Point of sale could be taking an unconventional path for 2017.
APG Cash Drawer (APG) shared its annual POS forecast and said eight major trends, including cloud integration and unified commerce, will majorly impact POS this year.
Tablet POS is having a moment
Product designed for mobile POS and tablets is gaining momentum among retailers. APG said its global customers, including major brands, are requesting cloud-based solutions to improve shoppers’ experiences. Instead of spending thousands on POS components, retailers are spending less to incorporate tablets for checkout and data access. With these POS components, retailers can foster a seamless purchasing process and learn more about their consumer base.
Economic uncertainty prevails
With Brexit underway and Italy’s recent referendum, the European community is feeling apprehensive about the global economy. The EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa worldwide standard for chip-based credit and debit card transactions) liability shift has also been extended from 2017 to 2020, causing U.S. automated fuel merchants financial distress. APG anticipated that retailers will hold off on POS upgrades and keep their hardware until the international economic situation improves.
E-Tailers hop on brick-and-mortar bandwagon
E-commerce may be on a roll, but brick-and-mortar isn’t going away anytime soon. According to APG, e-tailers, including Amazon, are dabbling in the brick-and-mortar sphere to provide consumers a more digital-oriented shopping experience. With this new retail format, consumers will able to use tech on their physical shopping outings and order items online and pick them up in-store. APG predicts that the future of retail will be a combination of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce, with the retail store becoming more of a local fulfillment center.
Mobile wallet isn’t the sole payment option
The mobile wallet craze may be a popular payment method, but consumers aren’t totally abandoning cash. APG expects consumers, especially those that are more budget conscious, to use a mixture of payments, including plastic cards, electronic apps and cash to purchase products this year.
APG predicts acquisitions are likely to occur in the POS space. As payment processors increase their activity in the POS hardware space and ISVs (independent software vendors) merge, key players will build up their portfolio accounts to offer clients more solutions.
Deploying POS peripherals and systems in the cloud will remain a key initiative for the next nine months. According to APG, this cloud integration will take the form in a pay-as-you-go model that enables customers to keep their systems up-to-date. Resellers will be able to increase profit margins and can build value-based services for their offerings. This methodology will continue to disrupt the POS technology sector this year.
Consumers, primarily those that fall in the Gen Y groups, are demanding a more seamless omnichannel experience. APG predicts that this purchasing behavior will drive retailers to develop unified commerce strategies. Streamlining communication onto one software platform enables retailers to connect brick-and mortar locations, mobile app stores and online platforms in real time. To boost unified commerce initiatives, retailers are also building up their IT investment fleets. With unified commerce, consumers can complete transactions without hiccups and retailers in return will be able to stay relevant in retail’s uncertain landscape.
Labor and wages take center stage
APG anticipates that labor and wages will continue to be pressing issues for 2017. In terms of POS, retailers will have to address the rising minimum wage and changing overtime rules, so they can continue operations without holding up their supply chains.