Despite the rise of e-commerce, merchants are continuing to invest in physical experiences, especially when it comes to taking payment.
- more efficient and effective retail management solutions
- new value-added services
- faster and more convenient payments.
But one of the biggest growth trends we’ve seen at Castles Technology – and one which supports all the above – is mobile POS.
There’s no doubt that flexible, fully featured Android POS devices are fast becoming the new ‘must haves’ for merchants. As a replacement for outdated and old-fashioned checkouts, to create more convenient in-store sales points, to empower staff to take sales anywhere, and as a solution for pop-up stores, in-field, remote and mobile applications.
Why do merchants prefer mobile devices?
Wireless or portable, Android M-POS terminals are extremely versatile and can be deployed fast and at a low cost.
Not only do they offer a cheaper and more flexible alternative to traditional fixed EPOS checkouts, but they also deliver all the same functionality through easy to update software, plug and play hardware accessories, integrated back-office functions and connected cloud services and apps. And they pack all of this into a familiar, handheld formfactor that is easy to use by sales staff and appealing to customers.
What’s accelerating adoption?
Android M-POS devices help retailers overcome many of the challenges associated with day-to-day operations, economic pressure and changing customer behaviour including:
Increasingly impatient shoppers
Queues equal inconvenience, with mobile POS, merchants can afford to have more sales points throughout the store, allowing more staff to accept a sale in high throughput areas or wherever it’s most convenient for the customer e.g. at table. Accepting contactless, QR and mobile payments, means they can speed payment and prevent bottlenecks at checkouts.
Back-office visibility and cost control
With mobile POS, staff can monitor stock levels on the sales floor in real time, linking the front of the store with back-office inventory systems to help control costs. Devices can be used to find out who’s taking most sales, from which locations and when, while dashboards allow transaction flows and KPIs across connected estates to be consolidated into a single view.
Pressure to boost efficiency
Merchants need to ensure the highest number of sales possible and the most effective use of their staff. Mobile POS offer great performance, the ability to accept payments quickly and seamlessly from anywhere and at any time, to optimise sales teams, and capture more sales than with static terminals.
Need to build better experiences
Today’s shoppers want more from in-store experiences. Mobile POS devices enable consultative selling so that staff can not only provide advice, and recommendations but also take the sale too. They can also facilitate the processing of hybrid digital services like click-and-collect and buy online pay instore (BOPIS) and pay-on-delivery.
Competitive and brand pressure
Merchants need to stay ahead of the curve with competitive branded environments that deliver the look, feel, and modern layouts that customers find attractive. Mobile POS take up less valuable counter and floor space and provide a clutter-free environment not to mention more connected and seamless omni-channel services.
Seven Tips to smooth adoption
There’s no shortage of MPOS devices on the market. With so many to choose from, how can merchants be sure to get the right one for their application, to smooth adoption and ensure the best return on investment? Here are some tips to help:
1. Get the hardware right
There are lots of options including simple card reader acceptance devices and ones with built-in printers, cameras and even biometric scanners. Choose one that gives you the tools and processing power you need at a price point your business can afford.
2. Make sure you can download and update software easily
With more sales points, in more locations, maintenance and updates become harder. But with connected devices and central management platforms like Castle’s CasHub, you should be able to update them over the air easily.
3. Check out compatibility with your back-office systems
One of the big advantages of Mobile POS is that they can help you manage your back office as well as front office functions but only if they are compatible with your systems.
4. Never compromise on security
It’s vital to ensure any new devices are certified and comply with all the relevant local requirements. And that they are easy to update if new mandates come into force. During deployment and use, be sure to implement best practice processes and training so staff don’t compromise security or expose your business to unnecessary risk.
5. Remember design is about more than looks
It’s important that the Mobile POS is robust enough for your application. Cheaper, style-first devices may seem a good option but if they can’t withstand the rigours of your sales environment you could end up with unexpected downtime and lost sales.
6. Ensure there is enough battery life for your shift patterns
You can’t afford devices to power out mid-sale or to be stuck in charging stations when they should be on the shop floor. Get the longest-life devices you can especially if you’re heading into peak sales seasons with extended operating hours.
7. Choose a reputable provider like Castles Technology
Castles world-class Android M-POS devices are exceptionally secure and packed with functionality. They offer all the enhanced processing power and software add-ons you need to deliver ultra-rapid and reliable acceptance, and the tools and support to ensure your sales business runs smoothly.