News Feature | February 12, 2014

How The Back Side Of A Terminal Can Increase The Value Of Your Reseller Business

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

Rear facing POS screen

VARs are always in search of business opportunities. When you visit a customer’s store and discuss the point of sale system (POS), an additional opportunity could be right in front of you — literally.

Bruce Mann, VP of marketing for CRS, says the back of a POS terminal, often the customer-facing side, is space that could be used for a digital messaging. Local businesses or event organizers might consider customers waiting in line at that store to be the right audience for digital ads — and this could result in revenue that helps your client offset the cost of the POS system, as well as recurring revenue for you.

Mann says ads displayed in this manner are common in Europe, with ads for significant consumer products equaling income for the store owner. For your customers in the U.S., this could be a good fit for local advertising — POS system business intelligence could even enable you to break down pricing per view.

“Most of us see advertising on ATMs these days. Some gas pump screens advertise. The POS is a natural extension,” says Mann. “In Europe and Asia I have seen it in quick-service restaurants. I could certainly see a tie to hostess station check in with events and special offers from the restaurant, like Mother's Day or Easter brunch, Oktoberfest, beer of the month, or liquor specials underwritten by a liquor distributor.” Mann adds, “In convenience stores, the space is at an enormous premium and has many views, so the profits should be proportionate.” 

You can develop multiple pitches to appeal to various customers. You could present it as a way to offset the cost of the POS system or as a way to provide ongoing income for stakeholders — or both.

How you design the system and upload and manage the ads could also be tailored to the customer. You could choose to use simple graphic customer displays — like a digital picture frame with basic customer display information —  or remote digital signage, which could run from the POS workstation VGA ports. This could be managed remotely, if appropriate PCI measures are observed. The advertisements could also be uploaded locally from USB thumb drives, SD cards, or mobile devices. 

Thinking “outside the terminal” could have an even bigger impact on your business. “It’s another managed services opportunity for VARs,” says Mann. “Managed services can provide ongoing income in traditional and as-a-Service models.” You can assist with the technical aspect of placing ads and messages on the customer-facing screens or remote digital signage, soliciting advertising, or suggesting best practices to the merchant.” In addition, using business intelligence from the POS, you could even help the merchant utilize the digital advertising to offer promotions targeted to times when the merchant has excess capacity. You could arrange and promote  a cooperative advertising agreement among merchants who have POS systems that can support messaging. This could even be a tool to convince merchants to purchase a message capable system.

The ongoing project would generate recurring revenue. And recurring revenue — unlike revenue from a one-time project — contributes to increasing the value of your reseller business.