POS Trends and Innovations to Look Forward To
The point of sale (POS) terminal is where the financial transactions occur, and once a simple cash drawer, the POS is now sophisticated software with a multitude of features. Due to the ever-evolving nature of retail, there are always new POS trends and innovations on the horizon.
Here are some of the most noteworthy ones to watch out for.
What is a POS System?
If you’re in retail, hospitality or the service industry, POS is a very familiar term and an absolute necessity for operations. But if you’re new to the game, then you’ll soon learn all you need to about this system. It’s effectively a way for businesses to accept payments from customers and keep a track of all sales. Where traditional POS systems were merely the cash register, the modern POS is an internet-enabled, digital system that can process transactions on a tablet or phone.
Examining POS Trends
Here’s a look at the most innovative POS trends that are advancing business even further, making transactions simpler and customers happier.
1. Cloud-based POS Systems
Businesses are now operating remotely, or have multiple locations which makes cloud-based data storage much more attractive. The cloud-based POS software facilitates business collaboration and data sharing, which makes day-to-day operations that much smoother. The use of cloud-based POS also means minimal investment in infrastructure and hardware.
2. ECommerce Integration
Online shopping has risen as a result of health risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions on movement, and people’s need to stay home as much as possible. To meet this demand, POS software is now able to facilitate both in-store and online purchases. In fact, some retailers have gone so far as to close their brick-and-mortar stores, and focus solely on e-commerce options. Retailers are now able to sell products online with the same level of efficiency – if not even more efficiency – than in-store purchases.
3. Automatic Payments
There is a rise in cashier-less stores globally, with retailers now installing sensors on shelves, RFID tags, computer vision systems to scan items, machine learning, IoT devices as well as cameras that allow for image recognition. This POS software means items are purchased, scanned and automatically charged to the individual shopper’s account. Barcodes and QR codes can also be scanned using consumers’ smartphones to gain additional information without the need to physically touch and inspect them.
4. Mobile POS and E-wallets
The rise of smartphones globally has seen a shift in payment options; we now have a powerful computer with constant internet access in our pockets. It has resulted in practical ways to conduct daily transactions, since all credit card information can be accessed easily and securely. With mobile POS and e-wallets, there are often lower transaction fees, with digital wallets providing secure transactions through high-level encryption and password protection.
5. Beacon Technology
Mobile apps developed by retail-owners are able to pick up nearby signals using Bluetooth technology, providing users with location-based content. Beacon technology has also empowered POS software with convenient check-out features as well as alerts related to promotions, deals and discounts.
6. Virtual Fittings
The forced social distancing has put the benefits of augmented reality into sharp focus, with consumers now able to use virtual fitting rooms in the retail industry. This allows customers to make informed choices when investing in products such as clothing, jewellery and cosmetics, all through innovative POS technology.
7. Tailored Marketing
Your modern POS software is able to collect relevant customer data which can then be used for a much more targeted marketing approach. Rather than simply collecting information such as emails, cellphone numbers and addresses for spammed marketing, the POS will provide tailored discounts and promotions that are actually beneficial to the consumer.
8. Machine Learning
The accumulation of data in the retail industry is an incredibly valuable asset, and POS is able to leverage this for better business. The data collected can be used for machine learning which allows for forecasting customer demand. Once your business is able to accurately determine customer demand, your inventory planning, logistics, manufacturing and marketing become so much more precise. By utilising machine learning, your business can prevent overstocking, reduce waste, reduce warehouse and logistics expenses, reduce environmental impact, and increase sustainability.
Once only appreciated in sci-fi films, robotics is now becoming a trend in retail POS as well. There are driverless cart services that can actually deliver groceries to local residents which plans to deploy fully autonomous trucks for delivery orders. This will reduce POS errors and prove incredibly welcome, even in a post-pandemic world.
10. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Some of the most prominent AI solutions in the modern world are Alexa and Siri, intelligent assistants – or chatbots – designed to make life easier. AI continues to develop, providing POS with innovative solutions to better serve customers through voice commerce. Through voice commerce, consumers can talk into smart speakers which assist in finding products, and making purchases which are then made available for pickup or delivery.
What are the POS Benefits?
These trends and innovations in POS will continue to drive the retail industry by making purchases quicker, simpler and more secure. But these incoming trends of POS software is building on existing feature innovations that have made POS hugely impactful for ongoing business in a number of ways.
Here’s a look at them.
1. Minimise Administration
The latest POS software will provide you with relevant data and reports that can assist you with business decision making. Because of much more streamlined operations, your staff don’t have to focus on administrative duties, thereby freeing up time to work on more productive business activities.
2. Boost Productivity
The streamlined operations, automation and improved customer relations allow for cost savings and a boost of productivity overall. With modern POS, customers have instant access to your products and services, meaning you can sell to any market at any time.
3. Faster Service
POS software will decrease customer waiting time at physical stores, which is hugely beneficial particularly during the pandemic. Beyond this, however, customers don’t appreciate being made to wait, and might choose a competitor next time round if made to do so. POS software makes for a faster checkout process through barcode scanning and automation.
4. Improved Customer Loyalty
Most POS systems can create loyalty programmes for customers that provide for targeted marketing campaigns, boosting small business and increasing sales. Loyalty points and vouchers continue to prove incredibly impactful when it comes to repeat services, and POS helps instrumentally in this regard.
5. Instant Access
Remote and instant accessibility to products and services through POS is now a business necessity, rather than a simple benefit. Even small businesses now require cloud-based, eCommerce-integrated POS software that allows customers to buy what they want, when they want, with the click of a button.
6. Reduced Risk
The modern POS system scans barcodes and records data that makes the entire transaction that much simpler. Because there is no need to manually enter items and prices, the risk of incorrect information being input is that much lower.
7. Inventory Tracking
Knowing where your inventory is, from entering the store to leaving the store and everything in between is vital to business operations. Your POS should have inventory management capabilities that give you real-time insight into information such as product quantity so that you know how much stock you have at any moment. Inventory management also allows businesses to maintain the right amount of stock dependent on buyer behaviour and other historical data such as seasonal peaks. This ensures customers aren’t left disappointed and business owners aren’t stuck with too much stock.
8. Employee Management
With your POS software, employees are able to clock in and out, minimising the amount of time spent on aspects like schedule enforcement. This level of access control will both verify employee identity, and allow for hierarchical access within the system needed for voided sales.
9. Detailed Receipts
Whether a physical or digital receipt, POS software provides customers with much more detailed receipts that offer more than the date and sale amount. Using inventory data, POS software will provide the description, price, savings, and other details related to loyalty rewards programmes, and social media promotions.
10. Theft Prevention
Through inventory management, access control and other associated POS software security measures, your POS system is an incredibly effective theft prevention measure that has saved companies millions over the years. Employee theft is unfortunately incredibly rife, but with an effective POS system, it is actually much easier to prevent. Mobile POS software also allows employees to walk the floor, monitoring the customers, providing assistance and acting as a preventative measure in shoplifting as well.
If you’re looking for a POS system that will meet your particular industry requirements, your unique business needs, and will incorporate the latest in POS trends, then you need to contact Omni Accounts today.