This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was standing in line at the movie theater recently. We were running a little late and the movie was scheduled to start in just a few minutes. The line was longer than we had ever seen at that theater and I thought I might miss the beginning of the movie.
Then suddenly an employee emerged with a tablet in hand that was equipped with a credit card reader. She started working her way through the line and within a few minutes the line dissipated and people were munching popcorn, watching the coming attraction trailers and settling in to enjoy the feature presentation.
By now I’m sure almost everyone has experienced the mobile point of sale (POS) systems that are in use. An employee armed with a tablet or smartphone can go out onto the sales floor – or anywhere for that matter – and complete a sale. There are a number of systems out there, including Samsung’s that use the company’s Galaxy tablets.
Frankly, I’m shocked that more small businesses aren’t using this technology already. It has a long list of benefits and I can’t think of any downside. Let’s explore several of the reasons you should add a mobile POS system to your small business.
Improves the customer experience and increase sales. Today a world-class customer experience is often what separates the winners from the businesses that walk away with participant ribbons. You can train your employees to be as cordial as possible and put all kinds of customer service systems in place, but few things have the impact of actually speeding up the process and making it more convenient for buyers. Mobile POS does this…and without a huge investment on your part.
How many times have you abandoned an in-store purchase because the line was too long, or there was no one around the cash register? It happens all the time. When you arm your employees with mobile POS systems and train them how to best use them, you can virtually eliminate this problem.
Says you care about your customers. You can post all the “We Care” signage you want around your business, but what really matters is how you treat your customers. Going to your customers, rather than making them come to you, is a concrete way to demonstrate your commitment to your customers. If you’re at their side, helping them with their purchases, it makes a huge impression. It creates loyalty.
But a good POS system can go even further. With the right software, these systems can create a personalized shopping experience and offer unique recommendations for repeat buyers. Suddenly your business has established a noticeable difference in a very competitive market.
Captures email addresses. When completing a purchase via a mobile POS, customers are more likely to request a receipt via email and this can pull customers into your email list. You can then advertise private sales and other benefits to your customers and increase sales even more.
Boosts overall productivity. In some businesses there are processes that take a fixed amount of time – the restaurant business, for example. Cooking food takes a while, but there are process adjustments that can speed up the food ordering experience. I’ve seen some savvy food truck operators use mobile POS systems to work their lines and dramatically increase their throughput rates, which is what matters.
We’re seeing the technology in traditional restaurants as well. Wait staff equipped with POS tablets can take orders more quickly and some establishments are installing the tablets in places where customers can directly input their orders. This can eliminate “Where’s our waiter?” syndrome!
Lets you reclaim valuable floor space. If you’re a retail operation and are using floor space for cash register kiosks, you may be able to reduce their size or eliminate some altogether when you move to a mobile POS system. Let’s face it, the counters at cash registers don’t sell anything. If you can reduce them you can leverage the newly found floor space in ways that generate sales.
Increases your security. Providing a safe payment infrastructure is a concern for businesses and their customers. We’ve all read the news accounts of thieves using skimmers on standard POS terminals, and this problem is not going away with the new chip credit cards. However, risk is virtually eliminated with mobile POS tablet systems. Further, mobile POS system providers use sophisticated software and even hardware to dramatically boost security.
Positions you for a huge holiday season. Finally, let’s look at the coming months in light of our discussion. The holiday shopping season is almost here. If you’re in retail, this is perhaps the most important time of the year to have your crew armed with mobile POS systems. Your lines will be at their longest and the easier it is for your customers to make a purchase, the more money you’ll make. And when your POS system is tied into your inventory control system, you’ll be able to judge your status in real time, reordering when necessary and marking down items when warranted.
Further, can you imagine how happy shoppers will be to see your employees working their way around the sales floor or up and down the lines of shoppers finishing up sales quickly and efficiently? It could the exactly what you need to post your biggest holiday season ever.
Finally, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” will hit theaters on Dec. 18. I bet smart theater managers will be ready with lots of employees wielding mobile POS tablets…