Thrive As A POS VAR: Here's How
By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
During yesterday's Industry Vision Panel at RSPA RetailNOW, one message was repeatedly hammered home by panelists: the world of retail technology is changing, and those who don't change with it will be left behind.
Yes! I could not agree more. If you've been a reader of this blog, you know I've been writing a lot about the changes taking place and threats being posed to POS VARs.
But it's not all doom and gloom. There are also great opportunities for POS VARs who are willing to break outside their comfort zones and take on new technologies. Jeff Riley, CEO of restaurant POS software provider Dinerware said during the panel, "you can't control the threats you face, but you can control and take advantage of the opportunities."
And opportunities ARE out there. Here's a short list, including topics discussed during the panel, of products/solutions/services POS VARs could -- or should -- be offering their customers. As you read, ask yourself how many of these solutions you offer.
- payment processing
- loyalty/mobile marketing programs
- video surveillance
- mobile computing solutions (tablets)
- digital signage
- PCI (payment card industry) security audits
- wireless infrastructure installation
- wireless activations
Looking at the above list, two things become clear. First, we're not just talking about point of sale. Part of the problem many in POS VAR/dealer channel face is a stubborn focus on just point of sale and not all the other technologies related to point of sale that customers need and want. More than a couple times during the educational session, panels suggested that those in the audience not think of themselves as POS VARs or dealers, but retail IT professionals. Note the subtle difference between "POS" and "retail IT?" A whole world of solutions you should be providing opens up.
Second, to retailers, these solutions still have a certain amount of mystery around them and, therefore, present great opportunities for higher margins. Additionally, mystery means retailers will have a more difficult time of doing these things themselves or going the cheaper online route.
Here's the punchline to this article and the message attendees at RetailNOW hopefully took away from the Industry Vision Panel: the threats you face are very real, but so are the opportunities to not just sustain your business, but to make it thrive. No one else is better positioned to leverage the above opportunities.
It's your business to win or it's your business that you'll lose.