These days, while the state of business and the world at large comes with a lot of uncertainty, one thing that is sure to be a constant in the future is mobile point of sale (mPOS). Many business owners may have some downtime on their hands and it’s natural for them to plan for when their doors reopen. A modern POS that’s ready for the future may be a part of those plans.
You can help your customers hit the ground running by having a healthy knowledge of what it takes to plan for an effortless POS deployment. Every business has specifics needs, and POS is certainly not “one size fits all,” but in today’s blog post we’ll explore the fundamentals of how to offer your customers a solution that will work for them well into the future.
POS Deployment Step 1: The Meat and Potatoes
First, you must consider the “meat and potatoes” of the POS deployment. What does this include, you might wonder? Hardware, software, and scalability are all good concerns to keep in the front and center of your mind as you help customers plan POS deployments.
- Hardware Considerations:
- Printer: A good starting point is to make note of which kind of POS printer(s) your customer needs. Is a desktop thermal receipt printer required? Or maybe an impact kitchen printer? Or mobile printers, for on-the-go transactions? From there, you can assess and compare printer options, keeping in mind connectivity, reliability, print speed, aesthetics, and more.
- Cash Drawer: All cash drawers might seem similar, but they’re not. An important question to ask yourself is what size of cash drawer your customer needs – do they experience a lot of cash transactions, or mostly credit card and mobile payments? From there, it’s important to consider how many bills and coins they’d like to store in their till, as well as if they need to store checks/coupons, which would require a cash drawer with media slots, and if they plan on supporting a POS terminal or tablet POS on top of the drawer, which would require a drawer with added built-in strength. Design should also be on your list of considerations – your goal is to have your customer’s cash drawer seamlessly and cohesively fit in with the rest of the POS.
- Peripherals/Accessories: Once the printer and cash drawer are squared away, it’s time to plan for peripherals and accessories. If your client is opting for a tablet POS, be sure to offer a stand that has both a clean design and useful features like universal VESA mounting so it can accommodate any tablet and the ability to rotate to capture customer signatures. For many businesses, a customer display is also important to prominently display an order’s total price and scanners are a must for ringing up products. If your customer is a cannabis dispensary, jeweler, grocery/deli, frozen yogurt shop, or even a farmer’s market stall, it’s important to offer POS scales that are legal for trade, easy to connect with other POS components, and portable.
- Software Considerations: Do a deep dive into your customer’s daily functions and goals for what they want to do in the future. For example, while a good place to start is modernizing a retailer’s main POS terminal, does the customer also want to complete transactions and look up inventory while on the sales floor? Or if your client is a restaurant, in addition to a POS and kitchen printer, would they like to incorporate online ordering or self-service kiosk technology into their establishment? Make sure you offer software that can handle it all and provide an easy, one-source solution for the customer.
- Scalability: An important factor to consider when planning both POS hardware and software initiatives is scalability. Does your customer operate just one store? Or perhaps a handful of stores? Or maybe even an entire franchise? Be sure to select hardware and software that is easily scalable, no matter what size business you’re assisting.
POS Deployment Step 2: Affordability
An inevitably important factor in your customer’s POS deployment considerations is price – and who can blame them?
It’s important as a solution provider to offer products that can accommodate a variety of budgets, but one thing to keep in mind is that the cheapest option may not be the most affordable in the long run. It’s also smart to research the warranties and reliability of products, as replacing cheap but unreliable products will likely end up being considerably more expensive than investing upfront in a quality solution backed by a strong warranty.
POS Deployment Step 3: Select a Dependable Supplier
Your suppliers matter! Choose a supplier with attentive, solution-focused sales and integration teams that will help you not only find the right solution but ensure it will work for your customer’s specific business needs. Some factors to look for when choosing a hardware or software supplier are:
- Robust Support: Choose a supplier that has a live support team, online resources, frequent and useful software/firmware updates, and more.
- Industry Knowledge: Another must-have is a supplier who has a healthy amount of industry knowledge as well as the ability to act as a trusted advisor, not a product-pusher.
- Multiple Integrations: Choose a supplier that is integrated with industry-leading hardware/software manufacturers so you know that your customer’s solution of choice will work with the tech you offer.
POS Deployment Step 4: Look to the Future
If your customer could look into a crystal ball and see five years into the future, we’d bet that they’d like to see themselves keeping up with the latest trends in the most affordable way possible. Do that by choosing a future-proof POS deployment in the present!
While choosing a future-proof solution today might mean a higher price tag up-front, it will serve your customers over time and they can rest assured it will be integrated with any future solutions that they choose to deploy.
As we mentioned above, reliability is also a critical consideration for the future. Don’t roll out a POS deployment that will leave your customers with unexpected downtime, maintenance expenses, and replacement costs.
Last but not least, we understand the POS is just one part of a business. Marketing is also surely a priority to your customers – and did you know that the POS can play a part in that? Some receipt printers, like Star’s, feature value-added receipt marketing software which means your clients can grow their sales and customer base by simply using the tools they already have.
We hope that these POS deployment tips are helpful as you help some of your customers plan for the future during this time of uncertainty. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
Free Resources During COVID-19
Now more than ever, safety is a priority in retail and hospitality environments. Star Micronics is proud to offer a line of solutions and resources for businesses during this challenging time, designed to keep consumers and employees safe, as well as mitigate business impact caused by COVID-19.
Star is proud to offer a full range of POS hardware and connectivity solutions for every size and type of business.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.