By Claire Reilly
Hewlett-Packard has announced the arrival of a new point-of-sale (POS) system for retailers, designed to create a more dynamic sales environment on the shopfloor.
As part of a suite of new products that were released today (including barcode scanners and video wall displays), HP launched the HP Retail Mobile POS Solution, which is designed to work with the HP Slate 2 tablet.
Building on the functionality and portability of the traditional tablet, the HP Retail Mobile POS case is a solid wraparound casing that adds a barcode reader and magnetic strip reader (for swiping credit cards or loyal cards) to the Slate 2.
The casing effectively turns the tablet into a mobile checkout, allowing staff to process sales anywhere on the sales floor by scanning a product’s barcode and then finalising the sale with a credit card payment.
According to an HP spokesperson, staff can also use the tablet display to “develop relationships and build loyalty by sharing videos, product reviews or even offering complimentary accessories to excite customers and help them make the purchase decision”.
In addition to providing flexibility with sales, the POS Case has also been designed to allow staff to complete inventory tasks around the store, or “report back results by snapping a picture with the HP Slate 2’s integrated camera”.
The Slate 2 operates on the Windows 7 operating system, and also features integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that allows staff “to check product availability, complete transactions, and e-mail customer receipts”.
“Combined with the HP Retail Mobile POS Case, the HP Slate 2 delivers easy portability with all the benefits of a full-featured PC,” said the spokesperson. “Now you can empower your [staff] to use a tech-savvy tool with your tech-savvy clientele and excite your customers about the differentiated, personalized retail experience.”
While it is not necessarily feasible to use this kind of device in every retail store, the launch of HP’s new POS range indicates a growing shift away from traditional retail methods that see consumers shopping for products on the floor and completing sales at the checkout.
The potential to bring the cash register to the consumer certainly opens up new ways for retailers to engage with customers. Perhaps the old fashioned bricks-and-mortar shopping experience is set to change altogether.
What are your thoughts? Will there always be a place for the traditional sales format, or should retailers start to get savvy with the way they close the deal? Let us know in the comment box below.
The HP Slate 2 (RRP from $899), complete with the new wraparound POS case (price TBA).