- Mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems are mobile applications designed to function as a traditional POS system without stationary hardware.
- A tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device owned by the business can serve as a mobile POS device with membership software and card reader attachments.
- Businesses that require travel can benefit the most from mobile POS systems, such as stylists, food truck owners, busy chain stores, crafters, artists, and event hosts.
- This article is for business owners who need to make transactions on the go and would like to know how mobile POS systems can improve their business.
A traditional POS system is typically a stand-alone terminal with a cash register, credit card reader, and receipt printer. While it may be the most familiar, replacing it with a tablet or mobile phone can make a world of difference in sales and growth for small businesses.
As a result, according to Grand View Research, the mobile POS terminals market is expected to grow to $42.99 billion in 2022. These POS systems can be a business solution to increase profits, flexibility and autonomy.
Some success stories from different types of businesses show that any owner can put their business at an advantage with a mobile POS system. Here’s a look at how entrepreneurs like you are using mobile POS systems successfully.
Success story No. 1: Paleo drinks company increases its sales.
Company: Amara Beverage Co., raw fruit drinks company
Mobile POS solution: PayPal Here mobile credit card reader
Would you ever turn away paying customers? For Amara Beverage Co., accepting only cash meant losing up to 20% of its sales. Instead, PayPal’s mobile POS system enabled it to easily accept credit cards and increase sales. [Read related article: 5 Ways POS Systems Are Changing (and Why It Matters)]
“It’s extremely painful for an early-stage business to turn away customers who want to buy your product because you can’t accept cards,” said Greg Connolly, CEO of Amara.
After implementing PayPal Here, Amara increased sales by 20%. The mobile POS system also allowed it to sell products anywhere, such as at gyms and CrossFit events.
“We’ve had nothing but amazing results,” Connolly said. “I really enjoy the solution that makes a strong impact on our company’s bottom line.”
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Success story No. 2: Restaurant chain improves the customer experience.
Company: Honest Burgers, gourmet burgers restaurant chain
Mobile POS solution: BarPass mobile POS ordering system
Mobile POS systems can make running a business faster and easier. To maximize the speed of service at its six locations, Honest Burgers adopted the BarPass mobile POS system. Its biggest successes include improved customer satisfaction, the flexibility of sales channels, and less pressure on the restaurant staff.
“BarPass allowed customers to order their lunch or dinner before they had even arrived at the restaurant, minimizing wait times and reducing the pressure on wait staff,” said Ben Larcey, head of marketing at Bluebird Global, which makes BarPass. “The flexibility of the system also allows them to offer a takeaway option, which they were previously unable to do.” [Read related article: 5 Reasons You Need a Mobile POS System for Your Restaurant]
Success story No. 3: Niche shop takes control of inventory.
Company: City Beer Store, beer shop and tasting bar
Unlike traditional POS systems, mobile POS systems go beyond merely completing transactions. They can also integrate front- and back-end processes, which results in an efficient, streamlined reporting system. For businesses like City Beer Store, this means being able to take the reins of their operations. A case study by Revel Systems reveals how its mobile POS station helped City Beer Store take control of its inventory.
“Instead of coming into the office and taking hours to count inventory, items purchased are automatically withdrawn, and the inventory is updated in real time,” said Patrick Donnelly, former director of marketing at Revel Systems. Automating inventory control also resulted in lower labor costs, the case study revealed.
“Revel has saved me five to 10 hours a week on inventory and planning, giving me more time to run my business and make better decisions,” said Craig Wathen, owner of City Beer Store. [Related content: Choose one of the best POS systems for your business.]
Success story No. 4: Hardware store can now remotely manage sales and operations.
Company: American Home and Garden (Ace Hardware), hardware and garden products retailer
Mobile POS solution: Epicor Mobile Manager, a smartphone app that lets businesses remotely manage orders and sales
A mobile POS solution can eliminate the need to physically be at the office to keep an eye on sales. Epicor Mobile Manager enables stores like American Home and Garden to remotely manage sales and gauge performance with a smartphone.
“At any time and anywhere, I can check the sales of the store and see whether sales are spiking or declining,” said Ryan Lindner, store manager at American Home and Garden. “I can keep tabs on what items I am selling throughout the day. During the weekends, I can look at my phone to see whether the store needs me to come in or whether they’re managing fine on their own.”
Epicor’s mobile POS solution also enables Lindner to manage the orders remotely. He uses his smartphone at home to review and finalize orders, and to add top-selling items to orders. “Now I can ensure the orders are more accurate and better reflect what we are selling. Mobile Manager has made it easier for me to be more involved in the ordering process.”
Success story No. 5: Selling at trade shows and events becomes a breeze for this boutique.
Company: Ay Dios Mio, Latino heritage boutique
Mobile POS solution: PayPal Here mobile credit card reader
One of the biggest benefits of a mobile POS system is inherent in its name: It’s mobile. This doesn’t just mean being able to conduct sales anywhere inside a store, but anywhere there is an internet connection. Ay Dios Mio can attribute part of its success to using a mobile POS system, both inside its retail location at the San Pedro Square Market in San Jose, California, and at street festivals or trade shows.
“I use PayPal mobile when I do events and sell CasaQ products at wholesale trade shows and online,” said Ay Dios Mio shop owner Rose Mendoza. “It is convenient to use a mobile device because you are not dependent on hookups and sometimes having to pay electricity fees at trade shows.”
Compared to a traditional POS system, the mobile POS system has made running the shop much easier for Mendoza and her staff.
“We can charge customers on the spot instead of going back to the office and running the cards, track the sales by individual items, [and] immediately send customers an invoice,” she said. “It’s also safer than carrying cash and being open to getting ripped off – the list goes on.”
Getting a mobile POS system
The success stories above each detailed a certain mobile POS system business owners can find on the market. However, other mobile POS systems are available as well. Search mobile POS systems and find the different options that are out there. If you need help choosing one that’s right for you, read our guide to POS systems.
Costs vary for each option on the market. Hardware is one cost, but if you have a phone and tablet that you can use with the system, you can avoid that cost. Mobile POS software can be bought as a monthly subscription in most cases. Sometimes software is even free, with the option of paid add-ons.
Credit card payment processing fees vary also, but they apply every time there is a transaction. In-person and online transactions can have different payment processing costs. Mobile POS systems can have quote-based pricing or contractual agreements, depending on the company.
Brandi Calero-Holmes contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.