A few trends are converging that will positively impact the point of sale (POS) as a service space. First, the demand for hardware as a service (HaaS) is growing. Transparency Market Research predicts the U.S. HaaS market will grow at a CAGR of 24.6 percent through 2026 to reach $304.8 billion. Factors driving growth are the reduction in operating costs when using HaaS and the ability to deploy IT to help businesses increase their revenues. The report’s scope includes all types of IT hardware used across various industries, demonstrating that business leaders are increasingly open to hardware provided under the as-a-Service model rather than owning (and maintaining) infrastructure, devices and peripherals.
Another trend impacting the POS as a Service space is the demand for POS solutions in general, which Grandview Research predicts will grow at a CAGR of 6.9 percent from 2021 through 2028. These analysts point out that growth has declined due partly to supply chain disruptions. However, there is a demand for point of sale solutions that enable contactless payments and support consumer demand for services such as curbside pickup and buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS).
As more businesses warm up to buying POS subscriptions rather than owning hardware and software, POS as a service becomes a more viable solution. Clients who can’t source the hardware they need due to supply chain shortages may opt for a subscription-based system in the interim. Then, after using the new system, they may adopt it as the preferred strategy moving forward.
Additionally, your POS as a service offering can promise to meet your clients’ needs—but not promise PCs, devices or peripherals from specific vendors—helping you navigate issues created by supply chain disruptions.
Also, your clients pay one predictable, budget-friendly price to use the POS as a service solution you provide, and you build your business’ monthly recurring revenue.
Grow Your Business with POS as a Service
Ryan Williams, account and marketing manager for Custom Business Solutions, Inc. and co-host of the Restaurant Technology Guys podcast, offers advice to IT solutions providers that can contribute to a successful POS as a service business.
1. Bundle Solutions
Williams says one of the most significant advantages of selling POS as a service is that you can bundle multiple solutions into one offering, which can be an offer too good to refuse for busy business owners. “One hundred things are happening at any given moment,” he says. “If a VAR can simplify life by lumping multiple services into one offering, and it all works, that’s valuable. You may have just taken 20 things off their plate.”
He adds that if something goes wrong, the business owner makes one call to you for help rather than to multiple providers. Bookkeeping is also easier for your clients. They write one monthly check to you rather than sending payments to various vendors.
Your business can also benefit by bundling everything the merchant needs into the solution: POS hardware and software, Wi-Fi, loyalty, kiosks, payment processing, and more. You also control which IT solution the merchant uses, so you know they’re up to date and work seamlessly, providing your clients with the best possible experiences.
2. Do the Math
It may be a burden for retailers and restaurateurs to make a capital expenditure to get the POS systems and other IT solutions they need. Still, they may be able to afford a reasonable monthly payment to use your POS as a service offering.
Also, explain to your clients that at the rate technology advances, a CAPEX they make today won’t have the latest and greatest features in a year or two. With your OPEX offering, however, you can give your clients the option to upgrade after the initial term of your agreement, allowing them to have the advantage of new technology.
3. Be a Consultant, not a Salesperson
Williams points out that successfully selling POS as a service starts with listening to your prospects and understanding their needs. For example, suppose someone is taking over a small family restaurant and has no plans for expansion. In that case, their needs will be very different than an entrepreneur with plans for multiple locations, even before the doors of the first restaurant open. “You want to be familiar with where they are today and give them a solution that can grow where they’re headed tomorrow. Needs change as businesses change,” says Williams, “but you don’t want to force something’s that not a good fit.”
4. Cultivate Sales from your Current Customers
POS as a service is never set-it-and-forget-it. Your clients’ needs will change, and the as-a-service model gives you monthly touch points to offer new products and services. You’ll keep your clients informed of new options available to them and help them solve challenges, for example, deploying kiosks to relieve some of the pressure created by the labor shortage or adding mobile POS devices for staff assisting BOPIS customers.
Make the Offer
Informing your prospects that there are other options than making an upfront CAPEX can position you as a valuable partner and advisor rather than merely a hardware salesperson. Of course, POS as a service won’t be the ideal solution for every client, but it may be the answer for many of them.
You can also rest assured that financing is available that minimizes your risk and helps you get your POS as a service practice off the ground.