What this survey indicates is that retailers are looking for POS companies that can integrate POS transactions, support an omnichannel customer experience, and offer more mobile POS solutions. With those innovations in mind, let’s consider what some of the POS companies are doing to support these trends:
For Smaller Retailers, The “i’s” Have It
Smaller retailers are looking for POS companies with simpler, easy-to-use solutions that deliver more capabilities using off-the-shelf mobile technology, like iPhones and iPads:
PowaPOS – Offering a hardware/software combination, PowaPOS offers a compact, universal POS system for tablet computers. It can convert an iPad Air, Windows, or Android tablet into a sales register, working with existing tablet apps through a single API. PowaPOS also offers its own software development kit (SDK) to integrate sales applications; an integrated printer, barcode scanner and EMV payment device are standard. PowaPOS also has a Bluetooth-enabled handheld credit card reader that supports all cards, including EMV. It offers chip & PIN, sign, swipe & PIN, and swipe & sign transactions.
Intuit GoPayment – The makers of Quicken and QuickBooks also have their own POS solution for the iPad/iPhone or Android designed to take POS anywhere. For smaller retail operations or service provider who want to accept on-the-spot payments, IntuitGoPayment offers an integrated transaction solution that links the POS front end to a QuickBooks backend for a pay-per-swipe fee.
eMobilePOS – Designed for the Android or Apple iOS operating systems, eMobilePOS can process cash, check, or credit card transactions from any location. eMobilePOS is offered as a software-ads-a-service platform with integration into QuickBooks, SAGE, Retail Pro, and other accounting system platforms. For in-store sales the system can handle transactions using a barcode reader and card scanner, or by catalog browsing. It also is compatible with several gift programs, handles inventory management, provides real-time analytics, and even can handle employee timekeeping. Versions also are available for tableside service and field sales personnel.
For Larger Retailers, More Processing Power
The bigger POS companies are targeting larger retailers with more complex transactional needs. These POS companies typically offer end-to-end transaction support with proprietary hardware at the front end such as a cash register or customizable transaction monitor, and are tied to a back-end enterprise software solution capable of supporting the value chain.
Netsuite Retail Anywhere – If you are looking for something with more horsepower, Netsuite offers both a POS solution and a mobile solution called Retail Anywhere that integrates with its NetSuite, the company’s cloud computing platform designed for ecommerce and customer relationship management (CRM). NetSuite offers an end-to-end retail solution from POS to merchandise management and this company uses a software-as-a-service model so there are no hardware or upfront costs.
Elo Touch Solutions – Elo offers a wide range of touchscreen POS technologies, including tablets for mobile use and touchscreen monitors. Touchscreen monitors are popular because they speed checkout and enhance the customer experience; consider how many retailers are adding self-service touchscreen kiosks. They save space and can be integrated into back-end retail systems to manage customer transactions, inventory control, appointments, and more.
Honeywell – Honeywell Scanning and Mobility offers some of the latest automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies for retailers to integrate in-store sales, mobile sales, and the warehouse. The result is a simple 2D scanner solution that matches point-of-sale transactions to inventory levels. The same technology can be used in a variety of environments, such as health care, transportation, courier services – anywhere where product tracking needs to match back-end business processes. Honeywell’s POS solutions bring together handheld devices and back-end systems to support better business processes and a better customer experience.
POS companies are continually developing new approaches to point of sale that will change the way retailers and consumers think about shopping. The best solutions, however, and the ones worth watching are those that draw on the latest popular technology, such as smartphones, and offer the most value from the beginning to the end of the retail value chain.
What features would you consider “must haves” for your POS solution?