The point of sale is evolving quickly to accommodate new demands on retailers and to better integrate smarter software for independent merchants. There are many POS trends that point to an augmentation of how data can be democratized for “mom and pop” retail stores. When choosing a POS solution, small businesses have to do their research more carefully than ever. For retail entrepreneurs, POS systems and POS solutions are some of the most researched software that relates directly to their business.
POS solutions are evolving in ways that are leading POS systems into the 21st century. Retail entrepreneurs now have easy access to powerful software that is becoming cheaper than ever, more mobile, and are able to do more to grow their business. This is allowing physical merchants to keep up with their sophisticated data-centric e-retailer cousins. From payments, to automation, and from hardware to analytics and insights, the POS is becoming the real deal.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the major trends and a few surprising innovations. We’ll also uncover some of the bigger POS trends.
1. Shopify Starts to Build Hardware
The Canadian e-Commerce solution is having a stellar start to the year, as can be seen in its Unite 2017 event. With new partners such as Amazon and Buzzfeed, Shopify can scale this year like never before. In April, Shopify announced their first hardware product, a chip-and-swipe card reader. Shopify is banking on the trend of online sellers to sell in physical retail with its simple card reader.
Key takeaway: Payments and new hardware are still a hot topic for new retail businesses.
2. The Tablet and Mobile POS Market Grows
Whether its iPad POS solutions or other kinds of tablets, the mobile POS boom is on. U.S. and global growth of more convenient mobile POS solutions is quickly showing to be the new normal in some retail verticals.
Mobile POS is growing at 9.2% a year according to Capterra via Quickbooks. As Cloud-based solutions became mainstream, so too now are mobile POS solutions. This occurs often in hospitality, convenience, retail, and services stations where tablets are more useful for data access and of course, checkout.
For the SMB space, mPOS makes a lot of sense. This is where cost-effective hardware is meeting the mobile-first era. This means it’s easier than ever to become a retail entrepreneur with smarter and less costly hardware and software. You can do more with a mPOS for your small business than you may realize.
Key takeaway: As Cloud POS became the new standard years ago, it’s looking like mPOS might do the same.
3. Star Micronics Launches New Printer: TSP100IIIU
The TSP100IIIU is being called a game-changer for tablet and mobile POS.
- It connects directly to an iPad or iPhone using the Apple Lightning cable for reliable USB communication and simultaneous charging.
- It includes a USB Serial number feature to detect the device when disconnected and reconnected to a different USB port
- Ultra-fast print speeds and special receipt de-curl function
Key takeaway: Printers are getting smarter and connecting merchants with the future.
4. POS Systems Acheive New API Integrations
The age of value add-ons is influencing how POS solution ecosystems evolve. This means software providers are becoming better connected with their partners. You don’t have to look far in the POS world to see how this occurs.
Typically, this consolidation of software with the POS solution as node now in the cloud can be characterized into a few major branches:
- Analytics, Reporting, and Artificial Intelligence
- Email Marketing
- Employee Scheduling and Management
- Inventory and Warehouse Management
- Niche Specialty Solutions (such as for Hospitality, Restaurant, e-Commerce, etc.)
Key takeaway: POS solutions have native strengths and weaknesses, but will also have third-party integration strengths and weaknesses
5. Mobile Payments and Cashless Solutions
While major smart phone companies are developing next-gen biometric and other post NFC solutions, the mobile wallet has not caught on with consumers as fast as some anticipated. Mobile wallet users have so many choices, and are aware that mobile payments can lead to more impulse purchases. While mobile payments are increasing with PayPal, and there’s buzz around Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet, offering multiple payment options is still a good idea for the merchant.
Key takeaway: Mobile wallet adoption is slow but is a benefit for retailers to offer.
6. Rise of Cloud Computing and Cloud Point of Sale
The legacy point of sale system is dying as POS systems and peripherals in the cloud continue to gain impressive traction. This is leading to not only more accessible and flexible solutions, like having your POS on an iPad, it’s leading to a decrease in total spend that independent merchants must make for even more robust and connected solutions.
For value-added resellers (VARs), this means a proliferation of new potential products that integrate software and hardware in new ways. Cloud POS systems are also aggressively connecting to niche and specialty stores and increasingly to omnichannel solutions.
This means restaurant POS, e-Commerce, and an emphasis on data and analytics for brick-and-mortar retailers is on the swift incline. Leading POS solutions are also battling it out in important new global territories expanding their reach and acquiring companies to improve their value propositions
Cloud POS has come a long way in the last decade, and with the integration of technology, IoT, and machine learning, it is going to reach even higher in the decade ahead.
Key takeaway: The Cloud POS is leading to a very dynamic ecosystem of innovation around software customized to each industry.
There’s no right or wrong POS system, but finding the right point of sale solution and add-on apps for your business can help your business grow. Read the full article from Star Cloud Services here.
Brianna Moriarty is the Partner Development Manager at Star Micronics where she works with channel-partners to grow their business and develop new markets. Brianna has a background in marketing and uses this to help VARs and ISVs to establish a go-to-market strategy and create co-marketing campaigns. She enjoys following the latest social media marketing trends and creating content for retailers and SMBs.