3 Memorial Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Time is flying and Memorial Day is almost here! Memorial Day is a great time for your business to honor the Armed Forces, as well as celebrate the unofficial start of summer. Last year, it was estimated that consumers spent $500 (each!) over the holiday weekend, which means stores like yours should be prepared.

Print Memorial Day Promotions with Your Receipt Printer

There’s no need to shell out your hard-earned cash to market your Memorial Day specials. With Star Micronics PromoPRNT, you can print custom Memorial Day marketing promotions for veterans-only sales, summer kickoff specials, barbeques, and much more – all using the receipt printer you already have. And even better yet, the promotions are printed directly on the bottom of the receipt – a place nearly every customer looks! Click here to learn more or sign up for PromoPRNT today.

Let’s explore 3 easy in-store promotions you can print using PromoPRNT (these templates are currently available for use in the PromoPRNT dashboard):

1. Highlight a Sale for Veterans

2. Promote a BBQ

3. Have a Summer Kickoff Sale

Remember, all of these promotion templates are currently available on the PromoPRNT dashboard, in the Promotion Builder.

Looking for other ways to spruce up your small business? Explore more Small Business Tips now.

How to Create the Perfect POS Solution for Your Fitness Center

A fitness center is a challenging environment for point of sale (POS) systems. There are staff schedules, members to track, classes to register for, and different areas of the facility that may need retail POS functionalities but don’t have the counter space to spare.

Owners and managers who want to create the perfect POS solution for their fitness center can build it with the right components and applications. There are a wide range of technologies and POS hardware solutions that can help you elevate your fitness center to the next level.

Scheduling and Membership Management

Downloadable applications for scheduling and member management are popular because they require little upfront investment, update frequently, and typically utilize the hardware you already own. This affordable alternative to traditional, on-premises POS systems keep information secure and make it easy to create schedules and maintain client records, even when you’re not on site.

However, many web-based applications have printer connectivity issues.  A platform-agnostic print data relaying application is a popular technology solution used to remedy this problem. You’ll want to find a low-cost, versatile solution to cloud/web-based printing that allows you to generate high-quality printing for your fitness center with professional, crisp graphics.

Solutions for Off-Site or Outdoor Fitness Classes

Fitness center owners who host off-site events or outdoor fitness classes need to have receipt-printing capability for customers paying for retail products, classes or services. For this reason, you’ll want to find a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled printer. These portable receipt printers can range from compact models to more robust options, and at price points that suit any budget.  Choose a portable receipt printer that is small, light, and can easily be carried outdoors and used to print invoices, labels, receipts, and other documentation.

Space-Saving, Cost-Effective Solutions

Fitness centers aren’t cash-heavy operations, so many gym owners don’t feel the need to shell out big bucks for a full POS setup. But for a select few areas that handle cash — for example, a juice bar, babysitting, or when paying for guests or special services — an ergonomic solution for tablet POS that combines a cash drawer and printer peripheral is the ideal solution. Select a unit with a fully integrated design that works with the tablet or mobile device of your choice, so you can have a mobile solution without compromising space, quality, or functionality.

The Star Micronics mPOP is the perfect modern, compact point of sale solution.

Quick and Easy Connections

Fitness center owners who choose popular iPad and iPhone POS solutions have demanded increasingly mobile and connected receipt printer solutions. Since gyms tend to be heavily soundproofed with electronic equipment or other signal blocking materials, you may struggle with connectivity.

The first AirPrint-certified receipt printer, the TSP654II.

Choose a printing solution from a line of printers that was created to take care of connectivity problems. For example, consider the TSP654II. This printer was the first-ever AirPrint® certified receipt printer on the market, meaning it prints via iOS devices easily and without driver installation. On top of its compatibility, the TSP654II also is capable of printing 60 receipts per minute and features swappable interfaces.

The Star Micronics mC-Printers are another great option for a connected gym. The sleek, cube-shaped printers are available in 2″ and 3″ models, and boast Bluetooth, USB, Lightning, LAN, and CloudPRNT connectivity options.

Gym owners looking for printing solutions for fitness centers should explore Star Micronics’ lineup of hardware and technology applications. Whether you are looking to add printer connectivity, mobile POS, or off-site functionality, Star has a variety of options that will help you add the capabilities you need at an affordable price.

Built-In Marketing Tools

Printing receipts is great, but why not kill two birds with one stone and market to your fitness center members at the same time? Star Micronics PromoPRNT, a value-added, cloud-based marketing tool, lets you do just that. PromoPRNT uses existing Star receipt printers to print custom promotions directly on the bottom of receipts., You can easily log on to the cloud dashboard and design promotions from templates, boosting customer engagement and retention. Promotions can advertise sales, special events, loyalty programs, and much more. Learn more or sign up today!

Need more guidance building out your ideal fitness center point of sale system? Contact us today!

cannabis legalization header

Cannabis Legalization Check-In: What’s New

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is almost halfway complete. Time is flying, and if one thing is true, it’s this: the cannabis industry is budding.

It seems like there’s a major cannabis legalization update with each week that passes. With that legalization (and cultural acceptance) comes dollar signs: it’s predicted that the global legal cannabis market will be worth $63.5 billion by 2024. Whether or not you’ve dipped your toes into the cannabis market, it’s important to stay informed, which is why we’ve compiled a mid-year cannabis legalization check-in. Discover what’s new in cannabis legalization in the U.S. and beyond below.

Cannabis Legalization: Where the U.S. Stands

At the time this blog post was written, the medical use of cannabis is legal in 33 states, four out of five permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, the recreational usage of cannabis is legal in 10 states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington). And interestingly, a 2018 Gallup poll found that two-thirds of Americans feel marijuana should be made legal.

The following states have bills to legalize (and for the most part, regulate) adult marijuana use:

  • Alabama
    • Bill(s): SB 98; would legalize less than two ounces of cannabis, but does not include a regulated system
  • Connecticut
    • Bill(s): HB 7371, SB 1085, HB 5595, HB 6863, SB 496, SB 690 SB 744; on March 25, HB 7371 passed out of the General Law Committee
  • Florida
    • Bill(s): S. 1298; proposes a constitutional amendment that would go to voters for adults to grow, possess, and use cannabis
  • Hawaii
    • Bill(s): HB 1515, HB 1581, HB 708, SB 606, SB 686, SB 702; these bills did not advance out of committee before a deadline
  • Illinois
    • Bill(s): SB 7, HB 902, HB 2477
  • Indiana
    • Bill(s): SB 213; did not advance out of committee before a deadline
  • Iowa
    • Bill(s): SF 469; did not advance before a legislative deadline
  • Kentucky
    • Bill(s): SB 80; the legislature adjourned without voting on the bill
  • Louisiana
    • Bill(s): HB 509, HB 564, HB 462; HB 462 would create a constitutional amendment to allow cities to call elections to legalize and regulate adult use of cannabis
  • Maryland
    • Bill(s): SB 771 and SB 656; HB 632 proposes a constitutional amendment that would go to voters in 2020
  • Minnesota
    • Bill(s): SF 619 and HF 420; HF 265 and HF 465 propose a constitutional amendment that would go to voters in 2020; the Senate bills were voted down in committee in a 6-3 vote
  • Mississippi
    • Bill(s): SB 2349 died in committee
  • Missouri
    • Bill(s): HB 157, HB 551
  • Montana
    • Bill(s): HB 770
  • New Hampshire
    • Bill(s): HB 481, which the House voted 200-163 to pass on April 4, 2019, sending the bill to the Senate
  • New Jersey
    • Bill(s): S 830, A 1348, A 3819; the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted on November 26, 2018 to advance S2703 and A4497; both bills carried over to 2019; the Senate Judiciary Committee reported a revised bill out on March 18, 2019
  • New Mexico
    • Bill(s): HR 356, SB 577; the House approved HR 356 in a 36-34 vote, then the bill died in the Senate Finance committee; the legislature has adjourned
  • New York
    • Bill(s): A. 1617, S. 1527, and S. 1509 and A. 2009, which are budget bills that include taxing and regulating cannabis for adult use
  • North Carolina
    • Bill(s): SB 58
  • Pennsylvania
    • Bill(s): HB 50
  • Rhode Island
    • Bill(s): H 5828 and H 5151; H 5151 is a budget bill that includes taxing and regulating cannabis for adult use
  • Texas
    • Bill(s): SB 460, SJR, 8, proposes a constitutional amendment that would go to voters in 2020
  • Virginia
    • Bill(s): HB 2371, HB 2373, both of which died in committee
  • West Virginia
    • Bill(s): SB 143, HB 2331, HB 2376, HB 3108; these bills did not advance before the legislature adjourned

Adult-use legalization bills are predicted in Delaware and Wisconsin, as well.

Where Other Countries Stand

Here is where some other countries stand in terms of legalization:

  • Argentina: CBD legalized/partially medically legalized/decriminalized
  • Australia: Medically legalized/partially decriminalized
  • Canada: Full federal legalization
  • Chile: Medically legalized
  • Colombia: Medically legalized/decriminalized
  • Croatia: Medically legalized
  • Czech Republic: Medically legalized
  • Germany: Medically legalized/decriminalized
  • India: Federally illegal, but legal in some states
  • Israel: Medically legalized
  • Italy: Medically legalized
  • Jamaica: Partially medically legalized/decriminalized
  • Macedonia: Medically legalized
  • Mexico: Medically legalized/decriminalized
  • Philippines: Medical cannabis legislation in progress
  • Poland: Partially medically legalized
  • Puerto Rico: Medically legalized
  • Turkey: Medically legalized
  • Uruguay: Legalized

Looking to Grow in the Cannabis Market?

 

Star Micronics has what it takes to compete in the cannabis industry. Our cannabis point of sale offering includes everything from NTEP-certified scales and high-volume cash drawers to pre-printed cannabis labels and in-store marketing tools.

Are you a reseller looking to cash in on cannabis point of sale? Discover what makes the cannabis industry different from other retail industries, what POS systems are required to legally sell cannabis, and more!

3 In-Store Mother’s Day Marketing Ideas Using PromoPRNT

Ah, moms. They are there for us since day one, and they remind us to take care of ourselves when we are adults. Clearly many people appreciate their mothers, and feel that there’s no better way to thank mom than to treat her on Mother’s Day. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, in 2018, 86% of American consumers celebrated the holiday, and they spent $179.77 each (with the biggest spenders shelling out nearly $225)!

It’s simply a no brainer that businesses large and small should cash in on the loving holiday. Implementing an in-store Mother’s Day marketing campaign in particular is great idea. Why? Because collectively, 64% of consumers will shop at department stores and specialty stores (like florists and jewelers), versus just 31% of shoppers who plan to shop online. Additionally, nearly 30% of moms claim they would love to receive the gift of an experience, like a spa day or entertainment tickets.

PromoPRNT: The Perfect Solution for Mother’s Day Marketing

Lucky for retailers and restaurants, with Star Micronics PromoPRNT, there’s never been an easier way to take advantage of in-store marketing. PromoPRNT works with your existing Star receipt printer (at no additional cost) and enables you to print customized promotions – directly on the receipts that go into your customer’s hand! Benefits of PromoPRNT include:

  • Increase customer retention
  • Make each customer visit unique
  • Manage promotions from anywhere
  • Make custom promotions from templates
  • And more!

Click here to learn more about PromoPRNT, or check out our short intro video below:

To help you out, Star has created three customizable Mother’s Day promotion templates, which are available now in the Promotion Builder. Check them out now:

Promo 1: Invite Customers to Take Mom Out

Promo 2: Promote Your Mother’s Day Sales

Promo 3: Host a Giveaway

 

Remember, all of these templates are now available to use in Promo Builder!

Ready to learn more or register for PromoPRNT? Click here to learn more and register your Star printer.

The Faster Payments Council: What You Need to Know

The payments industry is changing – fast. According to Statista, digital payments (including any payment made over the internet and payments made via mobile device at the point of sale) are expected to grow 12.7% year over year, and will account for over $6.5 trillion worldwide by 2023.

With the rapid growth of faster payments – or “payments in which the transmission of the payment message and the availability of final funds to the payee occur in real time or near-real time, and on as near to a 24-hour and 7-day basis as possible” – comes a variety of concerns, from accessibility to security. Not surprisingly, the industry’s leaders want a say in the path that’s being paved.

That’s where the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) comes in. Lead by some of the payment industry’s key players, the FPC aims to enable all Americans to “safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, at any time, and with near-immediate funds availability.” Let’s take a deeper dive into the FPC and its goals.

When Was the FPC Formed?

The FPC was created in November 2018 by the Faster Payments Task Force, a group of hundreds of stakeholders that came together – with Federal Reserve support – to form the Governance Framework Formation Team (GFFT). The GFFT was tasked with developing and implementing a governance framework that was inclusive of all of its stakeholders and facilitated faster payments in America, which is the FPC.

Who is a Part of the FPC?

The FPC is open to all stakeholders in the U.S. payment system, and it welcomes everyone from corporations to small businesses to individuals. Founding sponsors of the FPC include:

  • Bankers’ Bank
  • Ceridian
  • Corporate One
  • Early Warning
  • ICBA Bancard
  • Mastercard
  • NEACH
  • North American Banking Company
  • Open Payment Network
  • SHAZAM
  • Target
  • TD Bank
  • The Bankers’ Bank
  • The Clearing House
  • Visa Inc.
  • The Bank of New York Mellon
  • First Data
  • Goldman Sachs Bank USA
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank & Co.
  • Walmart

What is the FPC’s Mission?

Simply put, the FPC’s mission is to enable ubiquitous faster payments in the U.S. According to its website, the FPC has three pillars of guiding principles: inclusiveness and fairness; flexibility and responsibility; and transparency. More specifically, some goals the FPC has are:

  • Addressing issues that inhibit the adoption of faster payments
  • Enhancing the safety and security for service providers and users of faster payments
  • Developing guidelines to address opportunities and issues
  • Creating an education and awareness program to foster a better understanding of faster payments

Click here to view the FPC’s full framework.

What Comes Next

The FPC is planning to hold its first in-person meeting at the end of May 2019, so we expect to hear an update on its next steps shortly after. The council is also currently searching for its permanent Executive Director. During a time when payments are changing faster than ever, we’re interested to see how the FPC will affect the industry!

Wings Pizza n Things Manages High-Volume Sales, Has a Reliable Total Solution with Paradise POS

When sports fans in Temple, Texas, want to enjoy great food while watching the game, they head for Wings Pizza n Things. Voted the best wings in central Texas for 10 years running, the single-location, 40-employee restaurant sells about 50,000 wings each week. Customer favorites also include pizza, burgers, and authentic Philly cheesesteaks. Since owners Mike and Sara Dent opened Wings Pizza n Things in 2006, their goals were serving fresh, quality menu items and creating a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

The Challenge

Wings Pizza n Things needed to find a point of sale (POS) solution provider that could equip its business with the innovative technology it needs to handle a high-volume of sales. The restaurant also wanted to partner with a POS provider that could deliver a total solution, including POS hardware and software, reliable printer solutions for the front- and back-of-house, payment processing, and fast efficient service.

The Solution

When the Dents met the Paradise POS team, they knew they found the right partner. Paradise POS was the one-stop-shop for POS, third-party peripherals like kitchen ticket printers and receipt printers, credit card processing, and personalized customer support and service that Wings Pizza n Things was looking for. Owner Mike Dent says he was impressed by Paradise POS’ iPad-based system that equipped servers with mobile POS and gave his business a way to easily benefit from future innovation. “They were the only company that offered software updates, so as the technology improved, your POS system improved as well,” says Dent. “With other companies you basically purchased software, and you were never able to take advantage of the
always-improving technology that was out there.”

Because of Paradise POS’ roots in payment processing, the company provided Wings Pizza n Things with a comprehensive POS and payment solution. “That’s a difficult thing to find in this business,” says Dent. “If we have any POS or credit card issues, we literally make one phone call.” Dent adds that, because of their Texas roots, the Paradise POS team is easy to work with. “They’re very friendly and that comes through when you’re talking to them,” he says.

Wings Pizza n Things began working with Paradise POS in 2012, originally installing three Paradise POS terminals. The Paradise POS system is iPad-based, which combines legacy POS functionality with the easy-to-use iOS interface. The reliable Paradise POS system also features offline mode, so the system keeps working, even if there is an internet outage.

The Wings Pizza n Things solution also utilizes two models of Star Micronics printers. The TSP700 series impact printer is used in the kitchen due to its durability and high-quality ticket printing in a hot, humid kitchen environment. It is also capable of multicolor printing; by printing modifiers in red, it helps to eliminate confusion in the kitchen and increases speed. In the front of the house, the restaurant uses the Star TSP650 series for receipt printing. Wings Pizza n Things uses printer routing during busy times, and the printers aid the restaurant with branding due to their ability to print logos on receipts.

Dent says, “We were the first pizza restaurant POS system Paradise POS installed, so they worked with us until we had all the components we needed to operate efficiently, from the modifiers to being able to break down pizza toppings per slice and making it all understandable for the kitchen.

“They learned with us and were open to the changes we needed to make it work. They were with us 100% along the way — there’s not another company out there like that.” Dent was impressed that the Paradise team was willing to stay for a few days after installation to address any issues that occurred.

When the restaurant expanded in 2015 and the volume of business grew, Paradise POS equipped Wings Pizza n Things with two additional terminals and eight server iPads. With advancements in Paradise POS’ capabilities, parts of the second installation were managed remotely and it only took a few days for the restaurant to have full use of the system.

Click here to download the full success story.

5 of the Most Beautiful Cannabis Dispensaries in America

The cannabis industry is huge in the United States – and it’s just getting started. In 2017, the industry employed 121,000 people and took in roughly $9 billion in sales. With more and more states legalizing its use, those numbers are expected to steadily rise and many more cannabis dispensaries will surely open their doors. Curious about the dispensaries already in operation? Let’s take a look at five of the most beautiful cannabis dispensaries in America – in no particular order.

1. Barbary Coast | San Francisco, California

When it comes to providing a safe, clean, and comfortable atmosphere for its clients, Barbary Coast goes above and beyond. With a wide range of lab-tested flowers, pre-rolls, premium vape cartridges, concentrates, edibles, and more, it’s no wonder this place became a hot spot in The City by the Bay.

Barbary Coast in San Francisco, California

Barbary Coast offers a dab and vape bar, as well as a stylish personal lounge for customers to relax, enjoy themselves with friends and family, and make new friends. Visitors may browse, receive one-on-one recommendations from staff, and experience the strong sense of community established in the dispensary.

2. Emerald Pharms | Hopland, California

According to its website, when you visit Emerald Pharms, “you might think you’re in an art gallery or a green technology wonderland rather than a medical marijuana dispensary.”

Emerald Pharms is a one-of-a-kind dispensary that focuses on natural, sustainable, and locally grown cannabis. The site manages a 12-acre Solar Living Center which features renewable energy sources, eco-friendly buildings, biodynamic gardens, and more. Customers can even refuel their cars with recycled biodiesel, or charge up their electric vehicles (via solar panels).

Emerald Pharms in Hopland, California

At the Pharm, visitors can walk across the lush landscape and view thousands of organically grown edibles, wildflowers, and ornamental plants. All are welcomed and encouraged to explore the off-the-grid “permaculture oasis” and attend its events including product demos, yoga, art classes, picnicking, and more.

3. The Herbal Cure | Denver, Colorado

The Herbal Cure is a family-owned business that takes great pride in its work and is committed to its award-winning marijuana strains. The dispensary’s mission is simple: to provide the highest quality cannabis and customer service to its clients.

On the exterior, visitors see a log cabin-style depot with a “cannaboose” train car on the property that was inherited with the land. The back of the dispensary features local graffiti and murals, which are rotated through the year. Inside, clients are introduced to exotic strains, fair prices, and the result of dedicated professionals perfecting their craft. Shoppers will also find a strong family-like vibe among the staff, or as they are called, “The Cure Crew,” who make it a priority to make every visitor feel welcome, comfortable, and secure.

The Herbal Cure in Denver, Colorado

4. Om of Medicine | Ann Arbor, Michigan

What makes Om of Medicine stand out is its ambition to create a collaborative, safe, and inspiring environment that promotes the rights of its patients and improves their quality of life. Establishing a welcoming environment for all ages and bridging the gap between nature and technology, Om of Medicine captures the duality of life and perfect balance.

Om of Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Notable features within the dispensary include a living wall installation, an aquarium, and local art galleries. Together with its state-of-the-art products and its compassionate staff, the dispensary holds events such as medical research sessions, grow seminars, comedy shows, yoga classes, film showings, and more, to not only serve the community, but to be a part of it.

5. Hashtag Cannabis | Seattle, Washington

The first thing you notice about Hashtag Cannabis is COLOR! The bright purple exterior of this cannabis dispensary features a colorful fish mural and a neon blue door to boot. With two locations in Fremont and Redmond, Washington, Hashtag Cannabis offers customers smokable flower, concentrates, infused edible products, capsules, tinctures, and lotions.

Hashtag Cannabis in Seattle, Washington

Designed to provide product to both customers seeking recreational cannabis, as well as those who need assistance with medical issues, Hashtag Cannabis strives to improve its customers’ quality of life. The dispensary also aims to help its community, and has raised thousands of dollars for non-profit organizations focused on hunger and immigrant family rights.

Some call it art, some call it science, but no one can deny the increasing consumer demand for cannabis dispensaries in the United States (and beyond) today. Are you a reseller looking to cash in on this booming industry? Download our e-book today.

How to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day with Star Micronics

Earth Day is upon us! Established in 1970, the holiday aims to educate people around the globe about environmental issues. This year Earth Day falls on Monday, April 22, but did you know you can give back to the environment every day using your Star Micronics technology? Read on to learn about the many ways we strive to preserve the earth while supplying top notch point of sale (POS) solutions.

Star Printer Environmental Profiles

Star puts forth great consideration into manufacturing safe and environmentally friendly products. Each printer model has an Environmental Profile featuring information on its usage safety, hazardous chemical substances, ecology considerations, and more. Click here to browse the Environmental Profiles.

Paper Reduction

Paper usage is a receipt printer’s largest negative burden on the environment. Taking this fact into consideration, Star designed ways to reduce the severity of receipt paper’s ecological impact while maintaining user comfort and familiarity. Here are some examples of how:

  • Reduced Top Margin: The top margin is the white space starting from the paper’s top edge down to the first line of printed text. In the past, typical receipt printers had top margins ranging from 11 to 15 mm, resulting in lots of unnecessary waste over time. Realizing this, Star defined the default top margin size of the TSP143III to 3 mm and made the feature available on other printer models in our lineup. The result? Conserving between 8 to 12 mm per receipt without any effort or adjustment from the retail shop or restaurant owner!
  • Receipt Length and Width Compression: Many Star printers enable retailers to reduce the size of their receipts without requiring any modification to existing POS software. Store owners have the ability to compress receipts horizontally, vertically, or both ways, for maximum paper conservation. Reduction of both vertical and horizontal space can reduce receipt size by a total of 75% without compromising image quality.
  • On-Demand Printing: Each day, cashiers provide receipts for small purchases, most of which are immediately discarded. The TSP143III addresses this wasteful situation by offering an intuitive option to print the receipt – or not – with no modification to existing POS software. Should the customer wish to not have the receipt printed, the cashier can simply hit the “No” button to skip the print job. The transaction data can then be automatically saved into a journal which allows the store or restaurant owner to browse past transactions, reprint receipts, and more. (Please note some countries ban transaction reprinting or logging, so this feature may not be available in your country should such a law exist).
  • Digital Receipts: What better way to reduce paper waste than with digital receipts? With Star Micronics Cloud Services, end users may provide digitized receipts in a fast, free, and secure way using any Star receipt printer.

Energy Efficiency

Although the cost to power a receipt printer is quite small, business owners can still benefit from Star’s energy efficient solutions. By using a Star receipt printer, businesses can save on electricity and add to their green efforts without making a large investment or changing company operations.

Star is proud to be ENERGY STAR-qualified! An international standard for the promotion of energy efficiency, the ENERGY STAR qualification is a highly respected achievement for any product. In order for a product to obtain the qualification mark, it must meet strict energy requirements set by the government.

Sustainable Packaging

To further reduce negative impact on the environment, Star has adopted environmentally friendly packaging techniques, including:

  • Recyclable Packaging: Every Star printer ships in a recyclable cardboard box which can be easily dismantled and folded. The TSP143III took this initiative a step further by featuring the removal of polystyrene and Styrofoam packaging. These components were replaced by the same recyclable cardboard (which protects products from damage just as well).
  • Electronic Manuals: Star provides an electronic user manual on the installation CD included with most printer models. The manual, along with other documentation including setup sheets, installation guides, and FAQs, are available online for download.

Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing

Star continually monitors and conforms to international laws and standards, obtains certifications, and investigates new ways to make our products safe for people and the environment. Some environmental initiatives Star has taken include:

  • ISO 14001 Conformity: Star’s main printer manufacturing locations conform to the ISO 14001 international standard.
  • RoHS Compliance: All Star printers are RoHS (Restriction of use of Hazardous Substances) compliant. RoHS restricts the inclusion of certain hazardous substances in electronics manufacturing.
  • WEEE Compliance: All Star printers have earned the WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) marking. WEEE mandates the proper disposal and recycling processes of electronics equipment.
  • Environmental Activity Reporting: A yearly Environmental Report is published and posted on Star’s corporate website.
  • Green Procurement Guide and Survey Issuance: Star created a Green Procurement Guide, which is distributed to all suppliers and enables Star to mandate and monitor the exclusion of particular materials during manufacturing processes.
  • BPAFree Paper Rolls: Star is proud to provide BPA-free, premium grade printer paper rolls. Authentic Star paper rolls are easily recognized by the Blue Core.

Recycling Practices

Star strives to be eco-friendly every step of the way and encourages its customers to follow local standards for recycling electronics. Please note the disposal process for desktop printers, portable printers and batteries varies from country to country. Please refer to the appropriate measures mandating the disposal method of the country in which your printer is used.

Encourage Others to Go Green

Last but not least, one of the best ways to “do your part” when it comes to improving the environment is to encourage others to do the same! Business owners can use PromoPRNT, a value-add tool that prints custom promotions on receipts, to encourage its customers to use reusable bags, recycling product packaging, and more.

Looking to learn more about Star Micronics’ environmentally friendly technology? Click here to browse Star’s hardware products.

Have Card, Will Travel: MBTA Introduces Mobile Credit Card Payment Option

Keolis Commuter Service (Keolis) operates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) rail system, the fifth largest in North America. The MBTA and Keolis recently expanded their partnership to align through incentives and global best practices increases to revenue and ridership. As a component of this directive, the rail operator recognized a need for better insight into ticket and revenue numbers than what the MBTA’s paper ticket system provided. The paper tickets were tallied once a month, making limited data available only once every 30 days. In order to create a new marketing and promotional campaign that would boost ridership and optimize schedules, Keolis needed readily available, in-depth data that could form the basis of its new growth initiative.

The Challenge

In addition to addressing the lack of data, Keolis wanted to tackle another problem: a top complaint from passengers was the inability to pay onboard with a credit or debit card. MBTA’s Greater Boston area commuter rail moves an estimated 127,000 riders a day, but its onboard ticketing options were limited. Passengers could purchase tickets with cards from a kiosk at the station or in-person at a ticket window. However, if riders boarded the train without tickets, they would have to pay cash, or download the MBTA’s Commuter Rail mobile ticketing app.

Boston is a large tourism destination, so visitors or occasional users on board who didn’t have cash had two choices: download the app to pay or be issued a post-ride payment form to mail in later. Additionally, this cash-only option onboard was a security issue for conductors who had to carry large sums of money. Since fares are determined by departure and arrival zones, for non-ticket holders onboard, conductors had to memorize zone pricing to calculate the fare of a ticket, accept payment, then calculate the change to return to the passenger, or issue a non-payment form before moving on to the next rider. There could be up to 188 travelers in each car, so waiting for people to download the app or issuing them a post-ride payment form made each conductor’s job take longer than it should. In addition, riders who accepted the post-payment form were on the honor system to mail it in, so MBTA would risk loss of revenue on riders who didn’t carry cash.

The Solution

Conductors already carried Mobile Computing Devices (MCD) to receive notifications and train information, so Keolis sought a solution that would integrate with the hardware that was already in use. The rail operator partnered with the software company e-Nabler Corp, developers of eMobilePOS suite of point-of-sale applications for their unique mobile solutions expertise, who developed RailSales mPOS, which supports onboard ticket purchases with various tender types such as credit or debit cards. e-Nabler’s system runs on the Apple iPhone 6S (MCD) with an Infinite Peripherals Linea Pro 6 scanner and a Star Micronics SM-S230i handheld printer. Star’s SM-S230i is a 2” portable Bluetooth and USB printer that is compact and lightweight, so it can be worn on the conductors’ belts. The printer is MFi certified and easily connects to and pairs with the MCD.

This setup allows conductors to use the same interface they were already familiar with, which eliminated the need to carry a second mobile device and train on a new mobile operating system. The RailSales ticketing application’s new dynamic scheduling interface gives conductors up-to-the-minute train, zone and station selections for fare calculations and makes the end-of-day shift reconciliation accurate and much more convenient. RailSales mPOS also gives passengers the ability to pay on the train with a credit or debit card, or cash and get a receipt that can be validated visually or by scanning the receipt’s QR code.

The new fully operational integrated mobile RailSales solution was successfully rolled out in record time to approximately 400 conductors over four months after a successful 10-conductor pilot.

Click here to download the full success story.

4 Easter Marketing Ideas for Your Store Using PromoPRNT

Spring has sprung and Easter is almost here! If you haven’t developed an Easter marketing plan for your store, you are missing out. In 2016, a whopping 8 in 10 Americans planned to celebrate the holiday, and they spent $17.3 billion that year (and $146 per person). That’s a lot of festive customers at your fingertips, ready to make you some “egg-cellent” profits.

Ready to get started? Did you know that with PromoPRNT, you can use your existing Star Micronics printer to create custom Easter promotions that are printed directly on the bottom of receipts? Here’s a quick rundown of PromoPRNT’s features:

  • Make custom promotions from templates
  • Manage promotions from anywhere
  • Increase customer retention
  • Make each customer visit unique

You can now easily get your Easter marketing hopping with our pre-made PromoPRNT templates. Check them out:

Promo 1: Promote Easter Sales

Want to grow some business this spring? Host an Easter weekend sale! The template is editable, so customize it to match your store’s specific sale.

Promo 2: Highlight Special Easter Products

If you offer Easter- and spring-themed products, this is your time to shine. Promote them now on your receipts so your current customers become repeat customers.

Promo 3: Host a Social Media Contest

Who doesn’t want to win something? Host a social media giveaway contest and not only gain sticky customers, but also some followers.

Promo 4: Advertise an Easter Event

If you happen to be hosting an Easter-themed event, using PromoPRNT is a great way to advertise it. Make sure to remind your staff to alert customers of the event information located on their receipts.

Remember, all of these templates are now available to use in Promo Builder!

Haven’t signed up yet for PromoPRNT? No problem. Click here to learn more and register your Star printer, or watch our video: