In the age of all-in-one electronic POS terminals, business owners don’t have to think too hard about the hardware they need to process transactions on their premises.
Pick a product from a reputable vendor, and you get everything bundled in – an integrated unit with an in-built computer, network-ready connectivity, and a touchscreen interface that makes life easy for your people. Tick the hardware box nice and quickly and you can spend more time and energy thinking about what POS software you need.
Integrated POS terminals make life easier for the end client, sure. But they’re not the be all and end all of POS hardware. There’s a whole bunch of other devices and gadgets that don’t automatically come with a terminal, but can make a big difference both to your business and to the customer experience you offer.
Not so helpfully, these extra bits and pieces get grouped together under the term ‘peripherals’, which immediately makes them sound not so important. But don’t be fooled – these gadgets are anything but unimportant. Overlook them and you could be missing out.
Here are three POS peripherals no business can afford to ignore.
One thing the modern customer loves, if not demands, is transparency and control. Whether they are browsing for something or paying, they want to be fully involved in the whole purchasing process. Blame it on the internet, where they do have complete control over everything.
It might sound like a small thing but having a customer-facing screen on your POS terminal so they can see exactly what is happening when you ring through that sale will make people that much happier. Extra screens on your POS are, after all, just another application of having digital signage around your store or restaurant. Two thirds of businesses report digital signage helps to boost customer engagement, while increasing customer satisfaction by just under 50%.
Multi-tech payment readers
Cash-only businesses are definitely in the minority these days and increasingly so. Whether you run a retail business, a cafe or restaurant, a bar, an entertainment venue, or a leisure destination, you probably started taking card payments years ago. You obviously therefore need a card reader as part of your POS set up.
But is a standard card reader enough, even if you have upgraded to contactless? Payments through so-called digital wallets – or using your smartphone to pay – accounted for 10% of in-store purchases in the US in 2020, falling only narrowly short of cash. Different digital wallets use different communication technologies to connect to a POS, including NFC, Bluetooth, and even the use of QR codes that must be scanned by a laser reader.
If you want to be sure every customer can pay, you have to offer an increasing number of payment options and technologies. That’s a good argument for upgrading your standard card reader for a multi-tech reader right away.
Finally, an extra piece of hardware that still doesn’t get the consideration it deserves in a POS set up is a digital camera. Put it this way – do you use CCTV for surveillance on your premises? And besides people trying to openly steal from you, what’s the other major crime risk your business faces? Card or some other kind of payment fraud?
So where would it make most sense to focus your video surveillance? With today’s HD video technology, small, discreet but powerful cameras can easily be added to your POS to capture a clear image of every customer. By integrating image capture with your sales records, if your system does flag up a fraudulent transaction, you can easily cross reference that with your video recordings and pass images of the person involved on to the authorities to help with their investigations.