Speaking from experience, the first time you make a transaction through a smartphone acting as a POS, there is a "Wow" factor. The associate scanning products, swiping a card and asking you to sign on the screen with your finger on the device in their hand still seems futuristic, but it is the future of retail. Not only that, but it is allowing merchants to get much more creative with their POS terminals.
A recent article in the New York Times interviewed several small business owners from around the country that have started using tablets as the basis for their cash register, but they are doing so in increasingly crafty ways. The design and functionality of tablets like the iPad make it possible to create innovative registers instead of the traditional clunky plastic versions. Some experts believe the current models can even be a disservice to companies as they can interfere with the relationship between customers and salespeople.
"From a design point of view, it's a disaster, and from a retail point of view, it's a disaster because employees are standing behind these refrigerators," Dean Heckler, who owns his own design firm in Phoenix, told the news source.
Tablet POS terminals also allow merchants to bring more personality to something that normally was impossible to do. The piece mentions several businesses that have created custom wood or steel tablet holders that swivel or run in tracks to add a new level to a typically straightforward transaction.
While not every business owner needs to go carve a POS holding device out of the nearest tree, this does go to show that tablets offer much more than just a way for customers to make a payment from anywhere in the store.