Cloud-based and mobile POS systems the future of retail

In the retail world, the cash register does not seem like it would be a complicated system. After all it should be set-up a machine and put money inside. Well that was the way traditional point of sale systems operated and have since seen the inclusion of credit card processing equipment and mobile device connectivity.

However, there are several systems on the retail market that are changing the way merchants accept payments. The use of mobile devices as a cash register and the cloud-based infrastructure that is needed to support them are becoming a growing trend in the retail arena. This appears to be leading to a new age of retail and it is decision time for many business leaders when it comes to making a move.

Merchants who have embraced these solutions have been able to improve their overall operations by performing checkouts anywhere in the store, checking inventory in real-time and they offer the ability to accept multiple forms of payments. For businesses that do not have traditional offices and conduct transactions in the field or travel to farmers' markets to temporarily set up shop, mobile and cloud based solutions are the perfect complement.

Recently, Infogroup released the results of a survey of 100 retail executives. The numbers show that the use of point-of-sale technology will triple over the next five years.Currently, only 26 percent of merchants have some form of mobile POS system deployed and more than half of the executives believe that by 2018, they will get on the bandwagon.

By comparison, 23 percent said they have no plans to ditch their existing cash registers in favor of a mobile strategy. 

New POS systems powered by Big Data

Another aspect of an improved POS software that comes with a new system is the incorporation of big data. These systems allow organizations to better gather customer information which can be used to make smarter decisions.

"The adoption of mobile POS is a great way to capture valuable customer information, but our survey revealed that retailers struggle with using the data that they already have," Don Patrick, Infogroup's targeting solutions president, said in a statement. "Retailers must also invest in analytics to maximize ROI [return on investment] and improve the customer experience."

Unfortunately, big data is an area that not many companies know how to optimize. The study found that 47 percent of respondents admitted to facing challenges when it comes to using customer information for marketing purposes. Furthermore, 47 percent are unable to generate consumer offers and only 37 percent provide a consist message across the board.

Businesses also need to consider other resources that are needed for successful mobile and cloud-based systems like wireless networks. This is something that only 40 percent of retailers are doing.

"Some retailers require the bandwidth provided by free Wi-Fi because they're developing sophisticated personalization strategies," said Michael Penney, managing director of agency services for Infogroup. "Others either don't have a marketing need right now or think that Wi-Fi will become unnecessary as cellular networks advance."

It's a fact that the traditional POS systems are facing major competition from these new updated systems. With the help of a retail payment solution provider, any organization can start taking steps toward the future.

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