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.

But what does Star Micronics really do?

In conversation recently, I was asked that same old question “What does your company do?” As an automatic reaction, I delivered my well-rehearsed reply how ‘we provide consumers with proof of purchases at millions of location worldwide.’ After delivering the response, I realized how dramatically the company has changed in recent years and it was time to redefine the new Star Micronics.

As I took inventory of the company, our people, the markets, and our key differentiators, I could quickly see a what the value of the new Star Micronics. Although every company is proud of products, services and solutions, it is truly our family that make Star shine.

Star Micronics is blessed to have an experienced team of trusted sales advisors for our partners that has over 210 years of industry experience which equates to over 17 years per team member. When you are speaking to a member of the Star channel sales team, you can be confident you are consulting with the best in the industry. As the company and industry have rapidly evolved, so have our partners. Star Micronics is proud to welcome new partners to the Star family every day by embracing long term industry stables that recognize the status quo is over and Star is leading the path to the future and new industry partners that bring ideas and technology to our rapidly changing market.

For many companies mobility is just another trend or challenge but to Star Micronics Business Development team, this was our moment to demonstrate our “Always Leading, Always Innovating” spirit. Our team recognized that the mobility was the future, mobility was the disruptor that the once stagnant POS industry needed. Star embraced mobility and recognized that the world of feeds, speeds and emulations was over. The new mobile world opened the doors to integration, connectivity, and solutions. Star Micronics America invested in the right people to capitalize on the new mobile world and now 25% of our workforce is in the integration and market solution team – helping ISVs and end-users utilize our SDKs and new connected solutions. Behind the scenes, the Star family from Operations, Finance, IT, Human Resources and Sales Administration makes it happen everyday.

The next time you ask me about my company, I will be proud to say that ‘the new Star Micronics is the market leader that drive innovative solutions today and a family of proven partners for success tomorrow.
Michael Hanson

The mPOP is a staple for who Star is!

No more than 4 years ago, our cozy little POS world was experiencing an inconceivable shifting demand for mobile solutions, there was much in question, and certainly much to debate with the legacy world.  It drove many vendors like Star to either develop, adopt, or accommodate the growing mobile needs for end-users and solution providers.  There were times when we heard, “you’ll never see people printing from consumer devices long term!” “…tablets weren’t made for POS!” And at that time, the state and longevity of mPOS had caused significant controversy. Currently though, in 2015, there is no denying how mPOS affected the POS industry since. Vendors like Star were marching forward, listening to the pains and needs of our customers and partners.   We invested our time, people, and resources into what we knew was going to be HUGE.  Many were hesitant, but Star was valiant – taking on an exceedingly massive risk putting such resources into the ever-questionable mPOS wave, which (at the time), could have easily not made it to shore.

 

Our efforts since, have paid off enormously.  We formed an entire Integration Team, and dedicated that team to being able to support ISV’s who were completely new to the game, our industry, and working with POS and channel folks like Star.  Why was this so important? Well, Star became more than just “the printer people” for these new ISV’s, we became a resource – aligning them with the right partners in the industry to support, and help their businesses grow, many of whom have grown substantially since.  It’s all part of what Star does: being great listeners, teachers, but more notably, being the best partner a new ISV could have.

 

With the recent release of Star’s new all-in-one printer/cash-drawer combo, the mPOP – we’ve developed something that is the first of its kind – beautifully designed, and meticulously crafted; the mPOP is a product that boasts sleekness and a quality build, unlike anything our industry has ever seen.  Its glistening finish and unique design is truly Star innovation at its best.  Encompassing SMB and VSB markets, the mPOP is a low-cost, ideal fit for merchants looking to save counter space and money.  Its products like the mPOP that are a staple for who Star is, but more importantly, why Star does what they do.  In 2015, Star is more than a hardware provider, we are a technology solution provider – developing some of the most innovative products to hit the market in 20 years! We are truly, “Always Leading & Always Innovating”!

Pete Dicoio

Channel Partner Executive

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The Challenge of mPOS in Today’s Industry Trends

Mobile point of sale technology has become ubiquitous in today’s society, however the last impression of indicating customer satisfaction are often still at the checkout counter. Hence the challenges of mPOS in today’s industry are critical to the positive effect of customer experience.

“mPOS has been particularly successful in small business environments due to large feature set available at a low price point. In 2015, the mPOS adoption rate will accelerate as small to mid-sized merchants leverage mobile solutions to enhance customer experience and improve sales. The challenges of mPOS change drastically when moving from a small merchant with a single checkout setting to a multi-store, multi-check out, enterprise environment. For large enterprise retailers, there are new products and services in security, connectivity, design, functionality, and hardware to make your mobile strategy a success”

Michael Hanson, Executive Vice President, Star Micronics America, Inc.

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Enhance Customer Experience with a Clean, Organized Store

Adopting Star Micronics peripheral suite of mobile printers with Star Micronics cash drawers unlocks the power of our software developer kit to leverage new mobile solutions. Technology such as ProxiPRNT, which uses Bluetooth Smart (BLE) connection helps locate the nearest peripherals and securely open remote cash drawers. Star’s ProxiPRNT technology is ideal for any enterprise establishment implementing the ultimate mobile POS application to reduce queues in larger stores and have customers efficiently checked out with the purchase completed immediately. This will result in fewer lines and more space for new customers to shop in the store.

Saving Space in Customers’ Wallets

With the release of AllReceipts™, Star Micronics’ Digital Receipt Solution, customers can now save their receipts digitally during those busy holiday seasons. Complementing the paper receipts, shoppers can now scan the QR code and save a digital version of the receipt without having to provide any personal information such as e-mail address that could result in spam, such as an issue with e-receipts.

A digital receipt solution in the mPOS world would allow customers the option to have their receipts securely saved on their mobile device at all times.  AllReceipts™ not only enhances the shopping experience for the customers, but provides retailers real-time printer status, operational notifications, and customer survey results through a comprehensive dashboard.  This technology will help increase customer engagement between the store clerks and provide retailers a mPOS solution that eliminates cluttered wallets.

‘Always Leading-Always Innovating’

The face of retail will continue to change rapidly with new and advance mPOS technology. Leading the transition to the mobile world, Star Micronics’ hardware and software solutions help solve the challenges presented by the implementation of mPOS at a large scale.

 

Enter the World of mPOS

Initially embraced by small merchants for credit card transactions, mobile point of sale (mPOS) has exploded into a billion dollar industry offering both software and hardware solutions for retailers and merchants of all sizes. Improvements to wireless communication such as WiFi and Bluetooth have also made it easier to host mPOS solutions within a brick and mortar location. By replacing traditional stationary cash registers and PC operated cash wraps with space saving mPOS solutions, retailers are allowed to physically disconnect their devices from the store counter to complete the transaction with the customer anywhere in the store.

The transition from a traditional POS to an mPOS also signals a shift in the way people are paying for their goods. As more people use credit card or other forms of payments such as mobile payment apps, NFC, bitcoin, etc., there is less emphasis on cash. However diminished, cash cannot be ignored because people still use hard currency to pay for goods and services. So how can we make cash mobile?

At Star Micronics America, we have created solutions to mobilize cash by making cash management more accessible through a variety of communication options. With the ability to communicate via standard wired printer driven interface or Star’s DK-AirCash wireless option for Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1 or MFi certified Bluetooth communication; Star’s SMD2 cash drawers offer a complete and secure currency solution. Star’s DK-AirCash wireless option allows the cash drawer to operate without being physically connected or wired to other peripherals. For instance, you can initiate checkout by taking cash payment and printing the customer’s receipt from the sales floor. Then staying engaged, walk the customer over to the cash drawer to get their change and complete the transaction without having all of the devices physically connected.

While we want to disconnect devices from traditional stations, we do not want to visually disconnect the devices from the store. As a result, Star released white color options on select TSP100 and TSP650II printers for use in an mPOS environment. With clean lines and smooth white tone, Star’s white printers match the look of tablets and other mobile devices commonly used by retailers operating in a mobile point of sale environment. Sleek and sophisticated, Star’s white printers can be prominently displayed without creating disconnect from the store’s brand and visual identity.

Whether if you are ready or not, the era of mPOS is here to stay. Maximize your retail space and engage your customers with mobile technology. We have more innovative technologies on the way so stay tuned to Star and keep pace with the new era of mobile point of sale.

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Mike Hanson, Vice President Star Micronics America Inc.