A point of sale (POS) system is the hub for all transactions and sales data in a business. This valuable technology can process orders, track inventory, and store years' worth of customer data in a single database.
However, businesses looking for more flexibility and accessibility can supplement their stationary sales terminals with sophisticated handheld POS systems. Despite the initial investment, this tool can improve customer service and increase the profitability of a business in the long term.
What is a Handheld POS System?
A traditional POS system is the device used to process transactions electronically in a brick and mortar setting. A handheld POS system, also known as mobile POS, is a portable and often wireless device that plays the role of a card processor. Organizations most commonly utilize a smartphone or tablet equipped with software and portable hardware to process card transactions.
Businesses should consider utilizing handheld POS systems in the following circumstances-
- Many business concepts don't require fixed operation bases. If there is no physical storefront, such as a food truck business, a handheld POS system will provide the necessary mobility and flexibility. With a handheld POS device, payments can be processed wherever the merchant travels.
- Businesses that are run partly in-store and on-the-go, such as electronics repair services, need both a physical terminal and portable card processor. In this case, the standard POS system is supplemented with the mobile POS device when the services shift.
- For businesses on a budget, handheld POS systems are generally more affordable when compared to standard POS systems. With a relatively minimal upfront investment, the handheld POS is where many small businesses can start with their POS technology, especially with faster setup and ease of learning as these devices run with less complexity.
6 Benefits for Businesses
There is a wide range of mechanisms by which handheld POS systems can enhance business operations. From cost reduction to increased data visibility, consider the 6 key benefits businesses can gain from implementing mobile POS systems.
1. Lower Overhead Costs
The handheld POS hardware is generally more affordable than standard POS systems, with fewer upfront fees in regard to the equipment and setup. The cloud-based nature of tablet-style POS systems means that upgrades for features and security are generally downloaded automatically for free.
2. Increased Staff Efficiency
Handheld POS systems are valuable for increasing the efficiency of labor output. This translates to a better bottom line as staff members are able to serve more customers in a shorter amount of time. As a result, businesses can instantly improve customer service and customer turnover.
For example, a typical restaurant server will have to walk back and forth to the stationary POS terminal up to 5 times per table to input orders, add additional items, and complete the checkout process. With a handheld system, the server can spend more time offering quality customer service more efficiently. This can also minimize employee stress, which can lead to greater staff satisfaction and higher retention rates.
3. Higher Customer Turnover
For retail and restaurant businesses, handheld POS systems can lead to faster checkout processes and higher turnover. For example, handheld POS systems can turn restaurant tables 15-20% faster than organizations that use standard POS systems. This can translate to a significant boost in sales for high volume businesses.
In a retail setting, a handheld POS gives businesses the opportunity to serve multiple customers simultaneously, without consumers having to wait in long lines. Efficient customer service can also lead to a faster sales experience, which can encourage new shoppers to return in the future.
4. Enhanced Customer Service
As more and more consumers prioritize rapid service, it is essential for businesses to be able to streamline, automate, and enhance the buyer's experience. This is where handheld POS systems come in.
In restaurants, diners will receive their orders faster as they are processed with more efficiency on handheld POS devices. Some POS devices can even allow customers to input their own orders and make credit card payments through digital payment portals, creating a more personalized experience.
Customer loyalty features on handheld devices can also increase customer engagement, giving retailers a chance to promote relevant sales and offers based on the buyer's past purchases.
5. Higher Loyalty Sign-ups
Businesses can increase the success and reach of their loyalty programs with handheld POS systems. By giving customers the option of entering their own emails and phone numbers, businesses can increase sign-ups exponentially compared to traditional methods.
Loyalty programs can help businesses drive customer engagement rates, repeat visits, and upsells. In some cases, loyalty programs can increase the frequency of customer visitation by 35% and drive an average spend increase of 45%.
6. Data Accessibility
POS systems can increase the accuracy of sales data analysis, as well as the visibility of this vital information. As a result of the increased customer engagement and loyalty program sign up rates, businesses can gain a wealth of previously unknown data, such as purchasing patterns. The handheld systems also give employees easy access to this information, which enables them to respond to demands more efficiently.
Additionally, the ability to network handheld POS systems to a remote server, or other terminals, allows versatility to customize devices to adapt to the specific needs of the device.
By using handheld POS terminals for payment processing, businesses can improve the efficiency of their operations, increase staff and customer satisfaction, and gain valuable insights into customer loyalty and sales. This equips organizations with the data necessary to appropriately respond to the needs of the market.