Gone are those days when the payment counter of a convenience store has a cash register as a transaction tool. With new modes of payment and a modern-day Point of Sale (POS) system, the cash register has indeed become a thing of the past. The modern-day Point of Scale system is a convenient payment structure that makes a revolutionary change in the payment of products that are bought by the customer. It is a terminal system that typically consists of producing detailed computerised receipts, accepting payments in the various mediums along with cash, and secured cash holding section, and maintaining accounts.
With time, as technology changes, some changes are brought about in the POS system to make transactions and shopping experience easier and better. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has changed. It is not a surprise that even the POS systems have also gone through resultant changes to accommodate the dynamic needs of the people.
As 2021 has come to an end, let us see what are the top 8 major Point of Sale trends to watch in the year 2022.
1. Rise in UPI methods of payment- Unified Payment Interface or, as we call it, UPI is an application that is used in smartphones that allows the transfer of money to take place from one bank account to another. Many UPI applications are being used by people. Google Pay is one such app that was released in 2018 that has almost 100 million users worldwide.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in the usage of UPI apps. At the tap of our fingers, payments can be easily executed along with high security. It ensures no physical contact with anyone; hence it enables us to main social distance.
It is noteworthy to say that the user interface is very user-friendly. It does not have a complicated system.
2. Growth in mobile POS systems- With the rise in the prices of properties and real estate, it is difficult to have a spacious business set-up. This is why there has been a rise in mobile POS systems as opposed to stationary POS systems due to crunch in space. A mobile POS system is called an mPOS system. They do not require much hardware and software maintenance either.
They are environmentally friendly too, as they do not need an electrical supply of energy throughout their operation. They mostly run on batteries and have a battery life of 8 to 12 hours. Even if few companies find it hard to completely switch to an mPOS system, there are numerous companies and businesses that have adopted a hybrid POS system set-up, consisting of both stationary as well as mPOS systems.
3. Loyalty coupons and schemes- In order to maintain the customer base and express their appreciation towards loyal customers, businesses and companies distribute discount coupons to their existing customers. These coupons usually have to offer discounts and offer on the next purchase and have to be redeemed in a stipulated time. This way, there is a guarantee on future visits of the customer.
Apart from coupons, after every purchase customers also earn loyalty points on the amount they have spent. The points get added to their shopping account, against which they can get additional discounts. In other words, the more they shop, the more they earn points. In 2022 and the upcoming years, these schemes will further go on to be innovative to grab the shoppers’ attention.
4. Inclusion of Social Media- In the era of trending reels, stories, and posts of the social media networks, it has even found its place in POS systems. Using a hashtag with the name of the business or retail store also brings exciting offers for the customers. Hence it expands the customer base of a business. Many social media influencers are keen on reviewing their latest purchase from brands. These influencers have a huge impact on the general crowd regarding a business.
Companies also indulge in creating new content in collaboration with celebrities and influencers. On seeing the review and content of the influencer, one can use an exclusive coupon code given out by the influencers to avail discounts on the products.
5. AI usage in POS systems- Artificial Intelligence has taken over the various fields of work. With the ongoing research and development in regards to Artificial Intelligence, it is the present-day trend. It has numerous merits. It does not need the hiring of human resources for dealing with POS systems. The AI systems are fed with instructions as to how should the whole process take place. AI usage not only is successful in saving time but also minimises error.
The customers’ shopping experiences are enhanced with the help of Artificial Intelligence. AI-controlled systems are able to generate the existing catalogue for the customers. The customer hence is able to know what products are available and what is not. As far as online shopping is concerned, AI enables the company to know the shopping habits of any individual; hence there will be suggestions as per their likes and dislikes.
6. South-East Asian countries in the lead- Countries like China and India are the most populous nations of the world. These two countries have the largest number of people using virtual POS systems. The most number of customers from these nations use UPI and online payments for shopping. In the upcoming years, other South-East Asian nations will also catch up with China and India.
Technologically savvy nations like South Korea, Japan may contribute to the number of people involved in improved POS systems. It is observable that there is a shift of focus from the western nations to the Asian nations. In the western countries, people are still supportive of the usage of credit cards and not many mobile methods of payment.
7. Review and rating systems- Customer review is very valuable. Lately, a 5-star rating is what the companies and businesses aim for. The provision of feedback gives the customers a feeling of power in their hands. A positive and detailed review encourages others to shop more. Companies have taken the initiative to have a dedicated review section attached with their POS systems. The role of an efficient POS system has hence been changed from merely a payment system to even include a comprehensive review system of the whole shopping experience of the customer.
A good review system is a better way of collecting data from the customers. Earlier, big and small businesses would either manually write down the reviews in a visitors’ book or maybe have a spreadsheet for records. These days, companies of any scale have a dedicated review maintenance system.
8. Sustainability – As per the SDGs or Sustainable Developmental Goals as per the United Nations, it is vital to incorporate sustainability and well-being of resources and people respectively. Presently, there have been initiatives of having the inclusion of systems that are sustainable in nature. To have zero-waste is what everyone is aiming for. There is less paper-work and more soft copies. Receipts have been replaced by soft copies of invoices. There are no longer bulky physical files but only virtual folders.
To have recyclable Point of Sale displays is another eco-friendly step towards sustainability. To reduce, reuse, and recycle the Point of Sale elements are the new goal of the present day. Even observing important days of awareness such as World Environment Day, World Animal Day, etc helps. There is also a section of ec0-friendly and home-made sustainable products at the Point of Sale section, such as jute bags, paper straws, natural loofahs, etc.
The above-mentioned points are the up-to-date predictions in regards to POS trends of 2022. We hope to see more than eight trends and interesting ones.