Mobility changed communication. Freedom from wires and landlines, freedom from cables, cords and tangles has spread like wildfire in a culture that prizes speed and efficiency. The demand for mobility has affected the way we live and, in turn, the way customers shop. Text-ready thumbs are now interested in making purchases, placing orders online via cell phones and tablets.
With this technological growth comes an expectation among customers that their go-to retailers be up to speed with the latest point of sale technology. To accommodate these expectations, new technology is being released on a regular basis. Mobile point of sale (POS) is on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down. Amy Hanson, Business Alliance Specialist at One Step Retail Solutions, estimates that ten to 15 percent of retailers will do all of their business via mobile POS by 2015. Since roughly half of Americans are using smart phones, with more joining that number on a daily basis, this approximation could bring vast change to independent retailers. "It appears that the hottest subjects for a POS upgrade to mobile, in the boutique retail scene, are new shops; those opting for mobile POS as part of opening new locations, or those incorporating a POS upgrade to mobile POS as part of a design overhaul," Hanson says in a recent newsletter. "Big box and department stores are starting to phase into mobile POS to increase efficiency and customer service. Check out Nordstrom if you want to see mobile POS in action."
In truth, any determined web programmer can develop a POS app and customize it for a particular store, but to save this step, numerous options exist for retailers looking to get their thumbs on a new system. During May of this year, several companies released updated versions of their mobile POS systems. At the forefront of these were Krugism Development LLC (developer of Registroid POS and the enhanced Registroid Pro) and Harbortouch.
"Many retailers will be surprised at the overall benefits and increased precision that can be brought about with tools like Registroid and Harbortouch," says Hanson, "especially since many retailers do not fully use their existing POS. Whether it comes down to a lack of training, time or interest, retail technology needs to be seen as the vital retail tool it is. The proper system, properly used, can vastly improve a retailer's customer contact management, marketing, inventory control, and personnel production management, and help ensure success. Mobile POS is poised to greatly enhance the retail industry."
Using Krugism Development's Registroid POS is about as easy as getting your hands on it. The system is a free app able to be downloaded to any smartphone. With this single tool, you can tender cash and checks, and credit cards can also be processed with the addition of a simple swiping device. There is no need to log in to any outside page in order to process the transaction. On the contrary, the app makes processing any sale quick and immediate.
Registroid can be upgraded in a number of ways in order to allow sales tracking, daily totals, shift history and reports. One of the more exciting developments with this particular app is that it gives its operators access to Google Analytics E-commerce postings. Any and all data a retailer could need is easily stored in Google Docs or uploaded to his or her preferred location, where it cannot be lost. No matter what, a computer crash or coffee spill cannot interfere with your business's vital information.
Another contender in the mobile POS court is Harbortouch, which makes a point to support the specific needs of small, medium and large businesses. The system features a unique tool called Lighthouse, released in May 2012, which lets merchants access information stored on their mobile POS from any other computer. Perhaps the greatest benefit of getting comfortable with mobile POS is that it opens new doors for keeping customers happy. Setting up a loyalty or incentive program by using QR (quick response) codes, designing new marketing campaigns and making an effort to get personal with your regulars has never been easier, because you can use your cell phone to make it happen. Consider the convenience of an emailed receipt. Think about the elimination of waiting lines and the irrelevance of tricolor paper. For on-the-go customers, the quicker a transaction is, the better. Mobile POS systems can enhance and streamline all different types of businesses, whether it is a well-established chain of stores or a small retailer at a flea market, whose inventory fits in a single U-Haul. When there is a way to make consumers happier, it is a good time to investigate it.
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