Since the coronavirus pandemic burst onto the scene in the early 2020s, the ways in which we buy and sell goods and services have changed. These transformations have also affected the evolution of the point-of-sale (POS) hardware that merchants use to perform payment processing for retail stores. These POS trends will surely continue to optimize the customer and merchant experience for many years to come.

Cloud-based options.

These days, even smaller retailers are realizing the benefits of storing their sales, employee, and customer data off-site. Doing so makes it easier to access information from anywhere. It also minimizes the chances of a total business shutdown should disaster strike your physical store or servers. When your most important digital assets are securely maintained off-site by a PCI-compliant third-party POS provider, you can optimize your business operations across your virtual and physical locations. All while updating your payment software as needed in just minutes.

The rise of digital payments.

It should come as no surprise that today’s customers not only carry their smartphones with them wherever they go but also use these portable devices to browse and make online purchases. In addition, there is a strong trend toward greater use of contactless payments that occur when a shopper touches or moves his or her device near a merchant’s point-of-sale reader. The process works as follows.

  • The customer first enters credit card and other payment information into their smartphone’s integrated digital wallet.
  • The data is encrypted and stored securely.
  • At the time of purchase, the customer opens their digital wallet.
  • They place their phone within a few inches of the merchant’s contactless card reader and authenticate their identity with biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition.
  • Near field communications (NFC) technology allows the phone to communicate with the merchant’s card reader or POS system to exchange payment details securely.
  • The reader transmits the details to the merchant’s payment processor and other elements of the process.
  • Within seconds, the payment is approved or rejected.

This whole process should only take a few seconds. It should also be protected from cybercriminals with certified point-to-point encryption and tokenization. The result is payments that are fast, secure, efficient and inspire confidence, and may even motivate users to spend more.

More personalized shopping experiences.

Today’s shoppers are looking for a complete shopping journey that goes beyond simply making a purchase. With their ability to track customer shopping behavior, modern POS equipment is up to the task. Business owners who pay attention to the analytics-based data provided by their POS system, payment software, and online merchant portal can easily improve their marketing campaigns, modifying and customizing promotions to perfectly match shoppers’ individual needs.

Deliver a true multichannel customer experience.

POS solutions of the future are able to help you create a seamless shopping experience, regardless of whether your guests visit your physical space or shop online with their smartphone. Expanding your physical store to encompass a compatible online location can provide numerous benefits.

  • More potential customers.
  • Affordable setup and operating costs.
  • Easy-to-use analytics tools for real-time insight into shopping behaviors.
  • 24/7 availability of your products and services.
  • Access to social media marketing for greater exposure and direct interaction with customers.

Offering the maximum variety of payment options allows you to appeal to a wide variety of customers while expanding the reach of your products to accommodate their diverse and changing needs.

Since becoming a hub of sales and business operations, the modern POS has become an indispensable partner for today’s most successful entrepreneurs. While consumer demands and purchasing behaviors will continue to transform, it seems likely that the POS system, in one form or another, will remain a vital ally for merchants of all types and sizes.