Retailers may hold onto outdated point of sale (POS) software well past its usable lifespan. The POS software industry is currently a $1 billion market, according to IBIS World with modern POS features improving the in-store experience for customers and employees. Retailers should look for one or all of these signs indicating it is time to update the POS system.
Infrastructure downtime costs retailers $18 billion per year. When the POS system shuts down frequently or crashes, retail employees need to handle frustrated customers and switch to different transaction methods to complete the sale. In some cases, the employees can’t do anything until IT experts bring the POS system back up. As a result, employee retentions can drop, while shoppers may go to other stores, affecting the bottom line.
Retail shoppers have their customer experience expectations molded by every business they encounter. For example, if they are used to eReceipts and integrated customer loyalty cards at the competitor’s location, they’re going to note the absence of these options at any other retailer.
Retail technology brings many benefits to retail management and the customer experience. In-store mobile payments are one area that’s starting to take off with Bain & Company reporting that 7 percent of in-store payments in 2013 were made using a mobile payment method. If the current POS system can barely add up purchases and print receipts, the entire store is behind the times.
Data breaches result in a drastic loss of productivity and company reputation, but older POS features may not cover security measures necessary for remaining secure and payment card industry (PCI) compliant. One major change that older POS systems may not keep up with is EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) compatibility, as the United States continues to transition to a chip-based credit card environment. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization help cut down on card fraud, which can be a major cost for retailers.
Obsolete POS systems have a negative impact on any retail business. Employees do not have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently, and shoppers are jumping ship to the tech-savvy competition because they do not know if they can pay as safely and securely as possible. A POS software upgrade helps bring the retail business up to speed with current retail technology.