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Adapting to Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Needs with Powerful Integrated and Semi-Integrated POS Systems

William DawseyBy: William Dawsey

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The standard brick-and-mortar point-of-sale arrangement comes from a history of cash transactions. Retailers needed a place to finalize sales by verifying purchases, collecting cash, and making change. Even though the number of cash transactions has decreased, many retailers still use a checkout line model for their POS needs.

New possibilities were already coming into play before 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic made consumers more aware of contactless alternatives. These customers will still expect the convenience of cashless payments as the retail world returns to normal.

Some of the latest trends in payment processing equipment revolve around safety. Consumers understand the health and safety benefits of social distancing. They will appreciate self-serve kiosks that prevent long lines. Features such as plastic sneeze guards and antimicrobial input pad covers will also provide greater peace of mind.

However, the most important trends in POS for retail focus on the payment process itself. Customers expect the flexibility of online payment gateways, digital wallets, and other contactless payments. These new payment options are not just about staying healthy, but they reflect busy consumers who want an efficient payment process.

Implementing Payment Options for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

As brick-and-mortar retail stores look for POS systems, they need a provider to help them access the right equipment and software to meet consumer needs. Vendors who can supply well-designed POS integrations will be well-placed to offer the right POS solutions. Several current trends demand attention.

Mobile-Wireless Terminals

Mobile/Wireless Terminals

It used to be that every transaction had to happen at the retail site. The checkout line served as the final gateway before exiting the building. Today, mobile payment terminals offer a flexible solution to changing POS needs. Employees can use handheld card readers to accept payments at any point in the store or parking lot.

Developers must integrate each unit with the entire POS system so that the equipment logs payments and changes in inventory in real time. A well-designed system will also let managers observe what is happening at every POS station in the facility.

A mobile solution allows stores to experiment with emerging retail models like curbside pickup and delivery services. Handheld terminals are also convenient to hold sidewalk sales or support pop-up locations at special events.

Mobile Wallet Payment Integrations

Mobile Wallet Payment Integrations

Mobile wallets are quickly becoming one of the most popular means of in-store purchases. Wallets like ApplePay and GooglePay let users store their credit card information digitally on a mobile device. If a retail store has payment processing equipment that includes near-field communication technology, shoppers can check out with a wave of their phone.

These resources can store more than financial information. POS software developers can integrate resources that allow customers to use gift cards, store credit, and loyalty program cards. Discounts and other credits will apply automatically. A will-integrated system saves customers from searching for cards or missing out on specials. Even with these extra features, the checkout process will be faster than traditional models.

Integrated Self-Service Kiosks

Integrated Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks have multiplied through the fast-food industry. Rather than ordering at the counter, customers input information at the kiosk, pay, and wait for their order to appear. Kiosks with a well-designed GUI make it easy for people to input their orders to their exact specifications.

Retail stores are also employing self-service kiosks that use bar code scanners to input purchases. These terminals are of great help to people who only buy an item or two. They can find what they need and be out of the store in minutes. Providing convenience to customers with few items also shortens the wait time at other terminals.

In other models, customers can use handheld scanners to log items as they shop. At the self-serve kiosk, they input the scanner data and pay for their purchases.

Kiosks will need a secure connection to a merchant service provider to get the best return on this investment in POS hardware. Expert POS software developers will make this integration happen. They can also integrate the kiosk software with the store’s inventory platform. As items leave the store, the purchasing manager will have a better sense of when to place the next order.

Online Payments with In-Person Pickup

Online Payments with In-Person Pickup

Third-party online delivery services have been growing as a resource for convenient shopping. During the pandemic, a new model emerged. Stores began offering a hybrid service with online payments followed by curbside pickup.

In this transaction, customers create a shopping list from the business’s website. They finish by making an online payment. Instead of waiting for home delivery, in-store shoppers gather the items for the order and notify the customer when it is ready. The customer drives to the brick-and-mortar location where an employee places it directly in the vehicle.

Implementing the in-person pickup model requires advanced POS software development. The complete setup will include integrated connections with payment gateways, inventory platforms, invoice modules, and employee user interfaces. There is plenty of room for mistaken orders and lost information, so retailers will depend on vendors who can offer a comprehensive POS solution.

This model changes the understanding of a retail store. The customer no longer needs to enter a physical location. Instead, the store plays the role of a warehouse that temporarily holds the items a customer desires. In the future, brick-and-mortar shops may experiment by going to a fully curbside model. They will be able to save overhead costs by using a smaller space and fewer employees.

Providing Stronger Payment Options

The options for payment processing are changing rapidly as more consumers move to contactless purchases. Brick-and-mortar retailers require access to the latest equipment and payment processing software to meet changing expectations. Vendors must supply POS for retail that offers both flexibility and convenience. At the same time, these systems must integrate with the store’s other platforms to provide a seamless experience for managers, users, and consumers. Partnering with a knowledgeable POS software development team will give vendors an edge in the retail payment processing market.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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