The POS system, or point-of-sale system, has brought small business payment processing a long way since the heyday of the cash register. Once upon a time, transactions were a basic decision: "Cash, check, or charge?" But mobile technology offers consumers and small businesses more transaction options than ever. eMarketer recently reported that between now and 2025, U.S. mobile spending will increase by more than $1,600 per user, so it's time for small businesses to get smart about mobile payment technology.
Savvy small-business owners are always looking for ways to save time, manage the little things, keep employees happy, and provide the best possible experience for customers. A smart POS solution offers new opportunities, more flexibility, and greater insights than ever imagined. According to a Juniper Research study, demand for smart POS systems is exploding worldwide, with an expected 156% growth in the number of devices by 2026.
The transition to mobile devices and cloud computing really kicked POS technology up a notch, increasing the available features, enabling real-time reporting, and keeping all transaction data in one place. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of this system.
How involved you want your POS system to be in running your business is up to you. You can get a baseline package that handles in-house transactions or add in features specific to your needs: ecommerce, loyalty programs, inventory management, and more.
A smart POS is more than a transaction tool, it's the central hub connecting your business systems, from accounting and inventory management to payroll and employee scheduling. You can get these features combined in an all-in-one package or integrate the software you're already using with the POS platform.
Faster speed of service.
You already know that customer experience is key to business success, and nobody likes waiting in line. You can add automation to the checkout experience and reduce wait times by offering multiple payment methods. Plus, returning customers can choose to save their payment method in your POS, reducing the need to even take out a wallet—a savvy strategy for service businesses that have close relationships with their clients.
The more payment options you can provide, the more sales you can make. It's just that simple. QR codes are still going strong, Apple Pay and other mobile wallet apps continue to rise in popularity, and research from RetailDive shows that people who use mobile payments spend twice as much as those who don't.
Better access to trends.
Cloud-based POS systems frequently update their software as consumer trends shift. This means a POS will keep your business resilient and up to date as preferences and technology change. Add a chatbot to speak with customers on your website or introduce voice ordering.
Easier employee management.
A POS system can be an efficient way to manage employee scheduling and track individual sales. A robust platform will allow you to not only manage sales and schedules but managers and employees, as well. This can take the burden of scheduling off your shoulders and motivate employees to increase their customer service.
Quick and easy to use.
Don't worry about the new technology making transactions more complicated. That's the opposite of what these smart platforms are doing. Instead, they allow customers, employees, and you to benefit from intentionally designed catalogs and touchscreens. Plus, customer service teams are ready to help you customize as needed.
Accurate, real-time data.
Managing online, mobile, in-house, and other transactions in one platform means all your data is in one place. All this tracking happens automatically, versus across multiple systems and spreadsheets, freeing you up to handle important tasks like training new staff, helping customers, or checking new merchandise. Most importantly, you can pull reports at any time to get a real-time view of sales performance, so you can make business decisions on the fly. For example, you can showcase a two-for-one deal for a new product over social media when sales are diminishing or rush an order of parts when inventory is getting low.
Better customer experiences.
Every POS system transaction—whether in store or online—captures data to personalize a customer's experience, giving you the power to maximize customer lifetime value. Use their contact information to keep them up to date on their order status, keep track of their purchase history, or deliver right to their door. When tied in to loyalty and marketing programs, you can target them with offers and rewards that speak to their preferences and promote repeat sales or services.
Checking out is the last impression customers have of your small business. You want it to be quick and positive for them and your staff. A smart POS system is more than a means to a transactional end—your small business needs one to succeed in today's digital environment.