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Millions of retailers and hospitality providers are expected to upgrade their Point of Sale this year as they look to better cater to the mobile consumer, and legacy systems running Windows 7 reach their end of life.
Research firm IHL has tipped the end of support for Windows 7 will affect up to 1.7 million users in the US alone and the shift is expected to see the static POS market surge by six per cent. Meanwhile, mobile Point of Sale will also receive a boost as business looks to embrace a new mobile era.
Here’s what you need to know…
In a recent research report IHL predicted two big issues would drive retailers and hospitality providers to reconsider their Point of Sale technology over the coming months:
• The end of Windows 7 support
• The need to adjust to unified commerce
Next year extended support for the Windows 7 operating system officially ends, meaning retailers running this software at the fixed Point of Sale will need to upgrade their technology.
In North America alone, IHL notes that will see over 1.7 million POS terminals up for replacement.
“This has many retailers considering other platforms from the traditional fixed position Windows-based POS,” IHL states.
Meanwhile, retailers are also looking to better cater to the needs of the consumer with detailed insight and unified commerce at the Point of Sale.
"As consumers continue to demand shopping options via multiple channels and particularly their mobile devices, we see this driving the need for new POS technologies to take advantage of these orders," President of IHL Group, Greg Buzek explained.
"Once retailers get to a single view of their customer information and inventory across all their channels, the next step for most retailers is the updating of their POS technologies so that they can fully leverage the information to meet customer needs at the store level."
The need for upgrades is likely to see the traditional POS market increase by six per cent this year in North America alone. It’s also likely to drive further adoption of mobile Point of Sale.
While some businesses may opt to replace their legacy systems with a traditional fixed Point of Sale, the end of Windows 7 support will also likely see many embrace the opportunity to go mobile.
In a separate report in late 2017, IHL noted 39 per cent of retailers were looking to upgrade to mPOS over the next 24 months, while Juniper Research recently forecast a spike in mobile Point of Sale adoption would see one in four transactions at the Point of Sale conducted using mobile devices by 2023.
mPOS is broadly defined as Point of Sale that is delivered by a device that connects wirelessly to the internet. It generally includes tablets and smartphones and sees data stored in the Cloud. In the retail or hospitality environment, this offers a wealth of benefits.
Meanwhile, Finance.com explains cloud-based data storage allows:
Recently IHL confirmed mPOS was enjoying rapid growth, with their report Mobile POS: What Reality Looks Like indicating installed units increased by 24.9% in 2017.
The report also noted the use of the devices differed between larger retailers and smaller chains.
For smaller retailers, mPOS was generally a replacement for traditional POS and often acted as a fixed station device. It essentially served a traditional POS function, but utilised a tablet or handheld device.
For larger enterprise retailers, however, the mPOS was most often used as an additional customer touch point, augmenting the personal engagement with the customer, and helping with the sale process.
And it was here that mPOS proved particularly beneficial. IHL found large scale enterprise retailers using Mobile POS were seeing sales growth around 42 per cent higher than those not using mPOS.