Retail Mobile POS: Untapped MSP Opportunity

Most MSPs are unaware of the current mobile point of sale (mPOS) buying supercycle. Why not earn your piece of the pie?

retail trends

According to a new report from global research and advisory firm IHL Group, the largest retailers in the US and Canada are driving a supercycle of replacements and new installations of mobile POS (mPOS) devices expected to happen from 2024-2026. The latest North America mPOS Market Study reveals that 57% of Tier I retailers, with sales over $1b annually, are planning to make a new mPOS decision in 2024 with rollouts later in 2024 – 2026.

“Similar to the way the early pandemic drove a major drive to laptop computers, that initial period also drove retailers and restaurants of all types to deploy mPOS units to support click and collect orders,” explains Greg Buzek, President of IHL Group. “Those units are due to be replaced and as new generative AI assistant tools are being added to support associates, this is quickening the pace of upgrades.”

If this is true for Tier I, it’s only a matter of time before smaller retailers also make upgrades. For retail-focused MSPs, this is a trend worth watching.

As you consider this opportunity, it’s worth evaluating your existing portfolio to ensure you can provide the features retailers are seeking. If you’re considering breaking into the retail market and still need to build out your mPOS line card, you, too, will want to consider the following features.

Must-Have Features for mPOS Solutions

      • Multiple Payment Options: Your mPOS should accept all the payment methods your customers use, including credit cards, debit cards, NFC payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and even cash. You’ll also want flexibility in the payment processor being used to handle the electronic transactions. Not all mPOS solutions work with all processors, and retailers might have a preferred processor. Understand the breadth of processing options before selecting your hardware and software.
      • Security: Make sure the mPOS system is secure and PCI-compliant to protect customer data. Look for features like encryption and password protection.
      • Inventory Management: Keep track of your stock with features like barcode scanning, low-stock alerts, and the ability to update inventory levels in real time. Built-in AI tools promise to add even more power to inventory management.
      • Cloud-Based System: Cloud-based mPOS systems allow you to access your data from anywhere with an internet connection. This is essential for businesses with multiple locations or remote employees.
      • User-Friendly Interface: The mPOS app should be easy to learn and use for employees. Look for an intuitive interface with clear instructions.
      • Offline Functionality: Even with a cloud-based system, your mPOS solutions should still be able to process transactions even if the Internet goes down.
      • Reporting & Analytics: Gain valuable insights into sales with reporting features that track sales trends, identify top- and low-selling items, and analyze customer behavior.
      • Receipt Printing: Offer your customers paper or digital receipts for their purchases.
      • Employee Management: Manage employee schedules, permissions, and track their sales performance.
      • Customer Management: Store customer information for loyalty programs, targeted marketing, and purchase history.
      • Online Ordering & Delivery: Offer online ordering and delivery options for your products or services.
      • Table Management (for restaurants): Seat customers, manage orders, and split bills.
      • Customer Surveys: Present brief surveys to customers during checking, providing valuable insights into the business.

While the unique needs of this market do require some specialty knowledge and a willingness to provide after-hours support, the opportunities can be lucrative. Perhaps even more exciting to MSPs is the fact that many VAR competitors in this space have been slow to adopt managed services. With a known buying supercycle underway, why not earn your piece of the retail mPOS pie?

Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of Managed Services Journal (formerly XaaS Journal) and DevPro Journal.