The rise and rise of mobile Point of Sale

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With its affordability, ease and convenience, Mobile Point of Sale is one of the fastest growing business solutions currently available. Spanning all industries from healthcare to retail, government and hospitality, it’s currently exploding on the customer service stage, with Global Market Insights forecasting its market worth will rise from USD$11.54 billion in 2016 to a whopping USD$48 billion in 2023.

So why the ever increasing popularity and what is mobile Point of Sale?

What is mobile Point of Sale?

Well truth be told the definition can vary depending who you ask. At its simplest mobile Point of Sale is the ability to use your mobile device – as in tablet, iPad or smartphone – as a mobile sales terminal, taking payments anywhere, anytime, courtesy of a card reader, app and internet connection.

At its more complex, it is an industry specific app that acts like a traditional Point of Sale terminal, handling stock input or services, managing back of house operations, providing customer relationship management, and furnishing a business operator with real-time data anywhere, anytime about how their enterprise is running, while also taking payments.

It’s a massive industry accommodated by a huge number of players including big names like PayPal Here, Square, ShopKeep, Vend, Lightspeed, Shopify and the list goes on…and on…and on, with new services entering the market all the time.

How does it work?

Mobile Point of Sale comprises an app downloaded onto your mobile device, with additional access via a desktop dashboard for more complex tasks like inventory management and analytics. The data is usually stored in the Cloud, with some services also boasting hybrid functionality via local storage to ensure business can keep on operating even when the internet is down.

What does mPOS offer?

Convenience

In a society where people wish to purchase anywhere, anytime in the method they choose, mobile POS offers massive convenience. It essentially turns any mobile device into a handheld register – whether that’s when paying your local government rates, paying your taxi fare or purchasing an artisan gift at the local craft market.

Affordability

All of this is accomplished in a relatively affordable fashion. Basic mPOS providers like PayPal Here offer their app for free with fees comprising a percentage of electronic payments. Meanwhile more specific apps work on a monthly subscription or contract basis.

Essentially this means a retailer or business can utilise mPOS through the simple downloading of the app and the purchase of any required hardware like tablets/iPads, enclosures and stands, card readers, cash drawers, barcode scanners and receipt printers.

Shorter queues

The prime reason for its rapid take-up is the difference mPOS makes in customer service, slashing traditional time spent in a queue. That extends to the healthcare provider who can take payment for their service in a clinic or at home; the takeaway who can take orders and payments in the queue, the Uber driver who receives his fare immediately, and the restaurant who takes orders and payments at the table.

Real time analytics

Meanwhile all this paying, shopping and service provides a host of real time data about how any operation is running. Even simple apps generate immediate sales reports, figures and analytics that can be accessed right that moment by authorised personnel no matter where they are, courtesy of the Cloud. Not only does this allow for remote management but also provides a detailed insight into stock, trends and consumer relations.

Efficiencies and improved customer service

Mobile POS is also popular with staff. Capterra also notes the following statistics:

  1. 48% of retail workers prefer using mPOS.
  2. 62% of retail workers say mPOS has made their jobs easier.
  3. 28% of retail workers that mobile POS has increased the number of products a customer buys.
  4. 32% of businesses using mPOS only use mPOS.
  5. 51% of stores using mPOS accept mobile payments. In a few years it will be 79%.
  6. 34% of sales happen at a traditional register, 29% happen at a mobile register.
  7. 43% of stores using mobile POS have downsized cash wraps.
  8. Ipad is the preferred mobile POS device, but Android is the preferred smartphone device.
  9. 76% of stores accepting mobile payments accept Apple Wallet, followed by Paypal and Google Wallet at a distant 56% and 54%, respectively.
  10. 6% of stores accepting mobile payments are accepting Bitcoin!

 Further integrations

A key feature of most mobile Point of Sale is its ability to play nicely with other software integrations. While the best mPOS will be industry specific providing vital data and back of house management tools, even garden variety mPOS will integrate with common accounting software apps, staff management software and customer relationship management applications like email campaigns and marketing

Who uses it?

Retail may seem the obvious answer, but in reality mobile Point of Sale is used widely across a number of industries due to its convenience. If you consider the multitude of industries who need to take payments that’s a pretty large market.

Global Market Insights further explains that the:

  • “Retail sector accounted for more than 30% of global revenue in 2015, and is poised to grow at 17.8% CAGR from 2016 to 2023. Mobile POS terminals market is expected to create value for retailers, leading to more converged and integrated store solutions.
  • “Entertainment industry is projected to arrive at USD 4.35 billion by 2023. This application sector includes amusement parks, casinos, cinemas, pubs, stadiums, tourism and so on. All of them require robust systems that help to keep up with the mass flow of customers.
  • “Healthcare sector is expected to reach USD 4.36 billion by 2023. This segment has invested heavily in the mPOS terminals market owing to rising concern to manage liability, minimize costs and comply with government norms.”

Meanwhile government, market stall holders, pop-up shops, and the service sector like tradespeople and taxi drivers, also utilise the convenience and easy set-up of mobile POS.

The final word

In a world that’s becoming increasingly mobile arguably a point of sale that offers the same convenience accommodates the buy anywhere, pay now consumer. The key is finding the right mPOS and tablet kiosk to suit the needs and requirements of a specific business, and proprietors and managers will be relieved to know, they are well and truly spoiled for choice.

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