Device-agnostic point of sale provides all of the advantages of traditional MPOS and many more!
There’s no denying that mobile point of sale is in heavy demand. Retailers are increasingly investing in mobile technologies, with 79% of retailers planning to integrate MPOS by 2015 (Forrester, Mobile Point of Sale Solutions for Retail). The benefits are plentiful: improved customer service, fewer line-ups, increased agility and many more.
A device-agnostic point of sale solution is architected to work on many device types, form factors and even operating systems. The solution is not locked down to any one device type, for example iPad, and so it provides an unforeseen level of flexibility with regards to hardware and peripherals. Whether retailers want to do away with the fixed POS workstation completely or deploy a hybrid assortment of mobile and fixed devices, device-agnostic POS provides the freedom to process transactions and serve customers from anywhere.
In a rush to reap the benefits of mobile POS, many retailers overlook some of the shortcomings of traditional MPOS technology. Below, we share the key benefits of device-agnostic point of sale solutions along with the challenges with traditional MPOS that are avoided with this forward-thinking approach to mobility.
Whereas many traditional mobile point of sale solutions require users to learn a whole different interface with different labels, workflows and layouts, a device-agnostic POS will look and act the same, whether it’s being accessed from an iPad mini, a 12″ tablet or a fixed POS workstation. Anyone who’s operated a POS before will agree that users become so accustomed to common touch sequences that they could operate the software with their eyes closed, so keeping the same layout on multiple devices will allow them to remain productive from any access point.
Better Customer Experience
Unlike traditional MPOS solutions that were originally conceived for line busting with basic transaction processing capabilities, a device-agnostic POS solution must offer complete point of service features from any device. This enables retailers to provide a higher level of customer service and a more consistent experience, because all features are accessible from all devices. A device-agnostic point of sale solution is not a limited subset of complete POS functionality: whether it’s accessed from a tablet or fixed POS workstation, all of the same features are available. What’s more, users are armed with the agility to suspend and resume transactions from anywhere. For example, an item could be scanned just outside the dressing rooms, then after the customer completes their shopping, it could be paid for at the fixed checkout workstation.
Device-agnostic POS will often lead to greater ROI because the hardware you invest in can be used for a wider range of functions. Imagine you’ve invested in iPads and iPad-only MPOS software, but there’s a great new training app that’s only Windows-based. You’ll need to add PCs or Windows tablets to your stores. Wouldn’t it be great to know that, no matter what the device you invest in, it will always also be usable as a point of service to serve customers more efficiently and sell more?
Reduced Hardware Costs
Retailers benefit from reduced hardware costs when they employ device-agnostic POS because they have more choice. Some retailers may decide to invest in the same device across the board, whereas others may decide to deploy a mix. Existing devices can be leveraged: retailers aren’t stuck updating everything at once.
Technology is always evolving. In the world of mobile devices, new form factors, devices and operating systems are introduced all the time. Perhaps even more worrisome for retailers is that hardware and software are regularly discontinued and support eventually becomes unavailable. Retail enterprise software is a significant investment, and it should not become obsolete just because devices or operating systems are no longer supported. Point of sale solutions that are developed to be device-agnostic will enable the retailer to adopt new technologies as they become available, without needing to “rip and replace” the software that’s still evolving.
Whereas some retailers have opted to tack on a strictly-mobile POS solution to their existing enterprise infrastructure, this scenario is not ideal. Initial integration costs can be significant, and operating multiple databases with redundant data requires more management and ongoing maintenance, and makes the organization more vulnerable to errors. A device-agnostic POS enables retailers to use the same solution from multiple devices, all connecting to a single, centralized omni-channel database.
69% of consumers expect that store associates be armed with a mobile device (Forrester, Mobile Point of Sale Solutions for Retail). Investing in mobile solutions such as point of sale is an unquestionably good move for retailers. However, MPOS shouldn’t be an afterthought: careful planning and consideration must be employed to ensure successful integration and adoption of the technology. Device-agnostic POS provides all the mobile freedom of traditional mobile-only solutions with lots of additional benefits to retailers.
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