The following is a guest contribution from Boyan Josic, the CEO of Mogul Media.
Ready or not, POS systems are poised to dramatically change. Why? The emergence of mobile and card-linked offers has positioned point-of-sale systems as the new gateway for daily deals and digital coupons.
In a move that has been called an epic exodus by some, shoppers have turned away from daily deal companies and providers in favor of their smartphone as the most convenient and expedient conduit for price-matching and bargain hunting.
Small businesses, it seems, are right there with them, moving out of the daily deal arena and standing squarely behind the tools and technologies enabling consumers to secure in-store deals directly through their smartphones. As a result, POS systems must evolve along with the times.
While some retailers continue to hold out on new technologies by stretching yesterday’s investment into aging POS systems, the potential cost of prolonging the inevitable upgrade could have a devastating impact. Outdated POS systems are now faced with compliance deadlines, difficulties protecting sensitive customer information, expensive hardware failures and maintenance costs, crippling software limitations, and more.
Most importantly, however, are customer expectations. Today’s consumers express strong loyalty to businesses that provide a secure, expedient, and reliable check-out experience. Nothing is worse than lengthy lines born of a POS system failing to promptly accept a digital coupon or rejecting a perfectly valid one.
Retailers need state of the art systems at the point of sale. And thanks to recent cutting-edge innovations in the POS and mobile payments arenas, upgrading to the best money can buy isn’t nearly as costly as one might expect.
With 66% of in-store transactions made with plastic today and 180 million Americans carrying credit or debit cards, it’s no wonder why retailers and merchants of all sizes are flocking to mobile swipers like Square and PayAnywhere – two leading professional grade mobile point of sale solutions providers that have changed the face of retail and how professionals get paid.
Comparable to the speed with which retailers are upgrading their POS, daily deal providers are turning their attention to the point of sale as a solution for their own survival. Last year, as a fitting example, Groupon acquired Breadcrumb, makers of a point of sale system and iPad app that targets local restaurants. The transition into mobile POS is based on Groupon’s life and death need to make it easier for merchants to track and redeem deals and digital coupons. Without a bigger presence at the point of sale, Groupon’s pre-IPO promise will likely fade from the retail landscape forever.
At the end of the day, Groupon still has one undeniable truth on its side: discount-shopping opportunities will never sour with consumers. And when you combine mobile coupons with payments solutions and redemption platforms, the results are abundantly positive.
In the very near future, the POS will represent the ultimate gateway for digital offers. That much is clear. What’s less transparent for the time being, are the participants that will survive this evolutionary transition that is already underway.
About The Author
Boyan Josic is a thought leadership expert for digital media, content creation and local commerce who acquires and develops digital media products and services through his firm Mogul Media. Boyan is also the founder and editor of Daily Deal Media, the number one resource for news, events, data and intelligence for the Daily Deal Industry. To interact with Boyan, follow him @boyanjosic