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Study: US Mobile POS Software Growth Misses the Mark

Despite analysts and industry experts trumpeting myriad benefits of point-of-sale mobility, many stores have been slow to join the parade. According to new figures from global research firm IHL Group, mobile POS software installation by enterprise retailers (read: those with more than 50 locations) only grew at a rate of 59 percent in the past year in the United States, when most insiders expected growth of 100 percent.

The study, published Tuesday, cited the expense of installing chip-and-pin card readers as the No. 1 reason why larger retailers are dragging their heels on mobile POS. Also to blame: unified commerce.

“Retailers in the market segments that are most likely to go to mobile POS transactions are focused on getting to a single transaction platform that serves not only mobile POS but traditional POS, mobile ordering by customers and online web orders. Many retailers are choosing to wait until this software conversion is ready before deploying the mobile POS devices,” Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Group, said in a statement.

Smaller retailers with fewer than 50 locations delivered 39 percent year-over-year growth, as vendors struggled to convince existing businesses to switch out their traditional systems for tablets.

“What is interesting among the smaller retailers is that most of the volume is on the churn. What we mean by that is that mobile and tablet POS sees its greatest market opportunity as a replacement for traditional POS units, particularly for those restaurants and stores that are opening for the first time,” Buzek pointed out, noting that vendors such as First Data, Shopify, Revel, NCR and VendHQ led the charge in the mom-and-pop market.