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Receipt printers play an integral part in the customer experience. Every transaction at the point of sale (POS) generates a receipt; these paper (or digital) takeaways are proofs of purchase and potentially so much more. A good receipt printer enables store owners and managers to print coupons, raise brand awareness, and issue customer surveys. As receipt printer technology progresses, you can expect even more functionality, higher quality printing, and faster connections.
What does the future hold for receipt printers? These six features will become even more important as businesses evolve.
1. Front-Loading Paper Design
Front-loading printers are designed for easy loading and low maintenance. It’s inevitable that cashiers will need to change the printer paper at least once while there’s a line waiting. Quick access for a paper swap can shave time off the wait, which keeps the line moving.
2. Multiple Connectivity Options
Consumers expect always-on connectivity for uninterrupted service, so don’t limit yourself. Purchasing a printer that has multiple connectivity choices, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, traditional USB, lightning USB, Bluetooth, and cloudPRNT, allows for versatile, reliable use throughout retail locations. Mobile checkouts are mainstays in busy retail operations, so multiple connectivity choices will ensure your receipt printer is always up and running.
3. Easy Software Integration
The days of downloading multiple drivers, clicking around to integrate printers and software, getting frustrated and finally calling tech support is over. No one has time to sit on the phone to troubleshoot problems, so expect to see plug and play setups, with everything you need right in one box and online.
4. Hardy and Compact, but Still High-End and Stylish
Bigger isn’t better, and in the future, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a receipt printer that takes up a lot of real estate on a checkout counter. Instead, expect stylish, compact designs, even for printers that are tough enough to work in any modern environment.
5. Thermal Printing
A thermal receipt printer is quiet and uses a printhead to apply heat that transfers characters and images to receipt paper and labels. Thermal receipt printers have a higher resolution than impact printers, so they print crisp, clear images. For merchants that want a nicer looking receipt, or print coupons and marketing information, thermal printers may be the right choice.
6. Value-Added Services Included
You want more control from your POS system over services that were previously managed through third-party companies, such as surveys, promotions, coupons, and even digital signage. Star Cloud Services was created to bring next-generation customer engagement solutions to retailers by transforming their receipt printers into cloud-connected devices. This gives business owners total control over the what and how of communicating with their customer base.
Star Cloud Services include:
- AllReceipts: a free cloud-based, digital receipt application that allows customers to store and manage receipts on their mobile devices
- PromoPRNT/Promotion creator: a simple coupon creator that designs promotions for receipts
- PromoPRNT/scheduler: schedule the duration of a coupon campaign by selecting a time, date, and printer for each coupon/promotion
- Customer surveys: a direct line of communication with customers, printed on the receipt, to get their feedback on how your business and products are performing
Business owners shopping for a new receipt printer shouldn’t choose one that’s obsolete before it’s even out of the box. Look for a printer that is a front-loading device for fast paper changes, and one with myriad connectivity options for mobility and flexibility. Don’t let your receipt printer limit you — choose one that includes value-added services that gives you control over how and when you communicate with customers.
The Future of Printing with Star
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.