget your payment device!   The payment device has actually become one of the most important devices at the POS.  It is the device that has the capability to enable Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and most importantly, EMV enabled payment.

The October EMV deadline came and passed. It did not motivate many SMB retailers to change their POS. The way we, as consumers want to purchase a product is what will make the retailers want to upgrade their point of sale system.

Retailers and restaurateurs alike are looking to increase their revenue by offering purchase options both in-store and online. While online shopping has been around for quite some time, restaurants and food service are also beginning to adopt the idea of online ordering by allowing customers to order pick-up or delivery right from their smart phones.

Leading the transition to this new world, Star Micronics’s hardware and software solutions represent new opportunities for technology providers. Adopting Star Micronics peripheral suite of mobile or desktop printers with Star Micronics cash drawers,  or just embracing the world of all-in-one with the mPOP™, (cash drawer, printer, scanner and tablet stand in one, easy to ship package) helps to answer the requirement for smaller POS solution.

Technology like CloudPRNT allows restaurateurs to receive orders from online ordering services without the need to have the printer connected to any other device or service inside the store. CloudPRNT will work with the online service to store jobs, create jobs, and communicate with the printer directly through the cloud.

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In addition to leading the way to a better shopping or eating experience, Star is improving the way we manage our purchase receipts. Last year Star released the first true digital receipt solution, AllReceipts™, where shoppers can now decide for themselves if they want to keep their paper receipt or save and store them on their mobile device. Now, Star is offering retailers the capability to communicate electronically with their customers to promote their latest products.

The face of retail will continue to change rapidly and Star will always be there to lead and innovate for you and keep your business successful.

Cash, Card, or Phone?

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Our phones have already replaced our cameras, our iPods (or MP3s), and our computers. Now, they are beginning to replace our wallets. We are seeing more and more consumers reaching for their mobile phone at the point of sale instead of their wallet. It’s no surprise that this recent adoption of mobile payments is going to majorly change the way people shop.

The number one thing driving consumers toward mobile pay options and mobile wallets is simply the convenience of the payment. 45% of millennials said that they would be willing to connect their payment info to a wearable device in order to make fast, hassle-free payments, according to Adweek. If there is one thing that consumers today love, it’s for their shopping experience to be as quick and painless as possible. We know this because consumers, especially the millennial generation, prefers their shopping experience to be online. Seriously, what’s better than doing all your shopping from the comfort of your own living room? But, we are finding that brick and mortar stores are making a comeback.

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According to TimeTrade research, 85% of consumers say they prefer to shop in physical stores. However, there is still a convenience in the shopping experience that consumers are looking for. This comes at the point of sale.

Giving customers the option of their preferred payment method is important, because it can make or break the entire shopping experience. How many times have you had your credit card out and ready to pay only to hear “sorry, cash only”? According to Business Insider, about 45% of millennials (ages 18-34) have made an NFC payment, and 35% of adults 35 or older have done so. When a retailer cannot accept the customer’s preferred payment method, the entire shopping experience becomes frustrating and inconvenient for the shopper. We must accept that we are now moving toward an age where shoppers will be standing at the point of sale with their mobile device out and ready to pay.

It’s now the responsibility of the point of sale industry to make these mobile payments possible and easy to implement for SMB retailers.

From a point of sale standpoint, we already see ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) working to make their POS applications compatible with mobile payments. Some, such as Square, have even developed their own customized payment terminals to accept any type of mobile payment along with chip-enabled credit cards. By moving toward mobile payments as the norm, we are left wondering what that means for the future of point of sale.

This could easily lead to a greater move toward digital receipts. When retailers are implementing mobile payment options, it is important for them to keep in mind the idea of the mobile wallet not just for payment, but for the digital receipt as well. While many mobile payment platforms offer digital receipt options, if retailers want to use those digital receipts as an opportunity to engage with their customers, going with an outside digital receipt provider might be the best option.

The bottom line is that cash and card payments will never fully disappear. As the adoption of mobile payments continues to grow, we will find a growing demand for more brick and mortar retailers to accept these type of payments.

Learn more about Star Cloud Services digital receipt solutions at www.starcloudservices.com.