In a world of CRM and big data, the role of the electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) system is changing rapidly. I mean it seems pretty quaint when we enter a store and find a rudimentary cash register.
Your typical EPOS system now comes with a whole range of advanced capabilities to offer merchants more intelligence and flexibility with their service.
This shift was emphasized by an announcement last year by the daily deals site Groupon to release its own service that handled not only traditional cash/credit card transactions but also things like Groupon vouchers.
The deal represents a good indication of how the market is changing, with the following five trends increasingly prominent in the marketplace.
Mobile point-of-sale – whilst the uptake of mobile POS may have been a little sluggish, it is hard to dispute that merchants are increasingly heading in this direction. It was estimated that mobile POS rose by around 95 percent in 2014, and there are clear signs of growth in sectors such as apparel and shoe retailing.
Shared commerce – the consolidation of offline and online data remains a substantial hurdle for many businesses to overcome. Having a shared commerce system makes the whole affair considerably easier, with the process of combining both strands usually automated.
The merger of POS and CRM – it's increasingly likely that your EPOS will integrate fully with whatever CRM solution you're using to aid the business in boosting revenue. This integration allows the business to see exactly which customers are loyal and valuable at the point of sale.
The Internet of Things – you've probably heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the moniker used to describe the connectivity of devices, objects and networks over the web. With POS, it offers the capability to connect up front end and back end processes, whether that's accounting, inventory or CRM.
Big Data – it's easy to believe that big data is only something within the reach of large companies with huge budgets, but it's increasingly common for EPOS systems to provide even small businesses with access to powerful data. The ability for your EPOS system to extract valuable information to aid smarter decision making is one of the most valuable trends in commerce today.
What other trends can you think of that will impact the EPOS world in the coming years? Let me know via the comments below.