It's far from a novel statement to say that mobile technology is changing the way consumers and businesses operate. Customers now have the ability to make payments from nearly any location, while merchants can charge buyers in line or at a fixed point of sale in the store. Mobile technology in the form of POS systems is growing rapidly in the small-business landscape and is changing the way companies operate, for the better.
Small businesses are beginning to realize the value mPOS can bring to their business, which is why adoption is growing. According to Payments Card and Mobile, mPOS terminal integration is expected to increase from 4.5 million in 2011 to 38 million by 2017, growing at compounded annual rate of nearly 43 percent. The adoption of mPOS terminals over standard POS terminals will be 46 percent by 2017, most of which will be driven by the retail and restaurant industries.
Keeping that in mind, here are three ways mobile point of sale can help impact a business beyond the transaction:
While the transaction is one of the most important components of small-business operations, back-end reporting that mPOS software provides is arguably just as critical to success. Analytics in the information age provide tangible business insight to merchants looking to better understand their customer base. Through back-end reporting, business owners can identify who is buying what and when, giving them a better idea of their target market.
Once small-business owners have developed a more comprehensive customer profile, they can better target their messages to consumers. If business owners have a better understanding of who their customers are, when they like to buy and what products they're most interested in, the company can offer more relevant and personalized messaging. The phrase 1:1 marketing refers to engaging consumers in a more personalized manner, which is exactly what business owners can do when they use back-end analytics to create more relevant and valuable marketing content to send to customer subsets.
Mobile point-of-sale systems are great for both marketing and reporting, as well as line-busting and creating a more flexible payment structure within a business. However, most business owners don't realize that mPOS software can integrate with already existing management systems, such as accounting and inventory management software. When payment processing infrastructure is integrated with other back-end business systems, it can organize multiple areas of a company into one management suite: the point of sale. Business owners with mPOS terminals and mobile infrastructure can then access these tools from a single source and manipulate data in a well-organized manner. A recent Mobey Forum white paper revealed that 46 percent of merchant respondents said accounting and reporting were extremely or very important components of payment integration, highlighting the sentiment that mPOS can not only provide payment flexibility, but improve business intelligence and agility as well.