What are the technologies that are having an impact on the point of sale (POS) market? Today’s POS customers are adopting more mobile technology, new forms of payment, and new omnichannel, strategies. The POS market is all about streamlining operations while enhancing the consumer experience.
According to the annual Store Systems Study from Retail Information Systems News and the IHL Group, retailers are aggressively investing in the latest POS technology. Seventy-five percent of retailers are planning to open new stores, 60 percent will increase their IT staff, and one-third are planning to buy new POS systems. Retailers want a unified transaction engine (51 percent) and new omnichannel strategies (47 percent), with 63 percent indicating their IT spend on the omnichannel will increase. And the number of retailers adopting mobile POS (mPOS) is expected to triple. Thirty percent of retailers are planning to adopt tablets for POS.
Retailers are looking for ways to expand the customer experience across multiple channels. Customers want a consistent experience whether they are shopping online, using a smartphone, or in the store. And if a customer buys online, they should be able to make a return or an exchange at the store.
More retailers are adopting mPOS tablets to not only handle transactions on the floor, but to review the product catalog with customers and check inventory. And that means that mPOS systems not only have to be able to access the online catalog, it means integrating with back-end enterprise systems to be able to verify inventory and delivery times.
As part of the drive toward omnichannel, expect more retailers to start using more cloud computing. Some retailers will adopt software-as-a-service for POS while others will take advantage of cloud data storage and web-accessible resources. Cloud consolidation will make it easier to manage multiple sales channels.
2. New Payment Technologies
New forms of payment are having an impact on the POS market. The introduction of new payment options such as Apple Pay is heating up mobile wallet transactions. More consumers are expecting to pay for goods and services using their smartphone, which means retailers have to adopt new POS systems that can handle PayPal, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and other e-pay platforms.
However, the biggest impact on the POS market will be the mandate to accept EMV credit cards. The major credit card companies have been pressing for EMV adoption for some time since EMV cards substantially reduce fraud. The United States lags behind the rest of the world in the adoption of EMV smart cards, but by October 2015 all U.S. businesses will have to accept EMV cards, and they will be liable for any fraudulent transactions.
New payment systems will mean more immediate sales of new POS systems.
3.Demand for mPOS
And, of course, there is a universal demand for mobile POS systems. Retailers want to take advantage of the flexibility and the increased profit potential offered by mobile transactions. Adopting off-the-shelf wireless technology for POS is less expensive than conventional cash registers, increases on-floor sales, and can be adapted to other tasks such as inventory management.
The VAR profits from mPOS come not only from selling the hardware itself, but from integrating the mobile software into the POS system. And there is added demand for new wireless infrastructures that can accommodate more bandwidth.
These are just three technological areas that are having a direct impact on the POS market. Each of these technologies presents a greater market opportunity for VARs because they require more infrastructure and more integration. Where do you see the greatest potential for POS sales?