7 Trends Shaping The Future Of POS SystemsITFirst South Africa
Point of Sale (POS) systems have certainly come along way over the past few years. Fewer people are making it a habit to carry cash around, and just as we were getting used to people tapping with their cards to pay, now we’re seeing more consumers embrace the trend of tapping their phones and watches.
For those used to seeing employees manning POS terminals near the shop exit, this may seem like a strange new world. But if you have eagerly watched the rise of 5G connectivity in South Africa, and with it the exciting prospects therein, you’ll know that this is a brave new world – one in which new innovations and powerful tools that engage buyers across multiple touchpoints is ripe for the picking.
In this post, we aim to provide a glimpse into the future of POS in South Africa.
Give The People What They Want
The bottom line is that business centres around what customers want, and what they want is for their transaction experience to be as simple and convenient as possible. Thanks to technology, it has become a much easier to help customers find, buy, receive, and return goods – anytime, anywhere.
For some businesses, it’s been a matter of utilising a multi-device POS system, with fixed POS terminals throughout the store and mobile POS (mPOS) for convenience, something that many Mr Price clothing stores have already employed in order to reduce check-out queues. Other retailers have taken it one step further and introduced autonomous stores to provide what’s called ‘frictionless’ shopping. Stores like Amazon Go now allow customers to pick up items and leave without queuing or checking out, with payment occurring later through their Amazing Go app.
However you do it, though, the fact is that customers want a more seamless shopping and transaction experience. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how innovations in the tech space are shaping the modern POS experience.
9 POS Trends To Look Out For
- More Personalised Shopping Experiences
Customers know that their data is being stored, they know that new technology exists, and there’s a growing expectation for retailers to use these resources to create a more personal shopping experience for them.
The POS industry has already responded by launching POS software capable of capturing valuable information with every transaction. This means that even smaller businesses can build customer profiles, deliver personalised interactions, and increase buyer satisfaction.
- mPOS Still Going Strong
It’s already been trending for a while now, but we don’t think that mPOS is going anywhere. There are still businesses untethering their transaction processes and arming employees with handheld devices. This way employees can proactively venture out to interact with customers, look up items, and complete sales on the spot.
- POS Hardware Gets A Facelift
Another trend to keep an eye on is the deployment of business-friendly hardware, which will undoubtedly lend itself to the already gradual decline in swipe transactions. At Huge Connect, we predict new hardware that will support self-checkouts, electronic shelf labels, pick-up lockers, and incorporate the use of Bluetooth technology.
- Alternative Payment Methods
The future of POS systems lies in offering customers new ways to pay wherever they are, whenever they’re ready. Up unto a point, card payments fulfilled this need. But now, card payments are on the decline as alternative POS methods that are better suited to meeting these customer expectations come to the fore.
Examples of alternative payment options would include the likes of mobile/contactless payments (think FNB eWallet and Apple Pay), Buy Now Pay Later (think Laybuy), POS with instalment payment options, POS with saved payment options for returning customers, bill splitting (think Zapper), and tech-forward POS systems that accommodate cryptocurrency.
- The Omnichannel Experience
There are so many channels through which customers can find and buy products, from social media platforms and websites to email campaigns and in-store. It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to create a seamless shopping experience across all their touchpoints, which is why we think more retailers will look to integrated POS systems in order to facilitate these non-linear purchasing journeys.
- Cloud-based POS Software
Many of the trends we’ve highlighted, like the personalised shopping opportunities and omnichannel experiences, rely heavily on data-sharing. And this means using the Cloud, which is why moving to the Cloud is one of the biggest priorities facing retailers in 2022 and beyond.
- POS Data Analytics
POS data is extremely valuable. More than just getting to know your customers and their communication preferences, POS analytics can also unlock pertinent information about your business’ staff, products, store layout, foot traffic, returns rate, seasonal trends, among other metrics.
It’s this kind of data that can make it easier for businesses to optimise retail data analytics, drive sales, and make better business decisions.
The Bottom Line
Point-of-sale systems have come a long way and are now more than just a means to transact. The modern POS system now, with its increased mobility, flexibility, data analysis, and security, has the potential to function as a virtual command centre for your entire business.
Wondering how a new POS system can revolutionise your business?
Connect with us today and let’s explore what the future of payments looks like for you and how we can keep you connected, so no matter which options you use you are always ready for business.