We are on the brink of a new era of payment methods and financial technologies. E-commerce is booming, but brick and mortar stores are still growing strong as well. Many merchants have decided against picking sides, but chose to have the best of both worlds instead. They successfully combine offline and online stores to optimize their sales and meet their customers’ requirements.
2015 – POS trends
While merchants are becoming more adept in combining the physical world with the virtual realms, they are often held back in their effectiveness by outdated and frustrating POS systems. Their rigid and inflexible procedures take time, energy and money that are better spent on something else. Logically, the market is very ready for a new and improved POS that more accurately fits their wants and needs. Software Advice, a US-based consultancy for iPad POS solutions, has conducted a study into what merchants are looking for in a POS. The firm, a Gartner Technology Research company, found out that a staggering 42% of retailers want to replace their current POS.
Retailers are looking for a system that has robust functionality and can integrate multiple features. Top of their list are Inventory Management Integrations (80% of respondents), closely followed by better access to data and reports (60% of respondents). They also recognize the importance of loyal customers and value a POS that allows for customer-driven features such as CRM systems and loyalty programmes. (Figure 1)
Figure 1 Figure 2
These trends and inclinations are expected to grow even more over the course of 2015 says Janna Finch, Market Research Associate at Software Advice and responsible researcher for this study. “There’s no doubt that the consumerization of retail trend has hit the market and its impact will be widespread.” Finch says. “This is particularly evident with small to mid-sized businesses. When we looked at the data from just a year ago, customer-focused features such as multiple payment types (e.g., PayPal and digital currency) or loyalty program support didn’t crack the list of the most-requested features. But recently, a greater number of POS buyers are specifically looking for solutions that support these, along with e-commerce and customer relationship management functionalities…”( Figure 2) The full report with data and findings is available here.
The POS of the future
Based on these trends in the market and ultimately on the needs of the retailers, CashOrCard has built a POS app that can bridge the gap between offline and online businesses. Designed from the ground up with the merchants’ wishes in mind it works seamlessly with a variety of existing e-commerce software, including SEOShop and Magento, with PrestaShop, Spree Commerce and WooCommerce currently in Alpha development. It also has generic e-commerce software built-in that can be the foundation for a webshop for those that don’t have one yet.
The beauty of the system is that it recognizes how unique every business is. There’s no one that understands his or her business like the merchant does, so why should we decide what their POS should be like. In the case of a POS one size does not fit all, which is why some of the most important decisions are left up to the merchants. Here are some of the features and abilities of the app:
- A fully functioning and beautiful webshop integration.
- It accepts cash, all types of cards, checks, invoices, mobile payments and even bitcoin in multiple currencies.
- It can re-issue receipts and refunds.
- It enables daily, weekly and monthly custom reports via the online dashboard. It also offers daily reports from the app.
- Inventory management & product management are easy and clear.
- It works online and offline.
- There’s an unlimited offer of extensions and integrations that allow you to customize your experiences.
- There’s a built-in integration with Buzzoek, a unique customer loyalty proposition making use of NFC cards.
It is fast, it is beautiful, and best of all: it is free. In this age of consumerization, customization, and need for effectiveness it can help grow businesses by saving time and money on hours of administration. The app is works on both Android and Apple’s iOS and is available for download in both App Stores now.