I recently visited a local garden center and was excited to see that cash registers had been replaced with sleek iPads fitted with credit card swipers. What’s so great about that? Just think of all the benefits for the consumer – faster checkout times, receipts can be emailed instead of just printed, items can be paid for with cash, credit or even by Paypal account. For the retailer, the simplicity of using touchscreens, smaller size and portability, and access to sales data at a moment’s notice provide huge advantages over traditional cash registers. While I am not endorsing any company providing iPad POS systems, here are just a couple of examples of the types of products and services available: ShopKeep and SquareStand.
So where do we find out about advances in technology and how we can incorporate them into our businesses? There are many avenues – tradeshows, trade magazines, fellow retailers and wholesalers on the cutting edge – as well as the internet! I recently stumbled upon a blog titled “Retail Technology Trends” with tons of short but fascinating snippets of information on ideas and products in the market today – or one day in the future. If you have a few minutes to check it out – I suggest you do! For example – a new trend is the use of “beacons” – an iBeacon fitted in sunglasses would alert your mobile device when you are more than 16 feet away! The possibilities are endless….