IN the past decade mobile phones have gone from being a handy accessory to an essential part of everyday life.
With people increasingly using phones to organise every aspect of their lives – and phone screens now a common sight in the on-trade – it’s no surprise technology firms are incorporating them into their EPOS systems.
And as consumers become used to paying for a range of products and services on their phones, the practice is also becoming increasingly popular in the trade, say firms.
“Mobile payments enable faster payments and table turnarounds,” said Lesley Corr of Posera.
“For the licensee, it enables them to collate customer insights to improve service, encourage re-visits and build loyalty.”
This combination of being able to provide a convenient service to customers and a valuable resource for licensees is one of the main advantages of incorporating mobile apps into your EPOS system, according to Robin Knox, co-founder of Intelligent Point of Sale.
He said: “For the customer, the technology is opening up the prospect of new offers, loyalty schemes and brand interaction delivered directly to their phones, at the point at which they order or pay in a bar or restaurant.
“For the licensee, it’s about customer satisfaction and repeat business.
“The latest mobile EPOS technology, for them, is also about better reporting and understanding customer patterns and behaviours so that they can react and plan accordingly.”
And as mobile technology continues to develop, more and more consumers will expect to be able to use their phones to browse, order and pay for their food and drink in the on-trade.
According to a recent report commissioned by EPOS firm Zonal, the number of consumers using mobile devices to pay their bill is increasing steadily as people become aware of the technology and how to use it.
“In-app ordering drives revenue from a single customer visit by increasing spend in a more convenient, fun and appealing way,” said Clive Consterdine, sales and marketing director at Zonal.
“And it’s a very effective tool in terms of converting additional sales.”
Consterdine said that customers can often be more open to recommendations from an app than from a waiter or waitress.
“The customer is far more likely to say yes to an app than to a human,” said Consterdine.
“It’s strange, but true.”
Phones don’t account for all the progress in EPOS, of course, and across the board the technology continues to evolve.
“In all types of licensed trade business, customers increasingly demand both convenience and an engaging experience at the point of sale,” said Owen Chen of Posiflex.
“Although EPOS systems are well established as an essential part of conducting daily business, technology is evolving and new solutions are being developed all the time.”