How an iPad Point of Sale (POS) System Can Benefit Your BusinessStart with a tablet, add multifunctional apps, and more profits can be yours.
iPad point of sale (POS) systems are taking over from traditional POS among many smaller retailers and restaurants — and small businesses that make the switch are ringing up a ream of advantages.
Among retailers of various sizes, only 20 percent have implemented mobile POS, but another 56 percent plan to step to these systems over the next three years, according to a 2016 study by Boston Retail Partners. Mobile POS systems currently on the market run on operating systems that include Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Windows and Android.
The whole mobile POS shebang really started, though, back in April of 2010, when Apple rolled out the first iPad. Many stores and restaurants still prefer Apple’s tablet, often connecting it to hardware such as credit card readers and cash drawers.
Some bigger businesses such as Nordstrom and Barneys embraced iPad or iPod touch POS early on, too, and lots of enterprises expect to join in over the next few years. Small businesses, however, have been POS pioneers.
The iPad is a great platform for mobile POS because of its spacious touchscreen, easy user interface and impressive computing capabilities, said Richard Crone, founder and CEO of Crone Consulting and a recognized expert on mobile strategy. The abundance of business apps for iPad is another big plus.
Here are five ways in which an iPad POS can boost your business.
The POS system becomes more than just a POS
Traditional standalone POS systems can handle cash register functions, but that’s it, Crone noted. In contrast, iPad POS software can integrate with apps for accounting, inventory management, payroll, mobile payments and even customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), for instance. Tons of add-on apps are available from third-party software vendors.
As you build and streamline your business, you can keep adding more apps.
iPad POS systems are fantastic line busters
iPad POS systems eliminate the cash register line as a choke point, Crone noted. Instead of standing behind a counter all day, your retail sales associates can be out on the floor doing what you’ve really hired them to do: interact with and sell to customers.
An associate might suggest accessories or services for an item the customer is looking at — or subtly upsell the customer to a higher-end alternative, for example.
The IHL Group, a global research and advisory firm for the retail and hospitality industries, found that when associates are properly trained and work side by side with customers on transactions, the increase in sales can be as much as 25 percent. “[More] often than not [consumers] feel they are working on a project together rather than being ‘sold,’” wrote Greg Busek, an IHL analyst.
According to Crone, some stores are now taking a cue from The Apple Store and redesigning their floor plans to take advantage of the iPad’s mobility.
Customer loyalty is a cinch
Customer loyalty software is often built into POS apps, letting you easily gather customer information during transactions and then send out thank you notes and other promotional emails. This software can also deliver instant discounts at checkout.
Transactions and couponing get even easier with the addition of mobile payment apps. These apps allow customers to complete the payment process in the store or restaurant from their own mobile devices, saving even more time for employees.
You can bring your business with you
iPad POS systems also boost managerial productivity. Many small business managers are not nine-to-fivers. If there are still tasks to accomplish at closing time, you can take your iPad home with you to work at your leisure at the kitchen table rather than toiling away after hours in the back office.
Cloud-enabled POS apps can be accessed from any other web-capable device, too, such as an Android phone or Windows PC. When you’re on the road, why not review the latest inventory data and place supply orders from your laptop while sipping your morning coffee in your hotel room?
iPad POS systems can add new intelligence to innovation
Managers can analyze the sales reports and customer information collected on the iPad to create new and more effective merchandising and marketing programs, Crone pointed out.
Phoenix-based Zoyo Yogurt, for example, discovered that only 20 percent of the customers at its frozen yogurt restaurant were “regulars,” and that many of those who weren’t from the neighborhood visited the shop to celebrate a special occasion, such as a raise at work or a good grade at school.
To help drive more return trips, Zoyo coined a new tagline, “What are you celebrating today at Zoyo?”
What will you learn from your iPad POS system?