This article is part two of a three-part series on mobile POS. Click here for part one.
All experts agree that mobile POS can enhance guest service and overall satisfaction if implemented correctly. The mobile solution must be user friendly and provide a platform for delivering guest service, said Chris Donahue, director for product management for Springer-Miller Systems. “In the hospitality world, information is a key to success,” Donahue said. “Having that information in the palm of your staff’s hands can set your organization apart from the competition.”
If all the functions of a point-of-sale system can be translated into a tablet/phone, which can be placed conveniently in front of the consumer for ordering or transaction processing, that is already a plus, said Cristian Morosan, assistant professor at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College. The information can be designed to become more persuasive and there are myriad creative ways in which ordering can be enhanced, such as pictures, reviews and gamification, which allows customers to have more control over the ordering process.
“Information can be updated in ordering systems so that everyone who is facing the consumer has access to updates about menu items, etc.,” Morosan said. “In addition, data collected for analytic purposes can be more precise, therefore allowing for the higher dynamic in changing menu items, pricing and strategies in order to increase the revenue streams of the organization.
“I also have seen situations where mobile POS systems were used by staff walking in areas where customers were waiting to order, which streamlined the ordering process and allowed the consumers to shorten their wait time, and also provided opportunities for the staff to interact better with the consumers and take advantage of situations where up-selling and cross-selling may work.”
Mobile POS offers greater revenue opportunities that were previously unavailable to hoteliers, said Teri Howe, principal product manager for the Infogenesis product line at Agilysys. Howe relates how several Agilysys clients used mobile POS to create a new revenue stream. One property that has a convention center put traditional food-and-beverage items on a cart going up and down the aisles during exhibition hours. Exhibitors, who were unable to leave their booths, were pleased to find credit cards were accepted. “POS mobility allowed the hotel to bring the terminal where the people were, instead of the people coming to the terminal,” she said. “The hotel was shocked and thrilled with the numbers.”
Another property took a gift shop cart into the special event area between events, allowing guests to purchase souvenirs that they may not have previously had the time to purchase. The property started this as a trial but went to full-time within a week because it was so successful. Other new revenue streams include outdoor concerts on the property or golf tournaments that are in need of temporary concession across a resort or property.
“These were all new revenue streams for traditional hotels,” Howe said. “Not being forced to use cash since they are using mobile POS allows for higher-priced transactions as well.”