What is a connected POS and what does it mean to you?

There’s much talk in retail technology right now about the concept of a connected POS and the role it will play in the future.  Put simply, it’s the idea that the Point of Sale system will move from a straightforward means of totalling spend and taking payment to an integrated ‘hub’ for a variety of value-adding, often digital services that c-store and forecourt merchants will use to build into their retail environments.

Differing visions…

There are different schools of thought on how the vision of a connected POS will be achieved however.  Some software companies are seeking to build out their POS software to include many of these new value-adding services, however TLM’s view is that this has a high potential to recreate the issues that have plagued convenience and fuel retailers historically.  Past providers have tried to develop every single functionality themselves, often resulting in badly executed solutions and lengthy delays for new features and capabilities to arrive. After all, it’s difficult to truly be the best mobile pay provider, loyalty solution and so on. And because software has been written on proprietary code, integrating third-party services for new features has resulted in costly and often prohibitive integration costs, meaning convenience and fuel retailers simply lose out.

Our vision is somewhat different.  For us, the idea of being truly ‘connected’ is made possible by a POS system engineered with an entirely open architecture. Our own evoPOS solution was developed with this in mind – to enable third party providers and developers to immediately integrate their services and applications with our POS. This flexibility means there’s no bottleneck of waiting around for the POS vendor to release the capability, or even develop the desired functionality in the first place.

What this means to you and your customers

What this openness brings to the retail merchant is choice. With a potentially unlimited amount of best-of-breed solutions for the services retailers seek, they can select their preferred solution for mobile payment or vouchers for example to create their chosen in-store experience, and boost the satisfaction of their employees. This results in all of their value-added services, regardless of the software developer that has created them, being connected and accessible through a single, user-friendly EPOS system.

Equally, as the way in which the modern customer approaches their retail experience continues to evolve, the technology they come into contact with needs to keep apace. They expect to be able to use the same interactive, mobile-ready services and functionality that they are already familiar with, so access to a hand-picked range of integrated, unified services could provide a level of seamlessness and personalisation that keeps them coming back time and time again.

We’ve designed evoPOS to do just that, so all of our customers can enjoy the most connected experience possible. If you’d like to discover more about connected POS, evoPOS, or any of our other c-store and forecourt products, we’ll be showcasing these at the National Convenience Show on 16 – 18 April at the NEC in Birmingham. Come and visit us at Stand N40.

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