Technology is evolving to become more compatible with the ways modern retailers and their customers do business. Beginning with a look at point of sale kit, Scottish Grocer examines some of the latest models and systems to arrive on the market.
TABLET technology is changing the way many retailers do business. Mobile and easy to use, it has already supplanted fixed POS terminals in a number of retail businesses.
However, when it comes to convenience retailing, a pure tablet doesn’t offer enough functionality to be used as the main POS nor an outright replacement of fixed POS. Because of the nature of the business, a convenience retailer has much more to be concerned about than simple mobility.
Posiflex Technology Inc says a hybrid solution is better suited to convenience retailing, which is why it has created its latest model, MT-4308W.
According to president and CEO Owen Chen, the key hardware features and functions that are needed in a POS system for convenience and grocery retailing include:
• Small footprint. In retail, the counter space provides potential product placement space and the revenue that follows and every centimetre counts.
• Business-level mobility. Mobile POS serves a dual purpose of improving face-to-face customer engagement and increasing productivity. However, consumer-grade tablets are not durable enough for heavy use and don’t conform to commercial applications and requirements.
• Windows applications. Most corporate and enterprise environments use Windows-compatible software, it is important that mobile POS is treated as another user interface to the same application as the existing POS system, with a single set of business logic, Chen argues.
• Inventory/stock control management. Traditional retailers need an extra data collector for checking the inventory and then have to upload the information to the POS terminal.
“The objectives/priorities of rolling out a hybrid mobile POS solution may vary but include improving face-to-face customer engagement, boosting intimacy; line-busting; increasing operational effectivity and efficiency; and bringing the online experience into the store,” said Chen.
“Finally, mobile POS can be used as a service extension for existing checkout lines.
“Posiflex listens to our customers very carefully. Posiflex designs, engineers and manufactures our own terminals and tablets. We believe what we propose – the MT-4308W – is the right fit for a mobile retailing world.”
Posiflex says the MT-4308W is aimed at redefining mobility with its design of ergonomic pistol grip and compact Al/Mg chassis, intended for many hours operation without causing fatigue.
It integrates with optional MSR attachment and a 2D built-in barcode scanner in the pistol grip making the device itself a payment device and a data collector at the same time. With the dedicated dock station, the MT-4308W converts into an all-in-one POS solution with full connectivity and a built-in 3” wifi printer.
The Good Till Company has launched a new payment solution with independent retailers in mind. The company says that by combining a tablet computer with software and hardware it offers a solution that is not only more user-friendly for both staff and customers, but also enables retailers to access the kind of intelligence that gives big businesses a competitive advantage but at a fraction of the price.
A spokesperson said: “Utilising user-friendly flexible software and cloud technology, The Good Till bridges the gap between offline stores and online data. It goes beyond simply taking payments to become a source of business intelligence that helps ensure business operations run efficiently.”
The company says its system delivers several important benefits:
• Greater business insight: Users can quickly run insightful sales and stock reports on the go, enabling them to make smarter, more informed decisions and manage business more effectively.
• Customer and eco-friendly: Nobody likes to have pockets full of receipts, the firm argues, so The Good Till allows retailers to do away with them altogether and simply email a receipt that customers can then access at their convenience.
• Take payments from just about anywhere: No need to rely on a fast internet connection, The Good Till can be switched seamlessly from the cloud to a fully-functioning offline mode, which makes it perfect for festival and market traders, the company says.
• Customised to each business: Intuitive POS software can be set up within minutes. Businesses can then quickly customise the interface, adding and arranging images and products so users can work efficiently.
• Stylish design: By combining an iPad with their sleek, simple hardware The Good Till offers a practical solution fitting for the most stylish brands.
• Integrated third-party applications: Seamless integration with platforms like Xero and Exact make business processes more efficient and robust.
• Low-cost solution: The Good Till is designed to be flexible, and is available from £35 per month for software only through to what the firm says is an affordable full hardware and software package.
The software continues to be developed, with multiple currency options and a smart e-loyalty platform due to launch this year.