5 Reasons Retailers Want Ergonomic mPOS Solutions in 2017

mpop_press_main

Mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions have ranked on retailers’ list of “nice to have” technologies since their introduction several years ago. However, for most merchants, mPOS solutions are “must-haves” for 2017. Here’s why.

1. Convenience. Customers are no longer willing to stand in long lines to complete sales transactions. They want options that allow them to pay for their items quickly, and that allow them to pay from locations other than the stationary checkout lane. With mPOS solutions, retailers can accept payments in store aisles, at temporary checkout stations on the sales floor and, in the case of sidewalk sales, in front of the store itself. Additionally, retailers that sell merchandise in other environments, such as craft shows or farmer’s markets, can securely process credit card payments when mPOS solutions are in their technology toolbox.

2. Access to Information. Increasingly, consumers are using their smartphone while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent survey by mobile loyalty firm SessionM, 90 percent of respondents said they research products on their smartphones; 54 percent search for price comparisons; 48 percent search for product information; and 42 percent check reviews online. Equipping sales associates with mPOS devices allows store employees to access the same product information as shoppers, and it allows them to engage shoppers at the point of decision.

3. Endless aisle capability. Today’s consumers want what they want, when they want it – and if it’s not available at your store, shoppers will turn to your competitors to get it. mPOS solutions can prevent this from happening by providing endless aisle capability. Endless aisle capability allows customers to access an establishment’s e-commerce store, find the item that is out of stock in the current brick-and-mortar location and order immediately. Customers can shop endless aisles and arrange for the item to be delivered or picked up at the store, thanks to mPOS.

4. Space saving. Traditional POS technology occupies a lot of room on retail counters; the bulkier the equipment, the more difficult it is for store employees to operate in tight spaces. Bulky tech equipment is also less aesthetically pleasing. By contrast, ergonomic mPOS solutions have a small footprint and a sleek appearance, as well as require only minimal counter space. This paves the way for a more attractive store, with more room on the counters to display merchandise.

5. Support for a top-notch customer experience. Retail in 2017 is all about providing customers with the first-class customer experience they have come to expect and demand. mPOS solutions contribute heavily to that experience by allowing retailers to offer efficient customer service, payment flexibility, access to the widest possible range of merchandise, and a higher level of customer engagement.

mPOP your way 3When you plan for a new mPOS, a complete retail solution is more than a tablet. Easy-to-integrate peripheral components, such as a 1D or 2D barcode scanner, receipt printers, scales, customer displays, and cash drawers, are vital to the retailer’s mPOS success. Star Micronics’ mPOP™, Mobile Point of Purchase, is the first “hybrid for tablet” POS and is an ideal solution for tablet and mobile device-based POS. It affords the above-mentioned benefits and so much more. To learn about mPOP™ and other POS options from Star Micronics, visit www.starmicronics.com.

 

 

Download the our eBook: 5 Ways Ergonomic mPOS Solutions for Large Retailers Increase Sales and Boost Customer Satisfaction

What to Expect at NRF 2017

star-mpop

Everyone in the point of sale industry knows that NRF is the biggest trade show of the year! As always, Star will be there exhibiting with our entire team of Star Sales, Integrations, and Marketing professionals at booth #3731. In 2016, Star released a number of new products including our TSP100III series and TSP650IIWLAN printers, our new CD3 Cash Drawers, and our PassPRNT, cloudPRNT, and StarPRNT SDK technologies. We’ve also built a number of great partnerships with point of sale software and retail technology providers.

Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll see at the Star booth at NRF 2017:

mPOP™ Your Way!

While mPOP™ has been around for a couple of years now, Star is continuously making updates and improvements to our all-in-one peripheral to make it the best ergonomic mPOS solution on the market. This year, we are going to be showcasing the mPOP as a point of sale hub with optional accessories including a 1D or 2D barcode scanner, customer display, scale, or a DK port to connect an external cash drawer to the mPOP.

cloudPRNT

CloudPRNT is Star’s lastest advance in point of sale technology, allowing users to print to Star printers directly through a cloud service. With cloudPRNT, retailers and restaurateurs can easily accept and print online orders with no need for an extra tablet to communicate with the printer. See a live demo at our booth!

Star Cloud Services Introduces the Micro Receipt™!

Star Cloud Services (SCS) is making huge strides in the digital receipt market! With new features in 2016, including Receipt Flip and Data Facilitation, retailers are now offered more services for the same cost – NOTHING! SCS is free to retailers using Star receipt printers and allows them to better engage with their customers and offer digital receipts through Star’s AllReceipts™ app (which is also free to download in the App Store and Google Play).

This year, SCS is proudmicro-receipt to introduce the Micro Receipt™. We all know that receipts are a necessary, yet sometimes annoying piece of paper that often goes missing or gets thrown away. That is why SCS has created the Micro Receipt!

The Micro Receipt contains all of the same information as a full-length receipt, but allows the retailer to save paper by only printing their store name or logo, time stamp, and an AllReceipts™ scannable QR code. Customers can then scan the QR code on their smartphone using the AllReceipts™ app and gain access to all of their purchase information along with coupons or promotions on the digital copy. SCS will be showing demos of the Micro Receipts, AllReceipts app, and all of their additional free services at the Star booth.

 

 

Now, let’s meet our Star partners who will be at NRF 2017:

itemize-color-logo-1Itemize and Star Micronics have partnered to revolutionize the digital expense receipt market. Itemize is an app that allows users to capture data from their receipts for expense purposes. They have now integrated AllReceipts™ QR capability for a more clean and legible digital receipt, ensuring more accurate data capture.

 

dorDôr and Star Cloud Services have partnered to help retailers know their business inside and out. With Dôr, retailers can see how many customers are visiting their store, compared to how many customers are making a purchase. Retailers can now optimize staffing, improve marketing spending, and be everywhere with Dôr and SCS.

 

thirdshelf-logoThirdshelf, another new partner of Star Cloud Services helps retailers to build and nurture customer relationships. Combined with Engage NOW from Star Cloud Services, retailers can create branded loyalty programs to start marketing like a pro. With Thirdshelf and SCS, retailers can make every sale the start of their next.

 

nclose-3d-logo_09252012-300x227nClose, a long time partner of Star Micronics, will be exhibiting in Star’s booth, showcasing their protective tablet enclosures and mobile credit card readers for POS. With stands and enclosures for Apple iPad®, Samsung, and Windows tablets, nClose designs pair perfectly with any of Star’s mPOS peripherals.

 

largecolinlogo-300x75MoZONE offers a unique omnichannel and proximity marketing solution for all smartphones with no apps required. Using Star’s TSP100ECO printers, MoZONE allows customers to order and pay from any smartphone, tablet, or computer, while notifying customers of deals and promotions based on the customer’s location.

 

emobileposStar and eMobilePOS will be showcasing their point of sale solutions for retail and hospitality with Star’s mPOP™, and SM-T300i and SM-S220i mobile printers. In addition, eMobilePOS and Star will be showcasing our latest solutions with Elo’s iSeries. Visit the eMobilePOS partner counter in the Star booth for a live demo!

 

Visit our mPOP™ table!

The mPOP is Star’s first hybrid for tablet POS that combines a cash drawer and printer peripheral. Over the past few years, the mPOP has redefined the mPOS market, and many software providers have partnered to support the mPOP with their point of sale software solutions. Make sure to stop by our mPOP table in NRF booth to see a full display of software and stand options for the mPOP.

mpop-table

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Star Spotlight with Quetzal

quetzal-banner

What does Quetzal do?

Quetzal is designed from the ground up for one specific group of customers: forward-thinking and stylish clothing and shoe retailers who have one or two locations with ambitions to open a few more. Quetzal POS is a cloud-based point of sale software that can be ran on Apple iPad® devices, with the ability to connect up to ten locations. The fully integrated point of sale allows users to do everything from the iPad from importing, to sales, to customer management, to visual retail-time reporting.

How is Quetzal working with Star Micronics?

Quetzal has integrated Star’s mPOP™, Mobile Point of Purchase, peripheral for a sleek, all-in-one solution for their specialty retailers. In addition to the mPOP, Quetzal has also certified support for Star’s TSP100 printers and the AllReceipts™ digital receipt app. Retailers can use both the mPOP and TSP100 peripherals to offer their customers digital receipts through the AllReceipts app, and engage with customers and manage their devices with Star Cloud Services.

What key benefits do Star peripherals bring the the specialty retail market?

Star’s mPOP and printer peripherals offer an easy solution for retailers to set up their point of sale using and iPad device. With no need for additional development or integration, retailers can get the entire point of sale up and running in no time. In addition to the easy set-up, Star’s mPOP offers an attractive, yet reliable cash drawer and receipt printer for the retailer, with the option of digital receipts being an added bonus.

“Our customers are able to get set up with any of the Star products literally in moments of opening it out of the box. It’s a very simple solution for our retailers to set up and we can complete the implementation in less than five minutes with no technical skills required.” – Joshua Stanphill, VP of Sales and Marketing for Quetzal.

Top Retail Blogs to Follow this Holiday Season

blog-holiday-retail-blogs

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, retailers are in “holiday season” mode with special promotions, seasonal marketing campaigns, long hours, and hectic customer requests. Now more than ever, retailers need to pay attention to the holiday retail trends, and look for any tips they can find on how to make this season a little bit easier for everyone.

SMB retailers require actionable insights that are retail-centric for the nitty gritty of the daily management of their stores. In our years of working with hundreds of ISVs, VARs, POS providers, and retail stores themselves, we’ve come to also appreciate the retail influencers, insiders, and thought-leaders that inspire us to perfect our craft. Star took a look at some retail blogs and put together this list of the best retail blogs to follow this holiday season.

Here are just a few that we recommend checking out:

1. Vend

Aside from the fact that Vend is one of the best blogs for retailers to follow, they have dedicated an entire series of blog articles to holiday retailers with their “Vend’s 2016 Holiday Retail Boot Camp” series. The twelve-part blog series includes tips on how to improve your store and increase sales during the holiday season, all while answering of the what, how, any why on where to begin!

best-holiday-blogs-vend

2. Retail Geek

For a non-traditional holiday retail blog, be sure to check out the Retail Geek. This site hosts weekly podcasts with hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg and Scot Wingo. Their last two podcasts have focused on the holidays with a holiday preview and cyber holiday recap. Many of their podcasts also feature reputable guest hosts as well.

best-holiday-blogs-retail-geek

3. Shopify

Shopify is another point of sale company that is killing the holiday retail blog game! Shopify boasts tons of great blog articles for retailers that vary from retail tips, to management strategy, to inspirational posts. This holiday season, they are helping out retailers with articles like: Seasonal Staffing 101: How to Prep Employees For the Holiday Shopping Rush and How to Cater to Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers.

best-holiday-blogs-shopify

4. Signal

The holiday season is the perfect time to capture customer data because store traffic is generally increased. But, what do you do with data once the sleigh bells stop ringing and the holiday hype is over? Signal offers tons of articles that focus on data capture, sharing, and onboarding for the SMB retailer.

best-holiday-blogs-signal

5. ShopKeep

ShopKeep is the perfect blog to follow if you are an SMB retailer looking to compete with “big-box” retailers this holiday season. ShopKeep offers tons of tips and guidance on how to boost those retail sales. With the holidays underway, this is the best time to check out their blog and see how you can exceed your sales goals and increase traffic to your store.

best-holiday-blogs-shopkeep

6. Square

While the holiday season usually brings in the highest profits of the year for retailers, there is still a ton of work that needs to go into an effective seasonal marketing plan. Square’s blog has tons of articles to help retailers with their holiday marketing plans. From email marketing, to trendy window displays, Square can help you get the most bang for your buck this holiday season.

best-holiday-blogs-square

7. Lightspeed

Lightspeed takes holiday blogging to a whole new level! Like most retail blogs, Lightspeed’s holiday blogs offer tips and guides for retailers on how to get through the holiday season with the most ease as possible. Including articles for inventory management and Holiday tax treats for small business, Lightspeed has something for any retail business.

best-holiday-blogs-lightspeed

 

Time is ticking! Visit any of the recommended blogs above to start gathering tips and pointers on how to get the most out of this holiday season for your retail business.

 

Sign up for our newsletter!

Star Spotlight with Hike POS

hike-pos-banner

What does Hike POS do?

Hike POS is an award-winning omnichannel retail point of sale solution designed for small businesses around the world. With Hike POS, retailers can sell in-store, online, and on-the-go. Hike believes that point of sale should be modern, flexible, and user-friendly, which is why they have made their solution available for PC, Mac, and iOS users. With a wide application suite including inventory management, gift cards, customer loyalty, and more, Hike POS makes it easier than ever to start & grow your business.

How are you working with Star Micronics?

Star was the first choice of point of sale printers for Hike POS. Hike POS promotes Star printers with their cloud-based feature which was recently introduced. Hike POS software combined with Star’s mPOP combination cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner, allows retailers to get a true, all-in-one mPOS solution that is easy to use and helps grow business.

Hike POS has also been one of the first Star Certified Software Partners to fully integrate Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt and customer engagement tools. Using Star Cloud Services, Hike POS retailers can now offer their customers the option of digital receipts through Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipts app.

What are the biggest benefits of AllReceipts™ for retailers and for Hike POS?

Retailers love the idea of offering their customer digital receipts, but struggle to get their customers to give up their email address. Hike POS wanted to provide a solution for this problem that their customers where experiencing, so they turned to AllReceipts™. Allowing their retailers to still offer digital receipts without needing any personal information from the customer was a huge win for Hike POS customers.

Hike POS vendors were also able to take advantage of other Star Cloud Services features including the instant customer feedback survey, Engage NOW, and Receipt Flip.

“Star is a leader in technology and manufactures fully integrated printers that are easy for our customers to use, including their USB and Ethernet printers, along with the all-in-one mPOP. Star is truly the printer provider of choice for Hike POS” – Jay Sutaria, Business Development Director for Hike POS.

4 Ways Digital Receipts Can Help You through the Holiday Season

holiday-season-blog

Whether you are an SMB or a “big-box” retailer, the holiday season can present a busy and challenging time for retail store owners, operators, and employees. While challenging, the holiday season usually also brings the highest sales of the year for retailers. It is important to ensure that you are operating your retail store at utmost efficiency and that you are upholding excellent customer service during the chaotic season. Star Cloud Services wants to make your job easier by offering a seamless solution for digital receipts and customer engagement for your retail store. Here are 4 ways digital receipts can help you through this holiday season:

1. Create Omnichannel Opportunities

By offering customers the option of digital receipts through Star’s receipt printers, you are building a connection between their brick and mortar shopping experience and their digital world. When using Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solutions, you have the ability to offer much more than just a digital receipt by using the Engage Now feature. With Engage Now, you engage with your customers through all channels and give shoppers an easy way to access either your website or social media pages.

2. Promote Seasonal Sales and Discounts

Another great way to connect with shoppers through digital receipts is Star Cloud Services’ Flip feature. Most digital receipt applications only allow the customer to store a digital copy of the front of their receipt. With Flip, retailers can fully utilize the back side of the receipt for store promotions and coupons. This is perfect for holiday promotions! While shoppers are busy trying to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and families, digital receipts offer a quick and convenient way to already have discounts and coupons right on their smartphone. No more sifting through email promotions and mailing coupons to find a great deal!

3. More Convenience for Shoppers

While the holiday season is always the busiest for retailers, the post-holiday season tends to bring a different type of chaos – returns. After the holidays are over and everyone has sorted through their gifts, there comes the time for returns and exchanges to be made. Rather than relying on shoppers to save their receipts during the holidays, offer them digital receipts instead. Now, whether it is the gift giver or the gift receiver who misplaced the receipt, there is always a safe and secure copy stored on the buyer’s smartphone in the AllReceipts™ app.

4. Build Post-Holiday Season Loyalty

Let’s not forget about the post-holiday season. While the holidays are great for retailers in terms of increasing sales, it is still important to keep sales up during the remainder of the year. Stay relevant to your customers! Star Cloud Services digital receipt solutions allow retailers to continue to engage with customers for months after the initial transaction has been made.

Make the hectic holiday season a little bit easier this year by using Star Cloud Services to offer an easy digital receipt solution to your shoppers.

Learn more about Star Cloud Services at www.starcloudservices.com.

How Digital Receipts Can Boost Omnichannel Retail

omnichannel blog

In the world of small to medium businesses (SMBs) in retail, we hear the word “omnichannel” being used quite often. Retailers are working to improve and grow their omnichannel strategy in order to better satisfy and engage with their customers. Today, there are so many channels for purchasing, it is important for SMB retail stores, especially brick and mortar, to utilize these channels to increase their engagement with customers and customer loyalty.

First, what does omnichannel mean?

Omnichannel is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store.

Now the question is  – what does this mean for SMB retailers?

The answer seems very obvious – expand business by creating buying opportunities for customers through multiple channels. In order to do that and see an actual ROI from creating purchasing options from all channels, retailers will need to also develop a strategy for using these channels to increase customer loyalty and omnichannel marketing opportunities. Luckily, the two go hand-in-hand.

One important thing to consider about omnichannel retail is that you are not only giving your customers the option to choose which channel to purchase from, but you are giving them the flexibility of seamlessly moving between channels during their purchasing. For example, your customer finds the perfect dress for her friend’s wedding, but you do not have her size in stock. You will be receiving another shipment at the end of the week with her size included, but she is afraid that she may not make it back to the store in time. By offering the option to purchase through multiple channels, the customer can simply go online and pre-order the dress right from her smartphone, making it a win-win for both parties involved.

The tricky part here becomes marketing through the different channels in which customers are purchasing. Should you be investing in more digital advertisement to target your online buyers, or do in-store shoppers still make up the bulk of your total customers?

An easy way to bridge the gap between the digital channel and your brick and mortar store is to offer the option of digital receipts to customers. By offering the AllReceipts™ digital receipt application to in-store shoppers, you are automatically gaining access into their digital world, making the customer more likely to make future purchases through an alternative channel such as an online desktop or mobile device.

Since Star Cloud Services offers AllReceipts™ in-app marketing tools like Engage NOW and Flip, retailers can increase their omnichannel marketing strategies without any additional cost, and by targeting customers through all channels.

Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solutions works to connect the retailer to the customer through IoT technology and uses the smartphone application, AllReceipts™, to help retailers engage with their customers through all purchasing channels, whether in-store or online.

With the growing adoption of mobile payments and mobile wallets, digital receipts are going to continue to grow in the retail space. By offering multi-channel purchasing options and using omnichannel marketing strategies, such as digital receipt applications, to engage with customers, you are opening your retail business to endless possibilities.

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

 

The Value of Digital Receipts

AllReceipts logo with TM copy

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.

3 Ways to Retain Customers Using AllReceipts™

AllReceipts - LinkedIn

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.

Dylan’s Candy Bar Sweetens the Deal with Star Micronics and SuiteRetail

_96A5988

 

Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, recently made the switch to SuiteRetail’s SuitePOS solution, which features Star Micronics printers and peripherals
SuiteRetail & DCB video

Click here to watch the video interview.

Dylan’s Candy Bar sought an ERP platform that facilitated a singular unequivocal view of their busieness. Net Suite was the obvious choice, but the in-store solution proved the most difficult to solve: Dylan’s needed a SAAS solution that seamlessly integrated with NetSuite, robust enough to handle the velocity of their transactions, but attractive enough to compliment the upbeat and modern style unique to all of the Dylan’s flagship stores.

 

The POS bundle comprised of SuiteRetail’s SuitePOS for NetSuite and Star Micronics printers and peripherals proved to be the only viable option. No other alternative combined the speed to handle Dylan’s transaction volume, integration with NetSuite, and has the necessary visual appeal.

 

 ” We found the perfect solution in Star Micronics printers and SuitePOS. The solution is iPad/iPhone-based and offered visual appeal and easy integration that was the perfect fit for our stores. We’re also actively looking at Star’s new all-in-one, the mPOP, given its design aesthetic and potential ‘fit’ at our new smaller locations.”

– David Reid, CFO of Dylan’s Candy Bar

sr_logo_web_2016

“At SuiteRetail, we are always looking to pair our POS software with modern, sleek, and super-reliable peripherals that match the SuitePOS brand and reputation. As far as printers, we really only found this with Star Micronics. We love Star’s printers and their new mPOP because they are visually appealing, and their performance is rock-solid.”

– Jeff Schneider, Co-Founder and Director of SuiteRetail

Download the full success story here: Star_Dylans-Candy-Bar_Case-Study