4 Indicators That It’s Time to Upgrade Your Salon POS System

Salons and spas require special point of sale (POS) features like walk-in management, appointment schedulers, customer relationship management (CRM), loyalty functions, reminders, online booking, payment processing and more. It doesn’t matter if you own a hair or nail salon, blow-out bar or a full-service spa, salon POS systems aren’t a “one and done” investment—they require upgrades to keep up with your industry and new client demands and expectations.

Do you have a fast salon POS system that engages clients at checkout, tracks clients via CRM, accepts any form of payment, facilitates loyalty programs and accepts appointments online? If they can’t do these things and extra seconds are adding up to longer wait times, then it’s time for an upgrade. Here are four signs it’s time for a refresh:

  1. Hardware is outdated and no longer compatible with new software

New functionalities designed to enhance customer service become available regularly, so your hardware needs to support these platforms. Watch for the signs that a hardware failure is imminent:  crashing, inexplicable component malfunctions, or software running slowly. Don’t wait until the system is offline, which means work slowdowns, data loss and longer wait times. Obviously, if your hardware is so old it can’t run new software, it’s time for a replacement. Set a regular schedule for evaluating salon POS system hardware to make sure all components are running well.

  1. Your existing system is not scalable

If growth and additional locations is your goal, it’s important to have a scalable system that allows you to easily add terminals and locations to your network. Scalability is also important if you need more checkouts temporarily, because once the terminal is added to the network, the device will be running the same solution with the same data accessibility. If your current solution isn’t scalable or you’ve been putting it off because it’s a hassle, it’s time for an upgrade.

  1. Your POS system doesn’t provide actionable data and analytics

A salon POS system should be a workhorse that makes your life easier. A few clicks should give you comprehensive reports that allow you to view sales, customer information, appointments and inventory data in real time. These systems also include a variety of reporting options that give you comprehensive intelligence by the shift, hour, day, week, month or year. Without this information, it’s impossible to optimize employee scheduling, see what products are in stock, what’s selling out and what’s ready for markdown. Without actionable data and analytics, you can’t make changes that will improve your business or maximize efficiency.

  1. Customer service is less than stellar

Constantly apologizing to customers because “the system is slow today” or making them wait to checkout is a poor finish to a relaxing massage, exciting new haircut or a fresh manicure. Your salon POS system should empower you to give each client personalized attention by tracking customer purchases and preferences and offering coupons, based on their buying habits. It should also facilitate loyalty programs, marketing initiatives and engage the customer during their final moments in the salon. However, if a fast (or slow, depending on your hardware) checkout is all you have to offer before your clients leave, then it’s time for an upgrade.

Even though there are other business changes you’d probably prefer to finance, your salon POS system needs regular TLC. In fact, not keeping your POS system current will cost you money and time and customer service will suffer. Don’t get caught off guard—monitor your salon POS system for signs of failure and address them right away.

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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.

 

Bluetooth and mPOS, A Perfect Pairing

Have you ever made a hands-free call in your car or listened to music on a wireless headphone? If so, then you probably used a device running on Bluetooth technology. These days, almost any personal electronic device comes with Bluetooth – from your laptop to your mobile phone. Named after 10th-century King Harald Bluetooth, who was temporarily able to unite several warring Scandinavian tribes, Bluetooth is a protocol for short-range wireless communications.

PORTABLE BLUETOOTH PRINTERS

When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, this is called pairing. The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology means any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another.

The key features of Bluetooth technology are its ubiquitous use in consumer electronics, low power consumption and low cost. The Bluetooth Specification defines a uniform structure for a wide range of devices to connect and communicate with each other.

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Bluetooth technology offers an easy way for businesses to set up a wireless point of sale solution operating in an mPOS ecosystem. Star Micronics has an extensive catalog of Bluetooth supported products ranging from desktop receipt printers, portable receipt printers, impact kitchen printers, label printers, wide format printers, secure medical prescription printers and secure wireless cash management solutions. All Star Micronics Bluetooth receipt printers and Bluetooth cash drawers are dual chip Apple MFi certified with Bluetooth iOS support for iOS and all Apple iDevices as well as Bluetooth 2.1 support for Android and Windows based mobile devices.

 

To learn more about Bluetooth solutions from Star visit http://www.starmicronics.com/printer/technology/bluetooth

Finding your mPOS

Buzzwords such as “showrooming” and “webrooming” have been keywords associated with the mPOS trends in retail and hospitality. As the adoption of mobile devices rise, customers are embracing the BYOD culture and bringing their personal mobile devices into their favorite retail stores when they shop. Rather than fighting the customers, retailers are now embracing mPOS and creating a more mobile friendly environment for their patrons. Many merchants have upgraded their infrastructure to provide free WiFi to encourage their customers to shop with their mobile devices. Many retailers and hospitality providers are also jumping in on the action by leveraging technology to close the service gap. “Clienteling” is now the buzzword that trumps “showrooming” and “webrooming.”

The best definition of clienteling was summarized by RedPrairie as:

clienteling

As a result of clienteling, many retailers and hospitality providers are turning to mPOS technologies to better engage their customers in-store. By engaging customers on the same platforms and devices, the salesperson can provide individualized shopping experiences for each customer based on their preferences.

When choosing an mPOS solution, both software and hardware considerations must be taken to ensure the solution fits the store’s business objectives and its physical infrastructure. While mPOS software can be implemented on an application level, choosing matching mPOS hardware can present a challenge. For instance, the mPOS hardware in question must be coordinated with the IT infrastructure of the store. The mPOS hardware must also be compatible with the platform and mobile devices used by staff and even the customers. To further complicate things, the mPOS hardware must not only be integrated with the mPOS software but it must be physically integrated into the layout of the brick and mortar store.

Help is on the way! At Star Micronics, we understand your concerns. To help simplify the process of successful mPOS integration, we have come up with a free white paper for download on our website to help retailers and hospitality providers choose the best receipt printers for their mPOS solution.

Star Micronics Announces Exclusive Partnership with Sanei Electric Inc.

Star Micronics America is pleased to announce its exclusive partnership with Sanei Electric Inc. to expand its kiosk solution offerings with two-inch (SK1-20 Series), three-inch (SK1-30 Series) and four-inch (SK1-40 Series) thermal kiosk printer series as part of the company’s continued commitment to the growing kiosk market.

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The SK1 line of thermal kiosk printers provides dependable, maintenance-free printing with a quick speed of up to 200mm/sec with 203 dpi resolution. The diverse SK1 Line of kiosk printers provides horizontal, vertical and drop-in loading paper formats for the SK1-20 Series and SK1-30 Series and horizontal paper format for the SK1-40 Series. Presenters are available on select models for the entire SK1 Line of kiosk printers. Additional options include large paper roll holder and bezel paper detector for the SK1-20 and SK1-30 Series.

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The SK1 line of thermal kiosk printers offer a variety of features, accessories, and sizes to meet virtually every kiosk application, including gas pumps, airline e-ticket/boarding passes, ATMs, bus/rail tickets, gift registries, Internet access terminals, lottery/gaming, and maps/direction kiosks.

To learn more about Star Micronics printers, visit www.starmicronics.com.