Shopify, PayPal, and New POS Tech Making it Easy to Pay
Posted by Guest Author on April 8, 2014 in POS Systems [ 0 Comments ]
Out of any of the sundry realms in which millennial technologies have changed the rhythms of life on the planet, none has been so turned on its head than the realm of sales. From the way companies brand themselves to innovations in CRM, technology is redefining what we buy by expanding the possibilities of how we can buy it. Nowhere is this shift more evident than in that final and crucial point of sales: the payment process. By simultaneously making POS more robot-edged and custom-tailored, new tech is making online transactions boom to a $200 billion + piece of pie and streamlining in-person service too.
Everyone hates to stand in line, and for exactly this reason, many major franchises such as Target and CVS are automating the check-out process using self-serve registers at which customers scan and bag their own items. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, such machines brokered 12 to 30 percent of all in person sales last year, and that figure is likely to rise. Given that the $30-60K hardware investment for self-checkout will usually pay for itself in under a year when leveraged against employee wages, it’s easy to see why.
Some pundits bemoan the automation of some domains such as grocery stores, and it’s unlikely that we’re likely to see staff-free selling floors anytime soon, if ever. However, self-checkout is expanding into unexpected areas like fast-food. Jack In The Box, for instance, allows you to order and pay directly from a touch-screen kiosk that will even let you customize your items.
As many larger enterprises march toward fully automated check out, mom-and-pops in particular are migrating towards the use of tablets in lieu of conventional cash registers which can make customer relations more personable.
A perfect example of this paradigm shift is manifested in provider Shopify, a company especially friendly to smaller, quirkier vendors with personality to burn. Shopify facilitates even brick-and-mortar transactions with completely cloud-based software for tablets, and additionally offers peripherals (credit card scanner, receipt printer) to round out the package. In bypassing clunky registers, staff can provide more mobile, personalized support for clients.
Some stores are using the streamlined nature of tablet registers to integrate design with their store layout in a memorable way. And because web-based registers are synced with potential online sales, the nightmare of multiple-site inventory is laid to rest, making them greatly appreciated by management as well as the consumer end.
Microtransactions and Smartpayments
As programmers scramble for ways to interface every point of life with smartphone apps, consumers are rapidly meeting them halfway. Currently, mobile app usage is only expanding (as web browsing on phones is waning in roughly equal measure), and vendors are responding to this trend by reaping various opportunities to sell to people on the go.
One of the most untapped sources for potential revenue are microtransactions — exchanges so small that in the past prohibitive tech costs cordoned them off into the cash-only sphere. Today, companies like PayPal are honing in on such sales by providing apps and hardware to swipe credit cards over smartphones. Using the PayPal Here app, vendors will pay a mere 2.7% processing fee on every swipe, squeezing out sales wherever they may go.
While all of this new technology is exciting, vendors are busy crunching the data to spot significant trends in the actual usage. Already, for instance, it’s clear that those who make purchases using tablets have a different “purchasing character” than their phone-powered equivalents, and that men and women demonstrate different habits when it comes to mobile consumption. In the meantime, look for new POS tech that will do everything short of bagging your groceries.
Author Bio: Camille McClane is a writer, researcher and editor, who currently resides in Southern California. Her favorite subject to focus on is emerging technology trends and its overall effect within business expansion and relations. She hopes the readers of ResourceNation.com enjoy this article as much as she enjoyed writing it!