RSPA RetailNOW 2016 Recap

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RSPA RetailNOW 2016 has just come to an end and Star Micronics would like to thank all of those who visited our RetailNOW 2016 booth! We always enjoy connecting with customers and partners, and forming new relationships at industry events. In case you missed it, here are a few highlights from the show.

Our mPOP™, combination cash drawer and printer peripheral stole the show! As our mobile point of purchase solution continues to gain popularity among the POS industry, we have more and more partners integrating software support for the mPOP. The peripheral was displayed in Star’s booth with partners such as Quetzal, Hike POS, retailcloud, and Keystroke. The mPOP was also spotted in a number of partner booths including BlueStar, ScanSource, MS Cash Drawer, eMobilePOS, Pioneer Solutions, iVend Retail, Logivision, TeamSable, Anywhere Commerce, and more!

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AllReceipts®, Star’s free digital receipt application, supported by Star Cloud Services (SCS) continues to be a hot topic at RSPA RetailNOW. Star Cloud Services showcased their services along with AllReceipts in Star Micronics’ booth. VARs were lining up to register for SCS right there. Star and SCS are continuing this promotion to make it possible to register more resellers for Star Cloud Services solutions. The idea being to encourage resellers to implement the AllReceipts digital receipt solution into their retailers’ stores who are already using Star printers.

“We are proud to announce that we will offer a $30 per printer promotion for VARs who enable retailers to connect their printers to deliver AllReceipts digital receipts and other services offered by SCS to their customers”

 – David Salisbury, VP of Sales & Marketing for Star Cloud Services

For more information on the reseller promotion, please contact Pete diCoio – pdicoio@starmicronics.com.

Our own David Salisbury from Star Cloud Services participated in The Future of mPOS panel at RetailNOW 2016. David, along with other experts from the industry, discussed where mobile point of sale is headed and how the large shift to digital will help to shape the future of mPOS.

Star thanks everyone again for taking the time to visit us and learn more about our point of sale peripherals at RetailNOW 2016. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Dry Cleaning POS Software Checklist: 10 Things Not to Compromise On

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Your dry cleaning business must operate efficiently and profitably to succeed in this highly competitive market. So it stands to reason that when you are considering new point of sale (POS) software for your business, that you would settle for nothing less than the solution that allows you to operate most efficiently and maximize profits.

There are many POS software options available, but you need to narrow the field of choices to those that have the features best suited for operating a dry cleaning business.

This checklist of POS software for dry cleaners can help. It lists 10 features essential to your operations, and finding software with these features can bring you one step closer to the right solutions for your business.

  1. Intuitive Interfaces and Functionality. POS software with an easy to use interface will also benefit your business by making the task of training new employees easier and quicker.
  2. Labor Management. The POS system can help managers monitor attendance and control overtime.
  3. Peripheral Support. Make sure the POS solution you invest in today can accommodate your business’ changing needs, and can scale or be upgraded to accommodate new technology.
  4. Customer Engagement. The customer relationship management (CRM) module of your POS software solution provides you with an updated database of customer contacts, delivery information, and even how much starch individual customers like in their shirts.
  5. Delivery. Your POS software should also support mobile POS and a mobile printer to equip your drivers with tools for delivery confirmation, to print invoices and receipts, and to accept payments.
  6. Labeling and Tags. You’ll want to ensure that your receipt printer can handle wash tag printing that will be durable after the customer takes it home.
  7. Payment Processing. Your POS system should provide your customers with the convenience of accepting any of their preferred payment methods.
  8. Inventory Management. Whether you use a numbering or a barcode system, your POS software solution should include an inventory management tool that helps you track items from drop off to pickup or delivery.
  9. Assisted Assembly. If your dry cleaning business has automatic assembly systems or if you are considering it for the future, make sure your POS system can integrate with them so your business can take full advantage of this time-saving technology.
  10. Reporting. Your POS solution should provide reports in a format that allows you to keep a close watch on operations and on your bottom line.

In a highly competitive dry cleaning market, decisions that can impact your efficiency and profitability are too important to take lightly. Practice due diligence to ensure your new POS software solution will provide the right features, and ultimately, the right outcomes for your business.

Download our full eBook: Dry Cleaning POS Software Checklist: 10 Things Now to Compromise On.

Bac’n Me Crazy Improves Customer Wait with Star Micronics and Wholly App

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Bac’n Me Crazy is a gourmet food truck based in Charleston, SC that specializes in out of this world dishes that are loaded with bacon. Bac’n Me Crazy was one of many food trucks in the Charleston area that was searching for a way to help their customers avoid the crazy and unpredictable South Carolina weather, and create a smoother workflow for employees. Wholly App and Star Micronics teamed up to provide Bac’n Me Crazy with the ideal solution for their food truck.

Bac’n Me Crazy, one of the most popular food trucks in Charleston, SC, was searching for a way to make ordering not only easier for the customer, but for the employees as well. The unpredictable east coast weather made standing in line at an outdoor food truck an undesirable prospect for customers. Always putting the customer first, Bac’n Me Crazy sought an online ordering solution from Wholly App that would help to make the ordering experience more convenient for customers, and create an easier and smoother workflow for employees.

By installing Wholly App’s solution with Star’s TSP650IIBTi printer and WebPRNT, Bac’n Me Crazy was able to not only create a better ordering experience for customers, but improve the overall daily workflow of their business. Wholly App was able to create a customized solution for Bac’n Me Crazy, allowing customers to order from their phones, and receive an alert when their order is ready. When the customer ordered, the order would be sent directly to the Star printer using WebPRNT. WebPRNT eliminates the need to install any drivers, and enables printing from Wholly App’s native application built specifically for Bac’n Me Crazy. Star’s TSP650IIBTi has the durability to withstand the rush hours, and offers ultimate mobility with its Bluetooth feature, allowing employees to move the printer throughout the truck as necessary.

AR-160129982 “This solution has been a dream come true for us,” says Jason Broz, Founder of Bac’n Me Crazy. “Wholly App and Star Micronics’ solution allowed us to increase our business and make the lives of our customers easier – which is really the most important thing to us.”

“When developing this app for Bac’n Me Crazy and thinking of printing options, Star was our first choice,” says Mike Werner, Found of Wholly App. “The TSP650IIBTi with WebPRNT made our job so much easier by providing a mobile and durable solutions that could print orders right from the app.”

 

Download the full success story here: Star – Bac’n Me Crazy Case Study

Sunshine Daydream Offers Groovy Digital Receipt Solution to Customers with Star Micronics’ Help

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Sunshine Daydream Hippie Shop is a psychedelic shopping boutique, located in St. Louis, Missouri. Sunshine Daydream offers an array of merchandise from clothes, to home décor, to smoking accessories, and more. Already a user of Star Micronics TSP100 LAN printers, Sunshine Daydream has decided to implement Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipt app in all four locations, allowing customers to store and manage their receipts digitally on their smart phones.

Sunshine Daydream, already a user of Star’s TSP100 thermal printers with Microsoft RMS, was looking for a way to better connect with their customers. After seeing a live demo of the AllReceipts app, they immediately saw the value to the solution. Allowing customers to view their receipt digitally was a feature that Sunshine Daydream was previously looking for, but was very expensive to add to their Microsoft RMS platform. AllReceipts free digital receipt app was the perfect solution.

AllReceipts digital receipt app provided Sunshine Daydream with a way to engage with customers and receive their direct feedback on their shopping experience. The app also allows Sunshine Daydream to manage their POS directly through the app, seeing receipt recalls, printer status, and if the cash drawer had been left open for too long. What’s more, the AllReceipts app came at no additional expense for Sunshine Daydream, and the installation took less than two minutes; they were able to go live with the app instantaneously!

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“Star’s AllReceipts app was the perfect digital receipt solution for Sunshine Daydream. Aside from it costing us nothing, the install was easy, and it allows us to receive direct feedback from our customers, and manage our devices digitally through the app, which was a huge plus!”

– Jay Trudeau, Owner of Sunshine Daydream

Download the full success story here: Star_Sunshine-Daydream_Case-Study

The Value of Digital Receipts

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Receipts are crucial for various reasons, including tax deductions, issuing refunds or reimbursements, reconciling credit card and bank statements, providing proof of service, and more. However, as our world continues to embrace the transition to all things digital, having a shoe box full of paper receipts or a stack of them in your wallet is no longer desirable for consumers (was it ever?). Instead, well-executed digital receipts are now the preferred solution.

Although digital receipts are invaluable for retailers and customers, the reasons why vary. For retailers, they offer access to key customer data that can be used to drive a number of business decisions including which items to stock and when, tailoring marketing and promotional efforts, and more. For consumers, they provide a safe, easy and convenient way to store and manage all their receipts in a single place. As mobile devices solidify their stake as shoppers’ primary companion, a digital receipt solution is important to stay competitive.

What’s wrong with email?

When shoppers opt for emailed in lieu of printed receipts, they might not realize they are entering into the world of unsolicited email marketing. With privacy and anonymity being a top-of-mind concern among consumers today, a digital receipt solution that takes users’ email for self-serving marketing purposes creates distrust and apprehension among shoppers, making it an ineffective solution.

… Or taking a picture of the receipt?

Similar to the lack of discretion from digital receipts that demand an email address, digital receipt solutions that require users to take a picture of their printed receipt are ineffective and outdated. Think of this approach as the equivalent of holding a microphone to a speaker to record a song – would you really prefer a crackly, muffled version to the nice crisp sound of a digital audio file? It’s unlikely. Additionally, when taking a picture of a printed receipt, consumers don’t necessarily have the option to photograph the back side, therefore creating missed opportunities for marketing departments and stress for loss distrust and prevention departments.

Check out Star Cloud Services eBook to learn more about the value of digital receipts: The Value of Digital Receipts

To learn more about Star Cloud Services and AllReceipts™, please visit www.starcloudservices.com.

Finding the Right mPOS for Your Food Truck

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It’s food truck season, folks! The warmer seasons are the best time to grab an outdoor bite from your local food truck or food stand. We see them popping up more and more as the weather gets warmer, and people flooding them to snag some quick and tasty street food. This often times results in crowded trucks with long lines, making business very hectic for cooks and cashiers. Luckily, Star Micronics has the perfect mobile point of sale technology for these businesses, making their job all the more easy, while also keeping customers happy and satisfied with their service.

When thinking about finding the right mPOS system for your seasonal food truck or food stand, there are a few key considerations. Are you looking to solve the issue of line busting? Are you trying to create a more efficient workflow for your employees? Do you want to save space in your compact location by switching to a more mobile printer peripheral?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Star has the solution for you!

Kitchen Printers

If you’ve ever ordered from a busy food truck in the middle of the summer, you can see that it can be a hot and hectic environment for cooks. The “old-school” process of writing down orders and passing them off the cook becomes inefficient when handwriting is hard to read, the cooks are very busy, or when the order gets lost or damaged in the transition between order-taker and cook. Using a POS system to input orders and send them to an impact kitchen printer makes for an easier workflow because the order is being taken and entered into the POS in real-time. The order can then be sent directly to the impact printer, eliminating miscommunication between the “front of truck” and “back of truck” staff. Impact printers are also often times noisy, making it easier for the cook to know when a new order is coming through, and the paper remains durable in hot environments.

Receipt Printers

Just because your customer is ordering food on-the-go, doesn’t mean they don’t need their receipt. A thermal POS printer is necessary for food trucks for the obvious – to provide a proof of transaction, but the key for food trucks is to keep the printer mobile. A Bluetooth thermal desktop printer or a portable printer is the best solution for food trucks. When working in such a small location, things can get tight. With a Bluetooth enabled thermal printer, you can move your printer daily throughout the truck to wherever space allows. Portable printers are also a viable option for receipt printing because it not only allows you to move throughout the truck, but to move outside of the truck for a line-busting POS solution.

Multi-Function Printers

Again, when trying to navigate a food truck on a busy summer afternoon, space can be limited. For those who are looking to really save counter-space, a multi-function peripheral might be the best option for you. Star Micronics’ latest mPOP™, all-in-one mobile point of purchase combines a cash drawer with a two-inch receipt printer, and a 1D barcode scanner to create the perfect mPOS solution for small spaces. Using Bluetooth connection, the mPOP can also be repositioned in the food truck or food stand in order to maximize counter space, and can be operated on-the-go using a tablet or mobile device.

To find the right mPOS solution for your food truck, visit www.starmicronics.com.

The Benefits of EMV

Following the October 1, 2015 deadline created by U.S. credit card issuers MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, the liability of EMV compliant payment processing systems has shifted in the U.S. Prior to this shift, one of two parties would be held responsible in the case of fraudulent credit card transactions – the payment processor or the issuing bank. Now, whichever party is the least EMV compliant in a fraudulent credit card transaction  – the merchant or the card issuing bank – will be liable for the consumer losses.

While business owners and shoppers tend to see the shift as a negative, it turns out that there are many overlooked benefits to the EMV shift for both businesses and consumers.

As mentioned, the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline is strongly encouraging businesses to switch to EMV compliant payment processing systems in order to avoid being held liable for fraudulent credit card transactions. While switching to a new EMV compliant POS system may be expensive, it can potentially save businesses from losing hundreds to thousands of dollars in credit card fraud. What’s more, this switch gives business owners the opportunity to not only become EMV compliant but to consider switching to a more modern and mobile POS system.

Tablet-based POS is becoming more prevalent in businesses, especially small businesses. The reason being is that tablet-based POS is usually inexpensive and can scale or expand your business. Tablet POS is also a sleek and attractive option for small business owners, allowing them to keep a modern check-out and save precious counter space at the point of transaction. The benefit of upgrading your traditional cash register or POS to a mobile or tablet POS system, is that most mPOS systems are already EMV compliant, making the shift to EMV as smooth and inexpensive as possible.

Now, let’s talk about some of the benefits of EMV for shoppers.

Since the shift to EMV compliant payment processing, there has been an obvious push-back from shoppers all over the U.S. This is mostly due to the fact that dipping the EMV chip of your credit card takes significantly longer than the simple swipe of a magnetic stripe reader. While this can be a nuisance, the EMV chip is a major benefit for consumer shoppers as well.

The reason you have to wait an extra 5 to 10 seconds for the chip reader to process your payment is because each transaction with your EMV card is a unique one. When dipping your card into the chip reader, the terminal performs many stages of complex processing to create a unique transaction each time your EMV card is used for payments. This requires dozens of pieces of data to be read in order to create this unique transaction, resulting in a slightly longer wait time. But the benefit is, that if the card information gets copied and attempted to be used for another transaction, the information would not be usable, and the card would just be denied.

To learn more about the EMV shift and mobile payment solutions, check out Star Micronics eBook – mPOS: How its Revolutionizing Payments.

 

3 Ways to Retain Customers Using AllReceipts™

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More often than not, when you walk into a store to buy something, chances are, you’ve been there before. Customers tend to return to their favorite stores when looking for particular items for a number of reasons. Perhaps the location is convenient for the shopper. The store always happens to have what the shopper needs. Maybe the shopper just likes to stick to what they’re comfortable with. Whatever the reason may be, there is a reason that shoppers continue to return to the same few stores for their particular shopping needs.

With AllReceipts™ digital receipt app, you can ensure that your store always retains its shoppers and builds customer loyalty!

AllReceipts™, digital receipt app from Star Micronics, allows customers to digitally store and manage their paperless receipts. But what’s more, AllReceipts™ also allows for retailers to personally engage and communicate with their shoppers to give them a unique and personal shopping experience. These three great features offered by Star Cloud Services, a subsidiary of Star Micronics, allow retailers to better engage and connect with their shoppers to retain customers and build shopper loyalty.

  1. Engage NOW and Messages. Engage NOW and Messages allows retailers to better engage with their customers by giving them the ability to communicate relevant information whether that be promotions, discounts, new arrivals, coupons, or taking the customer directly to their website or desired social media page. With Engage NOW and Messages, the customer can simply tap on the store name, and the retailer’s customer message or website will then appear on the screen.
  2. Receipt Flip. With Receipt Flip, retailers can take full advantage of the entire receipt space by customizing the back. Yet another way to engage with customers, receipt backs can be used to display terms and conditions, store policies, watermark, promotions and marketing material, and more. Simply upload your content into the dashboard to start getting the most out of your receipts.
  3. Customer Survey. The Instant Customer Satisfaction Survey feature allows retailers to receive real-time feedback from customers. When claiming a digital receipt in the AllReceipts™ app, customers are prompted to provide feedback on their experience, which is relayed to the retailer’s user-friendly survey dashboard, allowing them to see how many customers have claimed receipts and the satisfaction level of the service received.

To learn more about the AllReceipts™ digital receipt app, visit www.starcloudservices.com or www.allreceipts.com.

7 Must-Have Kiosk Technologies

Self-service technology, including kiosks with kiosk printers, continues to increase in popularity in a wide range of vertical markets. Retailers of all types, as well as quick service restaurants, gas stations, parking lots, casinos, telecommunications companies, transportation providers, and other organizations, are implementing these solutions.

However, capitalizing on the self-service trend and consumers’ affinity for kiosks in any application – retail or otherwise – necessitates strategic kiosk printer selection. Choosing the right kiosk printer is a matter of understanding the business environment, and customers.

There are seven ‘must-have’ kiosk technologies and accessories that you will find essential, depending on the application:

  1. Presenter. A presenter increases security and supports customer privacy by ensuring that receipts are delivered only to the right person;  if forgotten, they remain inside the kiosk where unauthorized parties cannot access them. The presenter also offers other benefits that make it worthwhile. Perhaps most importantly, the presenter prevents paper jams from occurring if receipts are inadvertently left in the printer. This, in turn, decreases the incidence of operating interruptions that cause customer service delays, and have a negative impact on the customer experience. What’s more, with a presenter, there is no opportunity for receipts or other collateral to fall to the floor if it is not delivered to the intended recipient. The end result is a reduction in litter, and cleaner-looking store, restaurant, or other business environment.
  2. Bezel. The bezel is an alternative to the presenter. Typically positioned between the kiosk slot and the printer, it acts as a guide to push paper out of the kiosk. If the best kiosk printer for your application is not designed to accommodate a presenter, or there is another reason why a presenter would not work with a particular kiosk printer model (e.g., space constraints), a bezel is a viable solution.
  3. Paper status alerts. Kiosks are typically left unattended for extended periods of time. However, you’ll need to know immediately when a kiosk printer requires more paper. Select a kiosk printer that displays alerts when it is low or entirely out of paper.
  4. Printing status alerts. Insist on a kiosk printer that’s capabilities include a visual alert to inform customers that their collateral has been printed and is ready for pickup.
  5. Digital receipt support. Star Micronics’ offers AllReceipts™, the perfect digital receipt application. Additionally, since the printer is constantly connected to a cloud service, customers will have easy access to a device management service. More information can be found on www.starcloudservices.com and www.allreceipts.com.
  6. Drivers. Kiosk printer software drivers must be compatible with a given kiosk’s operating system, be it Windows®, Mac®, OPOS, or JavaPOS.
  7. Software Development Kits (SDK). An SDK is necessary if the kiosk printer works on a mobile operating platform – i.e., Android™ or iOS. There is a huge incentive to also offer a digital receipt solution at an unattended kiosk. It reduces the use of paper and helps customers to keep product and retailer information on their mobile devices.

Please refer to our below eBook: A Guide to Selecting the Right Kiosk Printer for more tips on kiosk printers.

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Star Technology Day Recap

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Star Micronics would like to thank everyone who attended our very first Star Technology Day event hosted in Mexico City! Star Micronics had a wonderful time catching up with our customers and partners, and showing off all of Star’s newest technology. We’d like to share some of the highlights from the show for anyone who may have missed out.

IMG_2506While Star has a reputation for attending a variety of trade shows and events throughout the year, this was our very first Star-hosted event for distributors, resellers, end-users, and software partners. We were very excited to host our own event and showcase some of our newest products and technology.

Star Micronics spent the day showing off our newest TSP100III thermal receipt printer, now available with Wi-Fi connectivity and simple “Push ‘n’ Connect” WPS connection, making it the easiest wireless set-up in the industry. Also featured was Star’s all-in-one mPOP™, mobile point of purchase solution with built-in cash drawer and printer peripheral for tablet POS. Star was also showcasing our very own digital receipt application, AllReceipts™, which allows customers to store digital copies of their receipts, and provides more customer engagement for retailers with new features such as Engage NOW and Receipt Flip.

Star was proud to host a number of our software partners, allowing them to demonstrate their POS and mPOS software in conjunction with Star products. Software partners included GoNet, iPOS by Ivan, iZettle, Pacific Soft, MSP, National Soft, MyBusiness POS, SkyPOS, and Touch Bistro.

Thank you again to all who attended and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!