How point of sale systems help bricks and mortar businesses thrive

The Covid-19 pandemic changed how many of us shop for goods and services. It encouraged (or forced, depending on your view) many of us to shop online.

This was a good thing for businesses that could handle the change because it helped them continue to generate income while their customers stayed away from physical locations.

For many of these ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, the transition from using premises for sales to online-only, or hybrid business models, was made possible using so-called “smart” point of sale (POS) systems. These systems combine the best physical hardware and software to provide a seamless shopping experience.

Trethowans
Trethowans

This guide to POS software is valuable reading because it explains how the technology works. Here’s what else you need to know.

Nearly everyone is on the internet

It’s no exaggeration to say that most of us have access to the internet. Official UK government data shows that 92% of adults in the UK were recent internet users in 2020.

The numbers are even higher for adults aged 16-44: in that age group, 99% used it recently. And, even in the over 75s, the number of recent internet users nearly doubled between 2013-2020 (from 29% to 54%).

No doubt this data, released on 6 April 2021, is slightly on the low side, given the impact the pandemic has had on us all.

But we crave physical shopping

And yet, despite impressive statistics about internet usage, people still like to shop in-store. As this January 2021 American report shows, 46% of survey respondents still preferred to shop in person, even during the pandemic. No doubt bricks and mortar businesses will benefit from this pent-up demand. Crucially, the survey found that 61% of people said they are likely to spend more when shopping at business premises compared to online.

POS systems help deliver the wow factor

Reasons people want to shop in bricks and mortar businesses include that:

  • They can touch and try out physical products
  • Customers enjoy the actual shopping experience
  • They get to take something home or use it right away instead of waiting for delivery.

Behind all of these factors lie smart POS systems.

Businesses use POS technology to track inventory and make sure that items are in stock. This means that, if customers want them, they can touch and use items before taking them home right away.

Shoppers are also impressed and delighted by a seamless, easy, point of sale experience. For example, some people love using their Google Pay or Apple Pay systems to simply tap a POS terminal and go. Others appreciate getting receipts emailed to them, as that is one thing less to carry around, and shows the business’ commitment to the environment.  Businesses and customers alike benefit from the security these systems provide.

A key benefit of smart point-of-sale systems is that they help businesses reach more customers wherever they are. As we get used to the “new normal”, bricks-and-mortar businesses are primed for a comeback. Smart POS systems will help.