If you’re in the market for a new point-of-sale system, you may have come across the trend of using an iPad POS for taking transactions.
The concept of an iPad POS is simple: you have an iPad, you place an app on the device and begin ringing up credit card transactions with a card reader that’s attached to the iPad. Typically, the mag stripe credit card reader will be attached via a phone jack or a USB port. In certain cases, the card reader could be attached via Blue Tooth wireless technology.
Regardless of how the card reader is attached, the strength of an iPad point-of-sale system lies within the iPad app features and the mobility of the device itself.
Here are four features that an iPad POS can offer your store or restaurant:
Take orders on the go.
Imagine a customer shopping for clothes in your store. He or she tries on a shirt and the fit is perfect. They are excited to finally find something to wear to the big event they have coming up. Rather than taking them to the counter across the store to ring up the sale, the sales person in a store with an iPad point-of-sale can take advantage of the mobility the devices offer by ringing up the sale right there in the aisle or near the fitting rooms. The customer never needs to go to the counter for a special trip. It’s a convenience that many shoppers find attractive.
Similarly, a restaurant can use a device to offer customers the option of paying at the table with the device or, in some cases, ordering their meals through the iPad.
Built-in email marketing.
Email marketing is a very attractive way to stay in front of customers. Studies show that it is one of the best ways to market to consumers. That’s good news for owners of iPad point-of-sale systems because many of the apps used to power the POS come with built-in email marketing capabilities.
With the email marketing, restaurant or store owners can create a monthly newsletter to send to their customers. They can also send out announcements about new sales or other promotions. In some instances, it’s possible to send emails to customers who have not been back to the business in a certain amount of time. You may also be able to send emails on customer’s birthdays or holidays.
Built-in loyalty programs.
Similar to the email marketing, loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers coming back to your business. It’s worked great for Starbucks and several other companies are trying to replicate that success.
With an iPad point-of-sale, the loyalty program is often built in to the system. Customers typically put an app on their phone and then scan the receipt. The iPad point-of-sale system matches the customer to transaction and keeps track of the points for you. Most of the time, businesses can set up the loyalty program however they like: receive a free meal after earning 1000 points or receive a free bag of charcoal after purchasing 10.
However you decide to keep score, the important thing to keep in mind is that the customer wants to feel like they’ve earned something and that will induce them to return to the business and continue using the loyalty program that’s build into the point of sale.
Greatly reduced startup costs.
While an iPad POS system is a not a perfect fit for all businesses (especially those with multiple units and complicated needs), it’s a great idea for those businesses that want a low up-front cost compared to traditional point-of-sale systems. The iPad point of sale will typically run between $1,000 and $1,500 per station to begin with. That’s compared to the traditional point of sale systems that often begin in the low five figures for hardware and installation.