By Breanna Brown, marketing coordinator, APG Cash Drawer, LLC
RSPA’s RetailNow has come and gone and yet I still feel the aftermath of the technology buzz. This show is a chance for all retail technology professionals to come together and network, stay up to date on technology, and explore new opportunities. If your company only attends a few trade shows a year, this is the must attend event of the year. Simply put, it’s the show that VARs cannot afford to miss.
I learned a lot this year at the show. From the industry panel discussions, to the marketing sessions—there was something there for everyone. I took a lot of notes at the show, but I wanted to share my summary with you. Hopefully this will capture some of the excitement I felt at the show.
Mobile/tablet POS is definitely the hot topic right now for small businesses. Retailers are positioning themselves to handle the new consumer and consumers want to interact with them. During the industry panel discussion, it was said that 75% of consumers would like to interact at a store with a mobile device. Retailers need to adapt to this change. The ultimate goal is to give end users what they want, but it’s important that they know all their options in order to make an educated decision and to find the best solution for their environment.
As mobile POS evolves, there are opportunities for new revenue streams. Upgrades will be needed and hardware and system sales are not going away. NFC readers, wireless infrastructure, POS system refresh (capturing data), and software updates are coming. Newly released mobile apps will lead to more (different) applications of POS Hardware. Selling adjacent technologies around hardware and software is key. More retailers are looking to IT for their business strategies. VARs can differentiate themselves by not only servicing POS for the retailer, but also IT and their security systems.
Whatever the landscape is today, will be different next year. New technology creates opportunities for innovation and the opportunities are high, but adoption rates are low. The fear is high because the uncertainty is high. Banks and credit card companies are pushing mobile, but consumers are pushing back. Mobile service providers are struggling for market share. Mobile platforms do not intercommunicate right now, yet, there will be a winner. It's the technology and the total solution package that will set them apart.
I recently read an article on Forbes.com. There was a paragraph on mobile payments and consumer adoption that stuck with me and I believe the author (Peter Cohan) hit it straight on:
“While mobile payments seem incredibly compelling as an idea, they have not caught on quickly. The reason for that is pretty clear – vendors can’t win by selling to just one person. Gaining market share depends on convincing the entire payment network — including retailers, credit card companies, banks, cell phone carriers and phone makers – that mobile payment’s benefits to each of them will vastly exceed its costs.”
VARs should expand their view on technology and what customers really want—innovate. No matter how slow adoption is, the one thing you can really count on is change. Embrace it! One comment that stuck out to me was, “There is no magical year of mobile payments.” This is very true. It’s happening now, we’re in it. VARs need to do the research to figure out which way they want to go. In five years, mobile payments will be a very prevalent technology. It’s important to be a total solutions provider and to find ways to truly add value for your customers.
Now, more than ever, resellers and system integrators must become the retailer’s trusted advisor. By deploying IP-enabled devices to achieve mobile POS transactions, resellers can add new value and realize more profit from the system sale. In today’s retail environment, you have to win over the customers before they reach the point of sale. Why not bring the POS to the consumer? Take advantage of the new mobile technologies and give the end users more sufficient ways to close a sale. Retailers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors and right now, mobile solutions are it. You can’t ignore the fact that mobile is coming—it’s here.
Well that’s it! Those are my take-a-ways from the show. But if for some reason you’re just looking for the key points, here is all you really need to know:
Advice for VARs:
Cash drawers going mobile: APG Cash Drawer offers an IP-enabled cash drawer that integrates with tablets and mobile point of sale. For more information, click here: http://www.cashdrawer.com/ethernet
View the original article on APG Cash Drawer's Blog.