Along with the emerging trends in technology, Point of Sale (POS) is thought to be also going through a profound transformation. New trends such as intertwined drivers of mobile devices and sensor proliferation, the transition of back-office systems to the cloud, the demand of enhancing customer experiences, etc., have led to changes in consumer behavior.
Many companies are now developing integration between POS system and in-store retail systems in order to elevate customer loyalty as well as drive shoppers to retail locations. Foreseeing the potential of these companies, venture capital–backed investment is starting to focus on these firms.
The proliferation of symbiotic hardware
The success of mobile payment dongles paired with downloadable apps in 2010 had been the trigger for the current trend of POS hardware innovation. This allowed smartphones to become payment terminals, then migrate to tablets quickly. Hence, when pairing with hardware peripherals such as receipt printers and cash drawers, they can be easily turned into register replacements.
Such evolvement, which transforms not only one but two hardware types into widely used POS terminals in just only 18 months, has been unprecedented. Since mobile device vendors had never thought of using either smartphones or tablets as POS terminals, this has been a noticeable change.
It does not end here. This transformation leads to many additional hardware innovations such as Bluetooth-connected handheld barcode scanners, discreet in-store sensors to identify customers, on-cart customer tracking and checkout devices … that will undoubtedly enhance customer engagement and loyalty.
Hardware innovation is far behind software innovation
It is predictable to foresee a significant evolution for both front-end software on the register and back-end software for inventory, CRM, financials, and supply chain management (SCM) in the next 3 to 5 years. Such innovation will be motivated by the following trends:
- Cloud solutions
In order to reduce human resource, cost and complexities associated with maintaining POS solutions, businesses will start to migrate to software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hosted/managed platforms in the cloud.
- Sales empowerment and management:
The future generation, also known as millennial shoppers, with deep technology-using habits, will create more chances for sales people to identify their consumers and understand their insights to provide personalised services. Also, portable registers nowadays will provide more efficient up-selling and cross-selling as well as strengthening customer engagement.
- Omni channel:
By improving the ability to deal with complex inventory and fulfilment, back-end software will enable merchants to support multiple channels from the usual infrastructure with real-time access.
- Big data:
Apart from the go-to-the-cloud trend together with integration capabilities with other software, merchants will also be equipped with high accessibility to customer and product data across multiple platforms. Hence, they can approach the right information and gain insights for better strategic planning and decisions.
This is the first post in our series about The evolution of POS in the new era, in the next post in this series, we will discuss about the impact of the emerging growth of hardware and software on POS evolution. Stay tuned!
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