While a busy Christmas has come and gone, it is now time to take stock and review how consumer spending fared this year, compared with previous years. With the retail sector still soft, in-store technology continues to be a point of discussion, whether it is terminal upgrades, digital signage or other technologies, as businesses look for solutions to give them an edge on their competition.
Point of sale (POS) technology is a crucial tool that assists many businesses in their day-to-day transactions. In New Zealand, large and small retailers can now enjoy the benefits global companies have had access to for years, as this POS technology becomes more accessible from both a cost and scalability perspective.
Many of the latest POS products, such as the ones recently launched by HP, are designed to meet the needs of small- to medium-sized retailers.
These retailers have responded well to the new opportunities this technology has provided.
Streamlining for businesses
As POS technology has become increasingly scalable, it has become suitable for a more extensive range of retailers – from the locally owned dairy to a national chain with thousands of checkout lanes. This provides resellers with a fantastic opportunity to add a greater depth and breadth to their offerings in order to provide value to their customers and help them drive improved revenue performances.
POS products are much more than sophisticated cash registers – they offer a range of functionality to help New Zealand retailers and service providers manage their business operations ensuring they can be as efficient as possible. With the innovative design and extensive features of POS hardware, it can in many cases be used in both a front-of-store and back-office capacity, meaning that the system can process customer transactions or function as a manager’s workstation.
Turning customer data into business insights
POS technology has been built and tested for use in retail environments and offers functionality that exceeds the POS capabilities and lifespan of a standard PC or traditional electronic cash register. Combined with retail software, it helps to save time and money by enabling businesses to track sales, manage inventory, speed up transactions, manage employee shifts and track customer shopping habits to build meaningful customer relationships and align promotions.
What does this mean for customers?
POS systems have been designed with retailers’ needs in mind. They are durable to withstand the long-term wear and tear of day-to-day business activities and provide continuous performance, with features such as a steel chassis for durability and oversized cooling, which helps them to function for longer periods in warmer climates – up to 40°C.
POS hardware also has a longer lifecycle than traditional PC and notebook computers. This can minimise the complexity of rollouts by allowing multiple phases for extensive long-term installations, while the design and technical features enable customers to standardise their hardware across all machines.
Although some POS units provide the advanced features of a PC, it is important for resellers to ensure that they use an efficient, low-powered processor to save energy costs. Industry feedback has also shown that resellers have more success with selling POS technology that is sleekly-styled and compact enough to be used above or below the counter with serial and USB ports to eliminate cable clutter and present a clean back panel to customers.
Another key selling point for many retailers is the ability to combine their POS systems with retail peripherals including keyboards with integrated credit card readers, free standing credit card readers, and customer display poles. The benefit of being able to integrate all their technology through a single system is incredibly appealing and impacts directly on the decision to purchase.
What does this mean for resellers?
It is important to check that the POS solutions resellers offer, are backed by support and care services. Leading solutions in the market offer three-year warranties covering parts, labour and onsite support as standard, which make POS packages more attractive and an easier sales proposal, as they provide customers with additional security and confident in the solutions they’ve purchased