Insights

Selecting the Right Hardware for Your iPad-Based POS

By Alex Goodwin

April 6, 2016

Creating a seamless in-store experience is integral to a delivering true omnichannel shopping, but many retail tech companies are slow to evolve, and brands are disappointed by amalgamations of clumsy, outdated hardware fused onto an otherwise sleek and attractive tablet.

A fixed POS system powered by an iOS device like an iPad addresses a litany of customer and sales associate use cases and finding the right hardware to support it is just as important as finding the software. Below are the three things to look for in a fixed iPad-based device. They may seem simple, but finding all three in one device can be challenging.

Avoid ad hoc systems

Many fixed POS devices appear sleek in their basic design but require clunky attachments and extra power cords to operate. Ad hoc systems are composed of disparate components from a variety of vendors and usually involve lots of cabling, Bluetooth pairing, and other cords, that result in a sloppy-looking and less-reliable solution. Look for a tablet-based device that powers scanners and POS apparatus from one power source and integrates all into a thoughtful, cohesive and lightweight design. No ad hoc systems need apply.

Demand sleek, attractive design

In an industry so reliant on visual impressions, we’re constantly surprised that more tablet-based devices don’t focus on the aesthetics of their product. The checkout station is a key component of the shopping experience and can completely derail an otherwise impeccable store design.

The importance of an attractive system is more than “skin” deep: sleek design that evokes a tablet experience not only engages the shopper but is instantly intuitive as in interactive device, resulting in a tool that delivers value at every step of the sales cycle for the associate and the shopper.

Don’t settle for subpar design when choosing an iPad-based POS system. Shoppers won’t respond, in-store branding will be compromised and functionality is likely to be sacrificed.

Find retail-ready hardware

Whether you’re using your iPad-based system for payments, clienteling, couponing or in the fitting room, the device needs to deliver retail-ready hardware with professional-grade scanning. That means solid construction is essential, but it also means brands should look for the most evolved scanning and payment technology available. Also look for solutions that are easy to power (preferably with one cord) and are totally secure to ensure the tablet withstands customers’ use (and abuse).

POS functionality should be modern yet reliable, with payments working as a smooth cog in an overall seamless design. Think through the payments hardware that works best in your store, then find a device that offers it as part of a cohesive design.

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