POS Hardware Investments Up During First Half of 2014
Traditional point-of-sale systems still have a place in the retail industry, but they are no longer the de facto option for accepting consumer payments. Mobile devices such as tablets have taken the market by storm, delivering similar functionality to stationary PCs with capabilities more suited to today’s fast-paced shopper mentality. Businesses with a mobile POS can empower sales representatives, enabling employees to serve customers anywhere in the store.
An IHL Group study indicated global POS hardware shipments experienced healthy growth during the first half of 2014, VSR magazine reported.
Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, said enterprise retailers are experiencing “tremendous” changes from technology.
“To get to their vision of having a common software and transaction platform for their applications across their e-commerce, mobile commerce and store experiences, they realized that their current POS architecture has not been sufficient to meet that goal,” Buzek explained, according to the magazine.
Mobile POS fastest-growing retail sector since Internet
A separate IHL Group study noted the North American mobile POS retail market is currently worth nearly $8 billion. The firm asserted mobile POS is the fastest-moving development to influence the retail segment since businesses integrated Internet into their stores. Apple is perhaps the biggest reason behind this development, thanks to its popular iPad device.
Much like how Apple started the smartphone craze by introducing the iPhone in 2007, the tech giant started a similar trend some years later with the iPad. The iPad offers touchscreen functionality that makes Web browsing, typing and operating system navigation possible in a slim package that is easy to carry around a retail store.
An iPad POS is a great way for replacing or augmenting current POS systems with more agile tools. Businesses that embrace these solutions will have an opportunity to achieve operational flexibility, employee productivity and, importantly, customer service. The main problem with older POS infrastructure is that consumers are required to wait in designated lines to purchase items. This causes certain areas of a store to become crowded and, if someone is returning a product or has a question that requires further assistance, this only leads to added frustration among the people waiting for their turn.
A mobile POS is an effective way of relieving the burden from sale reps working at the checkout line. Now, employees walking around the store with an iPad in hand can help shoppers purchase goods without waiting.
Apple’s product is driving retail experience
Consumers may have been the ones most responsible for adopting the iPad in droves when it first launched, but businesses are also jumping on this bandwagon and will continue to do so in the years to come. IHL Group explained retailers are eager to achieve the same experience throughout the entire organization – a capability also leading them to implement a mobile POS.
Future shipments of tablets, especially the iPad, will experience double-digit growth, with many of these devices used for POS capabilities, IHL Group predicted.
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