Independent sales vendors (ISVs) in the point of sale (POS) space must consider print functionality as consumer behaviors continue to evolve and merchants seek ways to provide the best experiences in their markets.
Essential Thermal Printer Features for 2023
John Choi, Product Manager for Epson America, shares his insights into market trends and thermal printer features that can give your clients an edge.
Tablet POS implementation has increased, and Choi points out, “Merchants are looking for printers that have a modern and compact design, as they want a printer that complements the aesthetic of the tablet-based terminal. The technology on the counter has become an important part of a merchant’s branding, so printers need to fit in with this branding.”
Since 2020, merchants have experienced firsthand how quickly circumstances can change. Thermal printers should be adaptable to changing circumstances, according to Choi. For example, the tablets merchants deploy at the point of sale often only have one port. However, they need to connect to peripherals, including a scanner and card reader. They also need to charge to stay operational. A printer with a flexible, all-in-one design that can serve as a hub with a range of connectivity options, including USB-PD, USB-A, and USB-C, addresses those needs and maximize a merchant’s printer investment.
Printers on a retail, restaurant, or grocer’s counter need to be designed to be hygienic and to resist damage from an occasional spill. Look for printer enclosures with IP ratings of IPX2 to protect the printer from water spills and built with materials that suppress the growth of bacteria.
Merchants want thermal printers that can provide fast and efficient customer service through fast print speeds and high uptime. These features can help businesses that use the printers streamline transactions and customer interactions by using software that has been developed with time, money, and resources. According to Choi thermal printers should assist solution providers in achieving these goals.
As you develop solutions for your clients, it’s important to maintain a big-picture view of how they’ll use them. In addition to being used at the point of sale, these printers may also be used in online order fulfillment or at in-store pickup counters. To ensure that your clients are not limited in how they use their printers or how they optimize their processes, it is important to include cloud printing capabilities in your solutions.
Backed by Warranty
It is important to thoroughly research the vendor and warranty offered when choosing a thermal printer to ensure the protection of your clients’ investments. Integrate your solution with a printer with a multiyear warranty and service and support from a leading manufacturer.
Where to Find the Demand for Thermal Printers
Whether you develop solutions for enterprise retail and grocery or Tier 3 and 4 specialty retail and casual dining, your clients need mobile thermal printers.
Epson introduced four thermal printer models at the 2023 NRF Retail’s Big Show to meet the needs of any merchant. The OmniLink TM-m30III and OmniLink TM-m30III-H are designed to maximize tablet connectivity and enable both top and front exit for space savings for smaller merchants with lower transaction volume. The OmniLink TM-m50II and OmniLink TM-m50II-H have a similarly sleek design but also reduce transaction time, minimize downtime, and can connect via legacy interfaces.
According to Choi, one benefit of partnering with Epson is that integration with their thermal printers requires no additional development as the same software development kit (SDK) can be used as with previous models. Epson also provides new partners with SDKs for both iOS and Android.
“As the market evolves, customers are increasingly using tablets for point of sale transactions,” says John Choi. He advises ISVs to provide their clients with the ability to design compact point of sale solutions with the right thermal printer features. “This will ensure that your clients are able to keep up with changing consumer behavior and remain competitive in their markets,” concludes Choi.