Magazine Article | June 25, 2012

VARs' Guide To Retail POS

By Business Solutions magazine

Significant Trends

Sell Cloud-Based Solutions — “Many factors have created a significant shift for retailers who are now implementing and even embracing cloud computing and SaaS solutions. Benefits include minimal start-up capital required and IT budget consistency; highly scalable with faster and simpler implementation; no client technical skills or systems administration required; rapid ROI; anywhere, anytime accessibility; future-proof features and functionality; painless updates; and real-time, on-demand reporting capabilities to analyze and quickly respond to sales and customer trends, even if away from the store, through the use of mobile device.” Josh Wintoniak, business development manager, Auto-Star Compusystems.

Integration With Other Systems — “VARs should take a closer look at POS software that supports valued-added features like automated loyalty enrollment based around the AAMVA (U.S./Canadian) driver’s license, and recommend software products that extend this capability to retailers. By scanning driver’s licenses at the POS, retailers can enroll customers at the POS without impacting average checkout time, thereby improving the customer experience or allowing the retailer to expand program enrollment.” Steven Lane, americas marcom leader, Honeywell Scanning and Mobility.

Pitfalls To Avoid

Don’t Overlook The Basics — “Resellers often overlook the unique requirements of customers and fail to identify the best solution for their needs. Another mistake that we sometimes see is that in the longer term, VARs forget to regularly stay in touch with their customers for ancillary sales and services, suggestions and feedback, and success stories they may publish to earn new accounts. It’s easy to forget about customers who use Web-based solutions when support calls are handled by the service provider.” Josh Wintoniak, business development manager, Auto-Star Compusystems

Break Free Of Your Stale Formula — “The new POS paradigm creates significant opportunities for recurring revenue. It’s a mistake to stick with a stale formula focused on the initial sale only. This approach is unsatisfying for the merchant as well and leaves a significant amount of earning potential untapped. Traditional maintenance contracts can be bundled to include ongoing services that help merchants make money through loyalty or gift options. By working to become an ongoing resource as a respected advisor/partner, VARs move back to the higher margins of the value-add space.” Teddi Davis, VP of Marketing, ProfitStreams

Sales Advice

Become A Subject Matter Expert — “R&D is an important part of any business. VARs are subject matter experts, but only as long as they keep both current and ahead of the curve on the products within their space. Concepts and products such as mobility, SaaS, mobile wallets, cloud, tablets, and several others are dramatically changing the face of POS. Play with a few attractive solutions today. It’s too early to pick winners and losers; however, the experience gained will help position VARs best for success in the future.” David Gosman, CEO, pcAmerica

Adapt Or Perish — “VARs must adapt to emerging market conditions where retailers have smaller budgets and bigger demands. These conditions are no longer temporary; they are becoming the standard. VARs should have a defined implementation process that demonstrates the speed of implementation compared to traditional software. In addition, they must be able to demonstrate in a concrete manner how the customer can achieve savings; if so, it creates an opportunity for VARs that are prepared. It is important that VARs continue to work with the client after the sale by providing ongoing training and support.” Josh Wintoniak, business development manager, Auto-Star Compusystems

Why Sell Retail POS Solutions?

New Technology Provides Unique Selling Opportunities — “SaaS solutions provide win/win scenarios for both retailers and VARs. Technology has never been so affordable, comprehensive, or agile. Some of these technologies offer features that were once available only to corporations with million dollar budgets and a large IT staff. Today, retailers can obtain real-time results that identify operational/financial trouble spots and emerging/eroding product trends with laser focus and immediacy. Best of all, the retailer can do this with nothing more than a Web connection. Revenue smoothing and predictability are major advantages. VARs experience minimal market entry barriers, limited competition, near elimination of price comparison shopping, and significant opportunities for recurring revenues. A minimum number of personnel are required for hosted solutions across boundary-free sales territories.” Josh Wintoniak, business development manager, Auto-Star Compusystems

Time-Tested And Reliable — “Stationary POS has been field-tested to be retail- and hospitality-hardened, so that it can operate optimally in such punishing environments, while combating environmental pollutants and rough handling by its users.” Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales, Posiflex USA