Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thoughts on News from NRF Big Show 2015

So I have been sorting through all the news that came out of the NRF Big Show for 2015 and there sure was a lot of news (Oracle entering an agreement to acquire MICROS) and cool new products and applications related to point of sale systems, data mining, social media marketing, electronic signage, and related hardware. However, just about everything that I have read so far applies mainly to larger chains.

While larger chain retail stores and restaurants are attractive from a revenue standpoint, my experience has been that there are more single location independently owned retail stores, museums, restaurants, bars, food trucks, and concession stands in the US by number. I'm talking about the typical "mom and pop" business with one to five locations that generate $250,000 to $800,000 in annual gross sales per location.

Looking at my database of over 4000 businesses (which I never share with anyone unless they ask me to),  90% are "mom and pop" businesses while the rest are chains with 16-300 locations. The 90% still need affordable point of sale systems that do everything that a point of sale system designed for a chain can do. 

Since these businesses have the same technology needs as the larger chains but don't have the revenue to justify spending $20,000+ on point of sale systems and related technology, I'm concerned that this segment of the market is becoming under-served to the point that the only point of sale systems on the market will not provide everything that these business owners need (or worse, come with requirements that take away precious revenue).

10 years ago over 10 different point of sale systems existed that had total costs well under $6,000 and provided everything that a single location (or small chain) business needed. Now, a business owner is hard pressed to find anything under $10,000 that doesn't come with contracts or similar that takes revenue away. Even more concerning is the lack of interest many local-based point of sale dealers/partners have expressed to me in serving the "mom and pop" segment of the market.

While mobile solutions like Bindo Point of Sale and NCR Silver are great - they don't yet offer full functionality for businesses that have more complex technology needs like locally hosted databases, jobber parts, backording, or employee scheduling.

Hopefully I missed the news specific to point of sale solutions for "mom and pop" businesses!

Obviously anyone with news or information about point sale solutions that meets the needs of these "mom and pop" businesses is welcomed to contact me and I will be happy to post information about your solution.  Your businesses must be located in the United State or Canada and have an existing active customer base.

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