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iPad Point Of Sale Innovations

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Technology


Many of the locations that I visited last year are in the beginning stages of replacing and or upgrading point-of-sale (POS) systems. Interestingly enough, many retailers large and small are experimenting with a tool that many of us see on a more and more frequent basis being utilized by schools, sales persons and those sitting next to us in airplane. This tool is the tablet.

I recently read a captivating article regarding the interest of retailers in using iPads as POS systems. I also recently reviewed a whitepaper on the importance of multi-channel retailing and within the whitepaper they noted that iPads and tablets are playing a growing role in increasing profitability. “The benefit of a tablet at retail is that it allows the customer (and salesperson) to bring it right to the product under con­sideration, initially providing information that the consumer can ‘double-check’ on the item itself, and possibly complete the transaction without having to spend time at a sales desk or in a check-out line,” said Dave Zoerb, senior vice president of mar­keting at Frank Mayer and Associates. “It makes for a more dynamic, interactive and convenient sales experience.” Convenience is one of our industries’ trademarks.

Tablets are already serving as POS systems. “This most famously is occurring at Apple stores, where there no longer is a tradi­tional check-out counter. Instead, Apple associates roam the floor with enhanced iPod Touches, and can process payments directly on the devices. Customers no lon­ger have to wait in line, and the perception is that the check-out time is much faster.”

“Salespeople are excited to work with tab­lets,” said Tom Tamulewicz, vice president of research and development at Columbia, Md.-based MICROS-Retail, a provider of enterprise applications for retail estab­lishments. “People are comfortable using them, even if they haven’t before, and they think they’re fun to use. That gets people eager to work with them, and eager to get out on the floor and sell.”

The long struggle with sales deflated by merchandise displayed within glass cases resulting in poor customer experience, may be solved with a cashier roaming the sales floor with an iPad. The cashier could perform merchandising duties while also selling electronics and the like with the added ability to show the feature and benefits of the products displayed within the case. With a tablet, the product comes alive; it speaks to the consumer’s visual purchasing mechanism.

So, if you are considering a new POS or an upgrade to your current system, it may be time to research the capability of a tablet and what it can bring to the profitability circle.

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.