POS Technology: Is There Any Money To Be Made In 2009?
Business Solutions, July 2009
Video surveillance is another hot trend. All of the POS VARs featured in BSM in the last year are offering some form of POS video. The recurring theme surrounding the sale of video surveillance solutions is that it’s easy money, even in a tough economy, and relatively easy to learn and install.
Finally, there’s mobility — whether tableside ordering in a restaurant or allowing businesses with technicians in the field to electronically bill customers and accept payments. (See one independent software vendor’s success with such a solution on page 4.) The forms may vary, but the result is the same: taking the point of sale from a counter to the customer.
Mobility as a trend is even more compelling when you look to the future. Imagine being in a store and using your cell phone to scan the bar code on a product to retrieve online reviews, pricing, and the ability to purchase the product. “Store of the future” sort of stuff? Actually, this functionality is currently available via smartphone applications like Scan Life and Shop Savvy. Google even released its own “Product Search for mobile” application earlier this year, complete with the ability to read bar codes from a cell phone camera.
What does this mean for you and your customers? Near future, it might not mean much. However, if you recognize that nearly every cell phone out there has a camera and accept that many customers prefer self-service, I don’t think it will be long before customers are scanning bar codes at the store to compare specs and prices.
Additionally, imagine all the other applications that are waiting to be created. This is where it’s up to you, as a value-added services provider, to create solutions that your customers need. Or perhaps solutions that your customer’s customers need. Digital coupons perhaps? Or, visit a grocery store’s website, scan a bar code on a food package, and get a list of recipes? Or, imagine the analytics retailers could perform on the data accumulated from items being scanned by customers in the store. How many customers bought the item they scanned? Did customers ultimately buy a competing product?
Regardless of today’s economy, POS VARs are finding success today. With a few strategic product offerings, you can do more than weather 2009. You can thrive.