Over 30 Years in POS: What We’ve Learned
For more than 30 years, the people at Smartwerks have witnessed first-hand many of the innovations developed within the POS industry. From cash registers to hand-held mobile point of sale devices, we have contributed to those innovations in POS technology. And during this time, we have faced many of the same challenges our customers face in a highly competitive marketplace. What separates us from the rest? Why have we been in business for so long? We listen to our customers.
Mobile Point of Sale and The Internet
Much of the innovation in POS technology has grown from the advent of the Internet. Businesses using the Internet to its fullest potential are better at communicating information with their customers, vendors, and employees. Today, an off-site salesperson can use a mobile device to complete any transaction from anywhere around the world. Just think, 30 years ago, generating a purchase order was never instantaneous.
Mobile point of sale systems are some of the most complex in the computer industry. These systems have to interact with a variety of end-users and perform multiple roles that include sales, inventory, financials, and customer relations. Each component has to interact with the other, so the salesperson can know what is in the warehouse, while the accountant can see how well sales are doing and what’s dying on the warehouse shelves. All of this functionality would not be possible without the Internet.
We have seen whole areas of commerce change because of the Internet. For any business wanting to expand their reach, POS systems and software provide a multichannel or omnichannel presence. These complex go-to-market strategies rely on proven business-to-consumer relationships.
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Beyond Ten Years
An article in INC magazine describes how many businesses fail before their ten-year anniversary. Why do they fail? Setting aside the obvious—the inability to make a profit—one of the primary reasons is loss of touch with their customers. A successful company understands the conditional nature of their success and how it is directly tied to their customer. Working together to be successful is a recipe for longevity. Take a quick look at the companies that have been around for 30 years and you will recognize their ability to listen and adjust to their customers’ needs.
This especially holds true in the tech industry. Every year, something new and amazing comes out to change the way we work and live. And, never before have businesses and consumers experienced such connectivity.
Through the convergence in technologies, especially in the POS industry, doors have opened for many businesses to grow like never before. A company utilizing a cloud-based system has a distinct advantage over its competition, providing on-demand information for their employees to make informed decisions for their customers.
These capabilities allow them to differentiate themselves in their industry. Entrepreneurial competition is forecasted to grow even more in the coming decade. Having the ability to communicate a compelling value-proposition stems partly from adaptations in technology. It also comes from understanding your customers and what separates you from a growing field of competitors.
The Next 5 Years
After 30 years in the POS industry, we see a need for businesses to maximize technology in order to provide customers with a positive shopping experience. Today, POS systems need to accommodate shoppers who research before making their purchases. Millennials research products while shopping, using their phones to compare pricing and quality. Interestingly, according to CMO.com, 44% of shoppers want to purchase online and pick up their purchases at the store. The growth of e-commerce does not indicate the demise of brick and mortar stores. Actually, e-commerce has shown the need for physical locations and personal relationships. We know people need to interact with a sales person or be reassured that they can if they need too. Human touch will always be included in the recipe for a successful business.