Mobile point of sales technology has not only increased the number of businesses capable of accepting credit and debit cards, but also transformed the way several industries do business.
From improving customer service to allowing small business owners to ditch traditional storefronts, we’re only just beginning to see the possibilities that on-the-go credit card processing offers.
Mobile point of sales speeds up transaction time — in some cases, cutting the wait time in half for customers — and allows them to pay for goods or services wherever is most convenient for them. But that’s not the only reason businesses are adopting the new technology.
Other advantages of mobile POS include:
- It doesn’t take up floorspace like legacy POS systems
- It’s easy to adopt and implement
- It’s less expensive than a legacy POS system
- It increases sales (increasing the total dollar amount on a customer’s purchase, and increasing the number of impulse buys)
- It can grow with your business
- It can easily produce sales and inventory reports
- It can go wherever your business is — whether that’s a bricks-and-mortar location or on the road
- It allows businesses to offer customers on-the-spot digital coupons and more sophisticatedcustomer loyalty programs
1. Restaurants: Processing transactions tableside equals quicker turnaround and increased sales, not to mention an improved customer experience. Some restaurant owners are taking the concept a step further. At Bocktown Beer and Grill in Pittsburgh, customers can use a mobile payment app that allows them to open up a tab, view their bill in realtime and pay at their discretion, according to Entrepreneur.com. Servers have appreciated the switch because it allows them to spend more time interacting with the customers and less time dealing with sales and paperwork.
2. Stadiums and arenas: The days of carrying cash at the ballgame will soon be behind us as the guy hawking hot dogs, beer, Cracker Jacks and foam fingers begins accepting credit and debit cards. For years, baseball fans at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Calif. have been able to order and pay for concessions seat side. Today, more stadiums are adopting mobile POS systems that allow patrons to order and pay for their beer and hotdogs from the comfort of their phone.
3. Food trucks: The boom of gourmet food trucks in recent years — peddling everything from crepes to cupcakes to Chinese dumplings — can be attributed in part to proliferation of affordable mobile POS. In 2012, Fox News reported that the number of food trucks had increased 15 percent in the past five years and accounted for 37 percent of the $1.4 billion revenue in street vending last year.
4. Farmers markets: While it’s true that farmers haven’t always been the quickest to adopt new technology, these days more are seeing the growth potential mobile POS can offer them at farm stands. ”Accepting credit cards increased sales by about 30 percent,” Scott Peterson, a Syracuse, N.Y., farmers’ market vendor told Fox Business. “Before we accepted them, many costumers passed us by because they don’t carry cash.”
5. Boutiques: Some boutiques are following in the footsteps … err tire treads … of the food truckers and hitting the road with their wares, enabled by mobile POS. Last year, Boston made headlines when it become one of the first cities in the U.S. to license a program for mobile fashion trucks — converted trucks used to sell clothing and accessories around the city. One boutique owner said making her business mobile made it more accessible for customers.
6. Luxury brands: For years Apple has offered customers a unique and hassle-free shopping experience by eschewing the traditional POS setup in favor of ringing up customers wherever they are in the store and e-mailing a receipt (which saves them money on paper and allows them to gather critical customer information — an e-mail address). Now more luxury brands are embracing the idea of offering customers a more holistic shopping experience using mobile POS. Coach, the luxury handbag and accessories designer, is replacing it’s legacy system with new technology in order to “reclaim selling space” and improve productivity, according to Retail Info. Systems News. Forbes reports that Nordstrom saw a 15.3 percent sales increase in March 2012 compared to the same time the previous year, before they went mobile, an increase the company sees as more than coincidental.
7. Businesses that want to go offline: Years ago, building a website for online sales came second for businesses — the bricks and mortar store came first. But in the internet age, as many retailers start online only, the reverse is becoming true. For instance, during the 2012 holiday season Etsy, the popular online craft marketplace, unveiled its first-ever retail space — a pop-up holiday shop in New York City — made possible by mobile POS. And other e-commerce businesses have taken their online success to physical locations — in mall kiosks or at weekend social events (think fairs, expos and the like) — with the help of easy-to-use, easy-to-implement mobile technology.
8. Charitable giving and fundraising: The Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts are willing to exploit your weakness for cookies and caramel corn by accepting credit and debit cards for sales outside supermarkets. Even some houses of worship have begun accepting plastic from the faithful who never seem to have cash on hand — allowing one-time tithing or setting them up for recurring contributions, according to Fox Business.
Learn more about mobile point of sale systems on ResourceNation.com.
Photo courtesy of Phillip Pessar on Flickr