As computer systems become more technologically advanced, so too do the point of sale systems for many businesses. It’s not uncommon to see tablets being used in restaurants, or mobile POS systems being used in higher-end retail stores. But for anyone who’s a business owner, making the leap to a wireless or mobile POS can seem daunting; after all, the switch also requires additional tech support, installation, and ongoing maintenance – and the costs can add up. However, modernizing your system is more than just “keeping up with the times” – it could also attract and retain more customers, as well as providing higher quality of service.

Let’s examine both the pros and cons of going wireless or mobile with your POS system:

The Advantages

Given that customers these days are coming to expect quicker and more convenient service, choosing a wireless or mobile POS is the way to go. Beyond simply providing a unique, on-trend way to place orders or make reservations, going wireless could also be the way of the future. Consider loyalty programs and how many are also tied to mobile apps, or the emergence of payment systems on your smartphone – all of these options are made possible by wireless and mobile technology.

On a wider level, an article at Business Universe points out that wireless and mobile POS systems are a huge key to customer satisfaction, one of the main drivers for a successful business. The piece notes that with wireless POS, “checkout times are smaller and customers spend less time waiting in a queue. Information about goods can be retrieved faster, which could help rise customer satisfaction as well.” Since speed of service can be a make-or-break factor for industries such as hospitality, the ease that a mobile POS can provide is a big advantage.

Updated POS systems are also tied in to the logistics of running a business. According to the Business Universe article, “ePOS systems make tracking of inventory faster and easier. Orders of goods, reports, analyses, and payroll are easier to make.” Depending on the system you install, making the switch from a wired system to a wireless or mobile one could potentially free up hours of labor, as well as providing more accurate analysis of inventory.

The Disadvantages

It’s not just older establishments that are sticking with wired POS – many industries, from retail to hospitality, still rely on a wired system. As up-to-date and high-tech as wireless and mobile POS may be, there’s room for error in both installation and activation, and many businesses are wary about taking that chance – especially if customers may be lost as a result of a downed system.

On that note, making the switch to wireless POS could open up a whole slew of technical issues that your company may not have the ability to handle. Installing wireless/mobile POS also requires accounting for potential repairs, upgrades, and maintenance, which some business do not consider ahead of time. Moreover, a blog post from Oracle points out that “there are many other advances in POS technology that need consideration, from more robust data analysis and reporting capabilities to expanded payment processing options such as e-wallet apps.”

The other factor is the cost involved with installing a wireless or mobile POS. If a business does not factor in the accurate cost of installation and ongoing maintenance, a wireless or mobile POS could prove to be an expensive choice.

Evaluating Your Options

When choosing between staying with a wired POS or switching to wireless, it’s important to look at the size and scale of your business. Is this a good move to help facilitate ease of service and promote better customer interactions? If your business has properly evaluated its needs and its budget, a wireless/mobile POS could be a choice that pays for itself in the long run. Just be sure you’ve calculated in the total price of installation and maintenance, and determined that the benefits will more than outweigh the cost.

Has your business switched to wireless/mobile POS? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.