As we reach the midway point of 2021, one thing is certain: this year is monumental to the point of sale (POS) industry as the economy rushes into recovery. Read on to explore some of the top POS trends to expect in the second half of the year and beyond.
POS Trend #1: Ongoing Online Ordering Boom
In the return to normalcy, and in many regions, restaurants are reopening, and brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to resume their activities as close as possible to their pre-pandemic levels. But no matter where businesses are on their recovery journey, online ordering is here to stay, and not just because of it being the primary method available to consumers during the pandemic. In fact, consumers worldwide have discovered the convenience and benefits of online ordering and have decided to stick with that method of purchasing, even as physical businesses reopen.
Interestingly, businesses have also found additional benefits in using online ordering platforms. Advantages include an additional revenue stream flowing into their businesses, as well as the opportunity to utilize more robust loyalty programs in a less intrusive, nearly seamless way. This improved loyalty strategy can improve the customer experience and in turn create sticky customers.
Most of the initial challenges many online ordering systems and digital transactions faced have been mitigated, making them an even more appealing option for businesses everywhere. For example, new security measures like multi-factor authentication are becoming standard, allowing a business to offer promotions, discounts, and payments that are less susceptible to fraud.
POS Trend #2: Faster Technology Adoption
Complete solutions and intuitive user experiences (UX) have become essential, and although price will most definitely always be an important consideration in any technological deployment, now value and having the right solution have risen to the top of the priority list.
In a rapidly changing market, solution integrators have no time to spare to try new things that they are not sure will work or test products from uncertain vendors. Instead, they are opting to go directly to what is already working in the market and are selecting the brands with the technologies that are being adopted massively by market leaders.
POS Trend #3: An Emphasis on Health and Safety
Even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, health and safety will remain a priority to people worldwide. To put employees and customers at ease, a new POS trend has accelerated and retail and hospitality businesses that are reopening must offer a tangible sense of safety to their customers.
Popular health and safety POS products include sneeze guards placed at the point of sale, antimicrobial covers which reduce germ transfer on high-touch surfaces, and tamper-proof labels to securely seal delivery and takeout orders.
POS Trend #4: Affordable and Simplified Development
The development side of the industry is also experiencing changing POS trends. Development phases are accelerating, and software providers are developing using cross-platform tools (like the StarXpand™ SDK) on the React Native platform, cutting development time and cost in half.
As most digital interactions and virtual communications are happening in the cloud, POS transactions, especially for online ordering, are not an exception. Technologies, like CloudPRNT, are allowing the seamless connection of thermal printers to the cloud. These technologies are not only cost-effective but also shorten integration and development times and are becoming the go-to solution in the market.
POS Trend #5: The Continued Rise of Self-Service Kiosks
Did you know that more than 65% of customers said they would be more willing to visit a restaurant if self-service kiosks were offered?
Clearly, self-service kiosks are a rising POS trend and as they are more widely used, consumers will hold them to a higher standard and expect them to be reliable, intuitive, and safe to use. Because of this, self-service kiosks are particularly sensitive to the quality of the components they are integrated with, so it is essential that those components are selected carefully.
Some POS hardware manufacturers, like Star, offer a vast portfolio of kiosk printers with receipt and labeling capabilities with features that can help ensure customer satisfaction. For example, a kiosk printer with a bezel allows for jam-free kiosk operations, and large-capacity paper rolls allow for extended paper autonomy.
For businesses and integrators with tight budgetary constraints, there are still options for assembling a highly sophisticated self-service kiosk solution. For example, businesses can pair a desktop printer, with the right technology built-in, with a universal tablet enclosure, a tablet, and a tablet stand. This is when finding the right one-stop shop POS manufacturer to work with that can provide all of those components becomes key.
For an affordable yet high-quality kiosk, connect the Star Micronics mCP31L multi-interface thermal printer to an iPad via the Lightning port. Next, place the iPad in a Universal mEnclosure (which locks for security purposes), attached firmly to an mUnite stand. Pairing these Star products together can turn a potentially complicated and costly kiosk project into a functional, cost-effective, and simple one.