Thursday, March 27, 2014

Press Release from NCR on a New Feature in NCR Silver

NCR SilverTM mobile POS adds loyalty and rewards for small business

 New release of POS system for iPad®, now with rich loyalty program, makes it easy for small merchants including restaurants and retailers to reward customers

DULUTH, Ga., March 5, 2014 – Small businesses can now easily create, run and manage reward programs with the release of NCR Silver iPad® point of sale (POS), with subscriptions starting at only $59 per month. NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, today announced the new loyalty component of its powerful mobile POS for small businesses.

Loyalty complements the existing automated email and social marketing functionality in NCR Silver making it even easier for caf├ęs, shops, restaurants, boutiques, food trucks, and any small business to reward customers for repeat purchases. Loyalty fits seamlessly into the checkout process, automatically tracking rewards with each sale so customers see exactly what they have earned and eliminating the need for paper punch cards. Rewards and customer information reside on the NCR Silver POS system and merchants retain all the data rather than share it through a third-party loyalty application.

“Satisfying your best customers is critical to the success of every small business,” says Justin Hotard, general manager, NCR Silver. “We added loyalty to go along with email marketing, customer history, and reporting to make NCR Silver the perfect fit to grow any small business.”

Technology has changed how small businesses build loyal customer bases with digital alternatives to the old paper punch cards. Recently, MarketingProfs published ‘Surprising Facts about Customer Loyalty Marketing,’ reporting that if you structure your loyalty program effectively, you will see a lift in visits and revenue from your enrolled customers. The report also notes that over their lifetime, loyal customers spend 10 times more than new customers.
NCR Silver with loyalty now does more to help time-starved small business owners like Patrick Harkins.

“I send a personal note after every sale and people really respond to that,” said Harkins, owner of Jackson, MS-based, Fondren Guitars. “When they come back, I look at their order histories to see their preferences and recommend just the right guitar or accessory. Now, my customers know they can trust me and they come back, because at my store they have a better customer experience – which is the foundation of building loyal customers.”

NCR provides live, 7-day support and access to Silver SidewalkTM, a customer community portal with information and opportunities to connect with other members. NCR Silver runs in the cloud, uses consumer-friendly technology, and works on Apple® devices running the latest iOS. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Support End Dates for Microsoft Point of Sale Programs

A quick reminder that sales of Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ to new users ends next year (2016) so please keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing RMS or HQ as point of sale software for your business or organization.

Update 28.June.2015 - special discount and incentive from a national NCR CounterPoint Partner for RMS and HQ users: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2015/06/big-discount-and-incentive-for.html

Microsoft has announced some dates related to the end of support timeframe for many of their point of sale software programs.  Here are the details for the most popular programs:

Dynamics POS 2009:
Mainstream support and sales to new users will end on July 8th, 2014.  If you stay current on an annual maintenance agreement, then support for POS 2009 is extended to July 8th, 2019.

Dynamics RMS Store Operations and HQ:
Mainstream support and sales to new users will end on July 10, 2016.  If you stay current on an annual maintenance agreement for RMS/HQ, the support will be available until July 13th, 2021.

I am still waiting on Microsoft for more news related any new or updated retail point of sale programs being released. This information will likely become available in late April 2014.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Retailers Are Searching For

I know that I have shared various statics from organizations like the National Retail Federation in past posts but also wanted to pass along some interesting statics from this blog site.

The most popular posts on this blog site are the product reviews. If the statics are accurate then...
  • 76% of you are searching for Windows based point of sale system (and more of you are searching for Microsoft RMS than all other point of sale software programs combined!).
  • 13% of you are searching for an electronic cash register
  • 11% of you are searching for a tablet based point of sale system
The only reason I share this, is that the industry is telling us that the split between tablet based point of sale systems and computer based point of sale systems should be nearly 50/50.

Note that this information applies just to specialty retail stores as I am not tracking the restaurant related information.

Another thought is that I know of several new point of sale systems that will be coming on the market over the next few months and they are all tablet based (I'll be reviewing one of them in detail as it offers features that rival computer based point of sale systems while maintaining the affordable pricing that a tablet based point of sale system can offer).

Update 3.April.2014:

51.1% Traditional
43.3% Tablet
5.6% ECR (Electronic Cash Register)

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review of Bindo Point Of Sale

Update November 9th, 2014. I can confirm that Bindo, Clover, and Silver have now added the following:

Bindo POS: basic invoicing and quoting functions

First Data Clover (still restricted to using First Data for merchant services): Item attributes, modifiers and barcode label printing.

NCR Silver: Barcode label printing and QuickBooks Accounting interface.

Note that some of the added features may require paying an additional fee and/or using third party software.

I have mentioned in several posts that tablet and smartphone based point of sale systems tend to not include all the functions that a computer-based point of sale software solution can offer. Tablet and smartphone point of sale solutions like NCR Silver and Clover don't offer some key functions like purchasing and receiving, tracking cost, time clocks, printing barcode labels, and item level attributes for style, size, and color.

I had the opportunity to take an in depth look at Bindo Point of Sale (Bindo POS) for iOS devices and this solution is light years ahead of Clover and NCR Silver. In addition to handling purchasing, item attributes for style, size and color, time clock, gift cards, customer loyalty program, printing barcode labels, and other common point of sale functions, Bindo POS also offers 3 key things that should make you take a look at Bindo POS:
  1. Flexible Merchant Services – One of my big issues with point of sale solutions like Clover, HarborTouch, and QuickBooks POS is that these companies force you to use one specific company for merchant services (aka debit and credit processing service). I have personally seen the rates that some of these customers are paying and they run about ½% higher than normal which translates to easily $5000 to $20000 in additional fees. Bindo POS allows you to pick and choose the merchant services company that can offer you the lowest rates.
  2. EMV – Even with EMV coming up next year, I still get a lot of blank stares when I ask companies how they plan to become EMV compliant. Not so with Bindo POS. Testing is already in progress to offer EMV compliant hardware.
  3. Online Marketplace – Offering your products online is a “must have” in todays era of specialty retailing. Having the time and energy to maintain an online store is tough for most retailers and many point of sale solutions require you to maintain two separate inventories (online and in-store) or only sync the online and in-store inventories a few times per day. Not so with Bindo POS. Bindo POS offers a complete and very easy to manage online marketplace to display and sell your products over the Internet.
I was also impressed how the leadership at Bindo POS has taken the time to develop a point of sale solution based on input from actual retailers.


With a free 30 day free trial offer and monthly pricing starting at $79, Bindo POS will be giving both
traditional and tablet/smartphone based point of sale systems a run for their money. More reviews on Bindo POS can be found here: https://bindopos.com/reviews

You can learn more about Bindo POS by visiting their website at www.bindopos.com or by calling 1-800-MY-BINDO (1-800-692-4636).

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tabby from Samsung

So this is pretty cool - Samsung has released a basic point of sale system named Tabby. Tabby is designed to run on any device with a web browser (tablet, smartphone, laptop, or desktop).  Looks to be very basic but easy to learn and use.  Here are some more details and you can always contact Ada Cash Register at 208-407-2202 for more information as Tabby is only sold through Samsung Dealers.

Update 21.August.2014 - I am hoping to take a more in depth look at Tabby by the end of May when I will be visiting the main Samsung US distribution facility in Minneapolis, MN.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Paper, Ribbon and Label Supplies for Former DirectPOS Customers

Many businesses across Idaho as well as Montana, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington relied on DirectPOS to provide receipt paper, printer ribbons, and barcode label supplies. Just a reminder that Ada Cash Register has taken over supplying these items as well as handling cash register sales, programing, and repairs.

Here is the contact information for Ada Cash Register:

Ada Cash Register
600 N. Maple Grove Road
Ste. P5
Boise, ID 83704

208-407-2202

Ada Cash Register also offers discounts for volume supply purchases. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Micros E7 and 3700 Review

Over the last 14+ years I have mainly focused on Retail and Museum point of sale solutions but I have also had some experience with a couple of the solutions from Micros. Here are my thoughts specific to working with the e7 and 3700 solutions from Micros:

The Good:
  • Solid solutions designed for any food or liquor service business
  • Well designed hardware
  • Flexible when it comes to programming
  • Extensive reporting
  • Large customer base
 The OK:
  • Have to use their hardware and peripherals
  • Not a "do it yourself" solution - lots of initial training and on-going support
  • Somewhat traditional - not a forward thinking company (eg. last on the market with tablet solutions)
  • Lots of add-ons allow the system to work in hospitals, hotels, and venues like event centers

The Needs to be Improved:
  • Expensive!
  • If you have issues with your Micros dealer/partner it is very difficult to switch to a new dealer/partner as Micros assigns protected territories
  • Expensive to make changes (eg. changing who handles your credit and debit card processing)
Summary and Note for folks in Idaho and Oregon:

Micros has been like a 3M in the point of sale world. Solid and reliable but expensive and not the "latest and greatest".  Of note, the 2 Micro's technicians servicing Micros customers in eastern Oregon and all of southern and eastern Idaho have quit so I'm not sure what level of service Micros customers in these areas are receiving currently.

If you are one of those customers, please do contact me and let me know. If you are searching for a point of sale solution for your restaurant or bar from a local company with local service (and multiple customers throughout Idaho) please let me know and I can put in touch with them.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com.

Monday, March 3, 2014

PCI Compliance Survey Results

I've been harping a lot over the last year about planning for the upcoming EMV requirement which will affect everyone who takes credit and debit cards.  Based on a recent survey of retailers by ControlScan, it appears that many folks are still ignoring PCI compliance.  The survey results are surprising to me as PCI has been around for several years now and who wants to risk fines and fees that could put you out of business overnight.

I'm going to focus on some of the result specific to retailers with 1-50 employees and processing under $500,000 annually (which would approximate to annual gross sales of less than $800,000 annually).  Of the survey respondents...
  • 71% feel that they are not at risk for a data breach
  • 64% have no action plan should a breach occur
  • 45% have no employee designated to check network and related security
  • 36% don't feel that PCI compliance is a priority
Obviously, point of sale and merchant services companies have not done a good job of stressing the need to maintain on-going PCI compliance. One data breach (which can also come internally from a dishonest employee) can result in fines exceeding $20,000 as well as the loss of revenue and the ability to accept credit and debit cards.

If you are not sure about your PCI Compliance status, please contact the company that provides your merchant services (credit and debit card processing) to ensure that your hardware, software, and network equipment are PCI complaint.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com.