All-in-one POS solutions in your pocket
by Melanie Günther (exclusively for EuroShop.mag)
The idea of pop-up stores or pop-up events is no longer a novelty. The short-term, temporary retail space offers new products or tests innovative store concepts. The primary focus is a brilliant idea and design, and lower upfront costs and boosted revenue. Yet many retailers tend to underestimate the importance of technical equipment in making this temporary setting a success.
For starters, the setup of a full-fledged POS system including a local network and internet connection requires many resources, which doesn’t just refer to technology applications. The display, cash register drawer, printer, barcode scanner, and card reader take up space that pop-up stores could otherwise use to showcase merchandise.
Enter mPOS: trendy point-of-sale solution on a smartphone
A sleek and practical alternative to bulky, traditional POS systems: a mobile, portable point of sale system that functions as a cash register but can fit in your pocket. Apart from systems built to function on tablets, there are now also mobile all-in-one POS solutions that are no bigger than a smartphone. Despite their compact and handy size, they perform all the functions of a cash register and handle administrative tasks. The benefits:
- Facilitates card payment or contactless payment using NFC such as Google Pay or Apple Pay
- Integrated barcode scanner and receipt printer
- SIM card and Wi-Fi
The advantages are obvious as we are all familiar with the mobile user interface and application thanks to our own smartphone. Generation Z grew up with smartphones and their expectations of technology will continue to shape usability in big way. That’s why payment solutions use operating systems that have been hardened and secured as derivatives of well-known smartphone operating systems.
Besides traditional cash register functions, modern all-in-one solutions also boast inventory management features. Retailers who rely on a cloud-based solution enjoy extra benefits. Users can log into the account using any device and conduct statistical analyses. No matter how many devices are in use, businesses have anytime anywhere access to sales and product data. This also makes it much easier to add new products, categorize and price them. Depending on the scope, some service providers also facilitate the analysis of specific customer data. Users can determine the background of their customers or identify the percentage of repeat customers. These days, flexible lease models ensure fast and temporary integration.
A work in progress: Customer loyalty programs
All-in-one payment platforms or hybrid solutions are a great option when stores have to utilize every inch of retail space where customer service and store transactions must take place at close quarters.
Popular solutions available on the market have one drawback: quite often, services for regular patrons tend to fall by the wayside as reward points are not properly recorded or loyalty programs cannot be accessed. This has a negative impact on the customer’s shopping experience. To offer the right solution, data must be integrated into the ERP system. That’s why the technical requirements placed on pop-up stores should be clear from the beginning. Customers are quickly dissatisfied when existing brands are unable to call up a customer loyalty program. System providers are well aware of this drawback. Some are presently working on providing loyalty program support for mobile terminals.
„Point-of-Sleep“ at Casper
Mattress startup Casper – a pure player by nature – opened its first pop-up stores in North America in 2018. Casper’s online store served as a foundation to set up a point-of-sale system (Casper calls it a “point-of-sleep” system) within the pop-up stores. That meant, employees had their laptops with them inside the store. When customers purchased an item, they went through the same steps they would go through had they ordered online. Not surprisingly, the clunky system prompted a backlog of work that piled up for employees by the end of the day.
That’s when the company introduced a mobile POS system to speed up and optimize processes at the stores. The goal was to bring the best aspects of the online store into the pop-up retail setting. Employees were then able to focus on interacting with customers thanks to the seamless payment system. Buying a new mattress is a big decision and hefty investment that requires experts to talk over the pros and cons and help consumers make the right choice. Once the mattress startup introduced the mobile POS, its staff members had the time to engage and communicate with customers anywhere in the store.
Corona crisis will increase demand for retail pop-up solutions
The global economy is hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s likely that the economic effects of this crisis will boost the demand for pop-up stores and retail spaces.
One example of this is the collaboration between ROSE Bikes and the Lufthansa City Center travel agency “ReiseArt”: In early May, the bicycle retailer from Bocholt opened a pop-up showroom on the lower level of the travel agency’s premises right in the heart of Münster, Germany’s cycling capital. A win-win situation for both parties since the travel agency currently cannot use all of its office space due to the Covid-19 pandemic.