Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications: WebPRNT

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Receipt technology has advanced dramatically in the last several years. Previously, in every transaction, a customer would pay for their purchases at the POS terminal and accept a printed sales receipt as a proof of purchase in case they needed to make a return or exchange. Mobility, however, has revolutionized POS and changed the process of providing a customer with a receipt.

Star Micronics has developed a variety of printing solutions for mPOS, including two that facilitate receipt printing from Web-based applications via HTTP(s) and from a project on an Android device or iOS hardware such as iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®. These solutions, WebPRNT and PassPRNT solve common problems merchant often encounter with mobile printing.

Print from a Web Browser-Based Application with WebPRNT

WebPRNT, which enables device-agnostic receipt printing technology, supports HTTP(s) requests used in Wed-based applications. It facilitates printing on any Star Micronics WebPRNT-enabled printer – including receipt, label, and kitchen printers – from any local device running a Web-based application.

This low cost, versatile solution to printing from Web browser-based applications allows users to print high-quality POS receipts with professional, crisp graphics on Star’s line of WebPRNT – compatible printers.

How it works:

You can use any device you want when you download WebPRNT, so businesses can eliminate the need to spend money on upgrading their current hardware. This solution enables local printing from a device with a browser to a compatible WebPRNT printer (desktop or mobile) on the same network.

WebPRNT is easy to read, maintain, and modify for developers. It works with XML tags or a JavaScript software development kit (SDK) that is integrated into the Web application’s code. This functionality can be extended to Bluetooth printers by using the WebPRNT Browser with no changes to the Web code. In addition to Web-based applications, Star’s WebPRNT also supports HTTP(s) requests from native applications.

One advantage of integrating WebPRNT is that the application the engineer or developer creates can give a retailer more complete control of printing, such as the ability to adjust the formatting, operate the cash drawer, or check the status of the printer. It also enables additional, innovative features to be added to the print application including digital receipts and other cloud services.

WebPRNT technology is available with several of Star Micronics’ printers including the TSP650II WebPRNT, SP700 WebPRNT, TSP700II WebPRNT, TSP800II WebPRNT, as well as any of Star’s Bluetooth printers using WebPRNT Browser.

Why choose WebPRNT: 

  • Easy to use. WebPRNT eliminates time spent downloading software and installing drivers. The app enables printing from any local device hosting a Web-based application (e.g., Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) to a Star WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer.
  • Affordable. WebPRNT enables printing from any application or operating platform without the need for expensive, multi-platform development costs.
  • Compatible. WebPRNT allows users to print from their application to a WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer from any device, regardless of its operating platform.

To learn more about WebPRNT and find out if your Star Micronics receipt printer supports WebPRNT, please visit http://starmicronics.com/pages/WebPRNT.

Download our eBook: Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications on iOS, Android, and Windows

What’s Next for Cannabis Retail?

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Cannabis legalization is not just creating more business opportunities for recreational dispensaries, but for the point of sale industry as well. Star Micronics has found ourselves rapidly gaining popularity among the cannabis point of sale market and are looking forward to what lies ahead.

First, it’s important to consider the fact that the legal cannabis market is growing quickly with no intention to slow down. The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17%. This is more than 8 times the growth rate of the beer and liquor store market in the U.S.

While the cannabis market is growing, there are still issues with marijuana businesses and traditional banking, which means it has mostly been a cash-only industry. While this can serve as an inconvenience for those who frequent recreational cannabis dispensaries, it helps us point of sale folk to keep in the market by providing receipts printers and cash drawers for these businesses. With more states beginning to legalize recreational marijuana use, we can predict that more people will begin to heavily invest in this market, and smaller dispensary businesses will soon be able to fold into larger companies.

In addition to the issues that cannabis businesses face with banking and financial services, recreational marijuana dispensaries are required to practice “seed to sale” tracking compliance. For those unfamiliar with this term, the “seed to sale law” requires every marijuana producing plant to be tracked through each stage of its life, from cultivation to the point of sale.

With this in mind, software developers are working to create point of sale systems that help dispensaries to easily manage their seed to sale tracking, as well as perform other daily functions that your average retailer would need. For this detailed and complicated task, there is simply too much risk of human error for dispensaries to not use a retail management solution. This is where we begin to see the cannabis market booming in the point of sale industry.

So, what can we predict for the future of cannabis retail?

In the recent U.S. election, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada all passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. While there are still tax and licensing provisions that will not take effect until January 2018, we can expect a major growth in legal marijuana sales, with California forecast to dominate the market. California, being the oldest medical cannabis state and the largest cannabis consumer population, is predicted to reach $7.6 billion in annual marijuana sales by 2020.

Similar to the online ordering trend among restaurant take-out and delivery services, we may be looking at the future of remote ordering for cannabis sales. California delivery startup, Eaze, has procured more than $25 million in multiple rounds of funding in the hopes of being the largest provider of on-demand cannabis delivery.

With the advances of technology and innovation in legal cannabis sales, Star Micronics is very excited to continue to provide support for this emerging market and see our partners grow along the way.

Star News: Star Micronics Introduces the SM-L300 Portable Receipt and Label Printer

Always leading – always innovating, Star Micronics is proud to introduce the SM-L300, 3-inch portable receipt, label, and MAXStick® printer. This addition to the SM-L series of Bluetooth low energy portable printers allows users to connect to any Apple iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®, iOS BLE compatible device without having to pair to it. With no limitation on the number of devices connected, BLE is the perfect solution for any environment using multiple devices for mPOS printing. In addition, it requires no certification or prior authorization from your iOS application. The SM-L300 is Bluetooth (3.0/4.0) compatible with all operating systems including Windows, Android™, and iOS.

The mobile priSM-L300 - smallnter’s BLE technology results in lower power consumption, and can be conveniently charge anytime, anywhere, using included USB charging cable or optional cradle charger. With no need for MFi application, and its multi-paper width feature, the SM-L300 makes the perfect printer for any mPOS environment. The SM-L300’s receipt de-curl function and “drop-in & print” paper loading makes it even simpler to operate for retail or restaurant mobile point of sale.

In addition to point of sale, the SM-L300 can second as a fully integrated label printer for delivery, warehouse, or hospitality applications. The SM-L300 supports thermal receipt paper and lined or linerless labels, making it the perfect portable printer for on-the-road or mobile mobile receipt or label printing.

 

 

For more information on the SM-L300 portable printer, please click here.

Click here for information on where to purchase the SM-L300.

Click here for information on how to integrate the SM-L300.

 

5 Reasons Retailers are Moving to Web-Based Applications for POS

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Web-based applications have changed the IT landscape because they require little upfront investment, update frequently, and businesses typically can use the hardware they already own. This affordable alternative to traditional, on-premises POS software keeps databases and information secure, with around-the-clock access from any location or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Although their applications apply to virtually all markets and industries, Web-based applications have had a particularly large impact on retail point of sale (POS). Consider these five reasons: Can your POS system do this?

1. Effortless Scheduling. A Web-based application means you can access back office functions from anywhere, anytime. This empowers managers to update schedules and view time off or vacation requests quickly and easily from any mobile device. Employees can view their work schedules and request time off through an easy-to-use interface, even when they aren’t in the store.

2. Easy Inventory Access. According to retail advisory firm IHL Group, inventory errors cost retailers $1.75 million every year. The number one reason these errors occur is because of internal process failures, which can be prevented by a Web-based application. Inventory is tracked in real time, instead of updating hourly or daily. Employees can easily see which items are on-hand, in-transit or on-order. This is especially important if you’re managing stock at multiple stores because it allows managers to place an order for all the stores from one location.

3. Order Online, Pick Up in Store. People are seeking out an omnichannel shopping experience so it’s no surprise that the “buy online, pick up in store” is becoming even more popular. It’s the perfect solution for people who want the instant gratification of getting their item the same day, while saving on shipping costs. Web-based application inventory management is updated in real time, so customers can see what’s in stock while they are shopping. It also allows them to select a different location if their item is out of stock, and have it shopped to the closest store for pickup.

4. Offsite Access. Traditional POS systems may require you to be on-site to work on back office functions or review reports, but a Web-based application lets business owners and managers access the system from anywhere with Internet access. Web-based applications store data in the cloud, so it’s open 24/7 for managers to run reports, schedule staff, and manage inventory from home while on a businesses trip, or late at night.

5. Save a Webpage (Like an App) to a Mobile Device Home Screen. Business owners and managers can save a shortcut to their Web portal – like an app – right to their smartphone or tablet so they can log in with just a few clicks. This technology, which brings their entire operation right to their fingertips, is compatible with iPhone® and Android™ OS platforms. Customers can also take advantage of your store’s Web-based application for easy, one-click ordering (if available). Having your store’s webpage available on a customer’s home screen will help ensure your store will always be their first stop.

Increasingly, retailers are opting for Web-based applications due to their ease of use, the expanded capabilities they offer, and the enhanced customer experiences they can help provide. Web-based applications are an affordable alternative to legacy POS systems that can help move your business toward greater efficiency and competitiveness.

4 Reasons to Use Bluetooth Technology in Restaurants

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In the restaurant business, one of the most important things to do is to keep your customers satisfied. One can do this by making sure their customers are receiving the correct order and in a timely fashion, but by also making sure that their staff is equipped with the technology to provide customers with a unique and satisfying experience. By enabling Bluetooth point of sale technology, restaurant owners can take their customer experience to the next level by creating a smoother workflow for employees, and a convenient way for customers to order and pay. Here are the top four benefits of using Bluetooth POS technology in your restaurant.

1. Simple Set-up

One of the biggest benefits of using Bluetooth point of sale technology in your restaurant is the simple set up. With Bluetooth enabled receipt printers, users can eliminate the need for messy cables, and simply pair their tablet or mobile device with the Bluetooth printer to easily print kitchen orders or receipts. Another benefit of wireless Bluetooth over WiFi connectivity for your point of sale is that you no longer have to worry about outages due to network connection issues.

2. Table-side Service

By pairing a tablet or mobile device with your receipt or kitchen printer, this allows for servers to take customer orders right there at the table and send the orders directly to the printer. Restaurant owners and managers no longer need to worry about the server forgetting to enter the order after taking it, because it is all being done in real-time. Additionally, Bluetooth POS technology allows restaurants to equip each table with their own tablet device, so customers can sit down and order as they please without needed to wait for their server in a busy restaurant.

3. Improve Order Accuracy

By enabling table-side service in your restaurant, you are ensuring improved order accuracy. As the server is taking the customer’s order, they can simultaneously send the order through the point of sale system to the kitchen for preparation. This means that there will be less miscommunication between the customer and the server, and between the server and the kitchen staff. There is less chance of there being missing item from the order or having an order placed incorrectly. The server can also remember to upsell add-ons or suggest a new item, because the full menu is right there in front of them as they enter the customer’s order. This not only improves customer satisfaction, but can result in an increase in revenue for the restaurant owner.

4. Pay at the Table Capability

When providing the convenience of table-side ordering to your restaurant guests, it is important to compliment that with table-side payment capability. Ordering and paying for food either online or through a mobile application is quickly gaining popularity, and consumers are now looking for this same convenience when dining out. With pay at the table capability, customers can simply swipe their card and receive their receipt right at the table, or pay through a mobile app offered through the restaurant without having to wait for the server to bring the check, return to collect the payment, and then print the receipt. Again, allowing customers to pay at their own convenience will help to increase customer satisfaction and allow restaurants to get more tables in and out more quickly, resulting in a reduced wait time and increase in revenue.

Sabor POS and Star Micronics provide a point of sale solution for restaurants that utilizes Bluetooth technology in order to guarantee total workflow efficiency and an increase in customer satisfaction. Learn more about Sabor POS and their support for Star’s TSP100IIIBi, TSP650II BTi, and SP700 BTi printers, and the all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral for restaurants.

Download our success story here: Star_Castrillo_Case-Study

Star Spotlight with Shift4

Shift4 blog

What does Shift4 do?

Shift4, the first card-present payment gateway and the largest independent payment gateway in North America, is now launching their mobile point of sale system. Shift4 decided to take a different appraoch in building their mPOS solution and wanted to put a focus on the enterprise market. Shift4 offers specific solutions to hospitality, retail, food and beverage, eCommerce, and most other industries which are scalable from a single store to an international enterprise with franchise and company-owned locations.

How is Shift4 working with Star Micronics?

Shift4 is a software-as-a-service provider that was seeking the perfect hardware to compliment their solution. They decided to go with Star Micronics base on their reliable and advanced printer models. Shift4 has integrated throughout Star’s entire line of point of sale peripherals including desktop thermal and impact printers, portable printers, and the all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral. Shift4 currently supports Star Micronics’ SM-S220i, SM-S230i, and SM-T300i portable printers, the TSP650II BTi and WebPRNT thermal printer, the SP700 impact kitchen printer, and the mPOP™.

What key benefits does the mPOP™ bring to Shift4 customers?

Shift4 values customer communication and keeps in close contact to make sure that all of their customers are satisfied with their solution. The mPOP offers a compact solution that can work with any mobile device. Having the printer and cash drawer combined into one peripheral is a huge benefit in the mPOS space, and it is simple to operate.

“In mobile point of sale, it’s important to have a solution that is versatile and doesn’t take up a lot of space. The mPOP combines the cash drawer and receipt printer into one compact form factor that it perfect for mPOS needs.” – Jeremy Fried, System Architect at Shift4.