What is Tablet Point of Sale?
In the current business sector, it’s an established fact that utilizing the right technology is an essential component in staying competitive. Point of sale (POS) systems are some of the most widely-used technology solutions in the retail and hospitality industries. Retail and restaurant tablet POS is a useful tool in the toolbox for businesses looking to increase efficiency and profits.
Tablet POS is an effective way to add mobility to your operations. Essentially, it’s POS software used on a tablet to take transactions and simplify business processes. While some business owners choose to use tablet POS in lieu of a traditional fixed POS, it’s best used in conjunction with a fixed POS to enhance its capabilities.
Overall Benefits of Tablet POS for Business
Retail and restaurant tablet POS offers many advantages to business owners, and can be utilized as a fantastic resource to increase productivity and streamline processes.
Some of the many benefits include:
- Improved customer service and engagement – A tablet POS enables staff to better serve customers. It provides instant access to information customers need to know. In retail, a tablet POS can help sales associates look up information about certain items. In a restaurant setting, a tablet POS system can provide answers that customers have as far as ingredients in dishes, specials, possible substitutions, and even nutrition information.
- Increased speed of service – Retail and restaurant tablet POS provides mobility where there was none before. From allowing customers to pay for their meals at the table, to helping shoppers place orders for products right from the sales floor, a tablet POS increases the speed at which your employees can operate.
- Improved ergonomics/smaller footprint – While growth is always good, it does not come without growing pains. The need to expand your POS system is one of those pains. By opting for a tablet POS system, you can expand your business without needing to add more bulky terminals.
- Cost effective – Not only do retail and restaurant tablet POS systems save space, they save money. Additional terminals can result in hefty overhead costs, but tablets are much less expensive than traditional fixed terminals. The reduced upfront costs can be extremely beneficial to your bottom line as you grow your business.
Benefits of a Tablet POS System for Restaurants
In a restaurant environment, fast and streamlined service is key. A tablet POS system can help achieve this by automating many different business processes. With a tablet, servers can take tableside orders and have them sent directly to the kitchen, instead of taking the time to hand-write orders and deliver them to prep stations or enter them into the POS afterwards. Managers can take tablets with them to the stock room so they can verify the inventory count is accurate and identify discrepancies.
For some restaurants, fixed tablet POS systems can be used as self-order kiosks. Because you can configure these to include prompts for upselling, you can greatly increase the average ticket size. When customers and servers enter orders into the tablet POS directly, and have them sent straight to the kitchen, it greatly reduces the number of incorrect orders. This reduces waste and improves service.
You can further speed up the transaction process – as well as increase customer satisfaction – by taking tableside payments. Rather than dropping of the check, waiting for a card to appear, running it through, giving it back, and waiting for customers to sign the receipt, you can complete everything at once. Customers enjoy the security of their card never leaving their sight, while you increase your table turns.
Seamless and secure payment acceptance
To keep up with trends in a society that is slowly, but surely, becoming cashless, restaurants have started using mobile POS devices such as tablets and kiosks. Not only do mobile POS devices bring convenience to the customer experience, they also bring security to customer information. With pay-at-the-table EMV technology, customers run their own credit cards, eliminating the risk of card skimming. EMV cards are also more secure than magnetic stripe cards; data stored on the chip is encrypted uniquely with every use. Customers will appreciate the knowledge that their card data is safe as well as the convenience of these payment options.
Improves restaurant profitability
Pay-at-the-table EMV allows customers to pay when they’re ready, eliminating the need to wait around for a server to drop the bill, come back for the card for processing, and return it for signature. This streamlined process increases profitability by increasing table turnover and encouraging customers to return. Pay-at-the-table EMV also improves your profitability by protecting you from liability. If a fraudulent transaction occurs without EMV tech, you are held responsible for charges as well as potential fees and penalties.
Enhances customer service and improves operations
Implementing pay-at-the-table options enables your staff to serve more customers with confidence and speed. Without the need to use a fixed POS terminal, traffic throughout the restaurant will drastically reduce, making peak hours more manageable. Daunting tasks such as splitting checks several ways can become painless with a POS tablet or kiosk, minimizing staff stress and customer wait times. An improved customer experience also leads to higher tips for your servers, which, with pay-at-the-table tech, can be selected by the customer right from the payment screen.
Online and digital ordering are essential technologies that restaurants should leverage during the pandemic. Third party online ordering solutions allow customers to enter their own orders that then are sent directly into the preparation queue. They also have the option to pay online. This technology minimizes face-to-face interactions between customers; when customers order online and travel to the restaurant only when their order is ready, the time they spend inside the restaurant is reduced.
Tableside Payment Solutions Transform into Curbside Pickup and Delivery
For those looking to make their curbside pickup and delivery services even safer and more efficient, look no further than your tableside payment solutions. Your rugged tablets and other payment devices used for tableside service can be used to process payments curbside for pickup orders or at the door for delivery operations. Restaurateurs can take it a step further and require all online orders for pickup to be placed and paid for online via curbside payment solutions to keep customers and staff as safe as possible.
Benefits of a Tablet POS System for Retail
While some of the benefits of retail and restaurant tablet POS systems overlap, such as achieving better customer service and reducing costs, there are many unique benefits to retail tablet POS. In a retail environment, customers and businesses alike benefit from faster checkouts and reduced lines. A tablet POS system equips associates to process additional transactions quickly during peak hours – and can even be used to help customers check out directly on the sales floor or in the checkout line.
How Retail Tablet POS Contributes to Experiential Retail
Gives Customer Hands-on Experience
Experiential retail is all about giving your customers a unique, fun experience that they will remember after they’ve gone. You can engage them by allowing them to try and experience new products, provide an interactive shopping experience, incorporating a café, and much more. Kiosks can also be used to upsell and cross-sell to customers. With both tactics, your customers will spend more time in your store and will be more likely to make a purchase.
Turn Store Associates into Expert Consultants
With a retail tablet POS, your store associates have all the information they need at their fingertips. Associates can easily look up inventory, access customer loyalty data, and other information so that they can provide customers with expert assistance. With an increase in the quality of customer service, customer relationships will thrive, fortifying loyalty and increasing sales.
Offer a Complete Retail Experience
Mobile and tablet POS can improve processes behind-the-scenes to help streamline store operations. Long checkout lines can be avoided when customers can be checked out via mobile or tablet POS. Fixed POS terminals can also be replaced with tablet POS to free up space and achieve a modernized appearance.
Implementing a Tablet POS System
The process for implementing retail and restaurant tablet POS systems is much simpler than installing a new traditional POS. Business owners can leverage the tablet POS as an enhancement to their existing POS, rather than their sole system. Tablets can be integrated into the existing software to add mobility and increased functionality. Since they are portable, there is no downtime spent installing a fixed terminal. Even if the tablet POS is used as a fixed kiosk, the installation processes is quicker than a standard terminal.
It is important to note, however, that leveraging a tablet as your sole POS system may mean setting yourself up for failure. Retail and restaurant tablet POS systems alone aren’t powerful or fast enough to run all of your business applications. Tablet systems also rely on internet connections. It’s best to have a traditional POS terminal that runs on a hybrid cloud solution and can store data locally in the event of an outage. The traditional POS can handle many of the background processes, while the integrated tablets can be utilized on the sales floor or dining space.
Most Common Applications of Tablet POS
Each business is unique, with individual needs and specific processes that it relies on to operate effectively, so the ways that retail and restaurant tablet POS systems are leveraged differ from business to business. However, there are many common applications for these systems that benefit almost any business.
- Stationary/fixed POS – During busy seasons, when an influx of customers is expected, or during periods of business growth, tablet POS systems can be utilized as an easy additional terminal, without requiring businesses to purchase an entirely new fixed terminal. These tablets can be used for other purposes during off seasons, or when foot traffic isn’t as high.
- Tableside ordering – Tableside ordering directly translates to faster and more accurate order processing while also improving customer service. This has the potential to increase ticket sizes, as guests have an interactive way to view drinks, sides, appetizers, and desserts throughout the dining experience.
- Line busting/kiosk ordering – When a customer is deciding whether or not to make a purchase, seeing a long line can easily break the sale. Long lines are a universal deterrent for customers. Retail and restaurant tablet POS systems can help bust lines before they hurt sales by giving customers the option to place orders and pay for items without having to stand in line at the checkout counter.
Mobility is a Must-Have
Online ordering and curbside pickup were adopted by many businesses in order to bring in revenue amid lockdowns and social distancing guidelines. These methods, along with mobile and tablet POS, are likely to remain in place post-pandemic due to the convenience they offer customers. While these technologies were already on the rise, the pandemic undoubtedly amplified the trend. Businesses without mobility technology will want to adopt it soon to stay ahead of the competition.
New Customer Expectations
Customers will have undoubtedly become accustomed to the convenience that services like online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery provide. Soon, people will be returning to their regular, busy routines and these convenient solutions will be just as popular. Additionally, some may be less inclined than others to return to normal activities right away and will therefore continue to use contactless options for their own safety.
Smart Technology Choices are Crucial
Many businesses didn’t make it through the initial stages of the pandemic. Those who managed to survive the crisis are the ones who were able to pivot quickly and adopt crucial technology such as online ordering services, table POS, and cloud-based management in order to improve safety, security, and customer experience.
Tablet POS for Your Business
When you are looking to improve operations and grow your business, you’ll need the right tools to help you out. There can be a financial and practical barrier to implementing a new traditional POS system for a business that is currently growing or looking for ways to grow.
NCC offers cost-effective retail and restaurant tablet POS systems that help save time, improve service, and offer a better return. To learn more about how a tablet POS system can improve your operations, contact NCC today.