iPads are killing the cash register

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it on recent shopping outings, but Apple has quietly taken over the retail space. The days of the essential counting machine cash registers are long gone, and even the more recent PC powered solutions seem to be few and far between, especially in smaller stores. There’s a new player in the market and it is a dead simple solution with little overhead…the iPad.

My family and I spent the better part of a week exploring the Fort Myers area of Florida recently, and as this generally does when surrounded by the women in my life, this meant shopping. A lot of shopping. During all these excursions, one thing was pretty evident…the iPad is the new cash register. Whether it was retail outlets in the mall, or stopping to have lunch, iPads were the Point of Sale machine used in the wide margin of these venues.

I started to pay closer attention as the week progressed and noticed 3 players in most of the marketplaces we visited: Square, Revel, and ShopKeep. All offered a similar theme on their setup. You need a glorified iPad dock with a credit card reader and a cash drawer. No need for some crazy layered PC kiosk setup and a huge desk to store it away. Any little nook and cranny could hold the sleek devices I was seeing.

I won’t bore you with the specs of each system and how they work, although they all offer a monthly charge to suit your business needs. This is just a simple observational piece on how the retail market has found a new partner in Apple. Not one of these instances were powered by an Android tablet. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of Google not pursuing it, or just the iPad mindshare winning out when office managers make their choice. But one thing is for sure, the cash register is dying and the iPad is winning retail.



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