Yes, mobile point-of-sale systems are the biggest retail trend of 2016 but don’t dismiss it simply because of that. There are many reasons why it’s trendy and a good many of those reasons apply to you and your business. Hear us out and then see if we’ve addressed your objections. Fair enough?
- More affordable than a standard computer-based point-of-sale system. Mobile POS systems cost about 50% to 70% less than a standard PC-based POS system as an initial investment. Technical support, operating and troubleshooting are included so on-going costs are minimal. For example, let’s say a PC-based POS system is $20,000. The comparable mobile POS would be between $10,000 and $14,000, shaving your payback period by the same 50% to 70%.
- Lower your credit card charges. Mobile POS uses standard Apple iPads, iPods and/or iPhones and simplifies the types of transactions accepted so your charges are less expensive from swipe to deposit.
- Flexibility to update, change devices easily and less expensively. When it’s time to update a typical POS system, it means an upheaval to your entire business that could last days. Working with mobile devices such as iPods or iTouches makes it easy to swap out and continue with the workday, no problems.
- No disappearing operating systems (XP anyone?). Mobile POS hand-held devices are standard-issue Apple tablets, iPods and iPhones so there is no end of support to handle.
- Quicker service, accurate totals, fewer errors or lost orders. Taking orders faster with accurate calculations improves your bottom line. Automating your ordering system also ensures your staff is making fewer errors and orders for food, services or merchandise cannot slip through the cracks or under a cabinet. All of these improvements add up to great customer service.
- Line busting. Everybody hates standing in line, especially when all they want to do is order or pay. Rather than having customers to stand in line, you process them where they stand – a practice fondly known as line busting. Untether your cashiers or order takers with mobile devices to minimize the time people stand in line, turning your customers quicker and eliminating impatient ones.
- Simplified daily cash out. Since all orders, refunds, returns and credits have been tallied real time all day long, batching or cashing out is much faster and any discrepancies are easy to spot and resolve without looking through the receipts manually. Maintain better records daily to make monthly and quarterly tax and withholding reporting a breeze.
- Better sales tracking and remote monitoring. Spotting surging or waning buying trends by looking at what’s moving the fastest helps you stay on top of your inventory and not get caught flat footed, either with too much of one thing on hand or not enough of what’s hottest in stock. Best of all, since all your data is based in the Cloud, you can access your sales and inventory numbers from home, at a conference or on the day you slip away for some much-needed R & R. While working IN your business, you also need to be able to work ON your business. Mobile POS lets you access data while you are working on future business planning regardless of where you are.
- Gift card and loyalty programs. No one needs more sox; a gift card to an unusual or favorite shop or restaurant is always welcome and most appreciated. Portable ordering and payment creates a more intimate, personal experience between customer and server/clerk. Capture an email address for electronic receipts and you have the perfect base for promoting your business, encouraging frequent return visits and suggesting gift cards for giving. Gift cards are the most popular item on everybody’s gift list and studies have shown that gift cards and loyalty programs boost repeat visits and attract new customers. You really can’t lose with this one.
- The beginning of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Larger companies know the importance of capturing and cultivating customers – the say is that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to bring in a new one. This also applies to smaller businesses that aspire to be larger. Since you’re doing a better job of tracking your sales and getting email addresses, you have the beginning of a rudimentary CRM right within your mobile POS system. Send an email to let people know you’re running a special. Run a contest with free dessert as the prize. Publicize your new outdoor seating areas. Track frequency of visits and send a “we miss you” card if they haven’t been in for two months. You have all the tools to manage and expand your business at your fingertips.
- 15 minute training. Your clerks and servers will be up to speed and productive in 15 minutes tops. Virtually all teens to retirees are adept at handling some type of portable electronic device. The steps for ordering and processing payment are so quick and easy, even children could handle it.
- Welcome Micromerchants. Small volume or seasonal businesses have customarily been ineligible for credit card processing because the equipment was costly and setting up the accounting was expensive so merchant service providers weren’t willing to accept them. The mobile POS boom opens processing to these smaller merchants at craft fairs, home repair service vendors or even the guy who delivers your firewood because there is no costly equipment to buy and the processing required by merchant services is streamlined.
So now what do you think? You may have some “yeah, but….” thoughts still rolling around. If so, please give me a call at 585-704-6453 or email me at mike@SalesSensePayments.com.