Point-of-sale (POS) manufacturers are tracking an increase in hardware sales on the back of the GST and BAS, as retailers become more aware of PC-based solutions and what it can do for them.
Paul Mitchell, sales and marketing director of NCR's retail solutions division in Asia Pacific, says the POS manufacturer has seen a lot of growth in vertical markets, such as newsagencies, pharmacies and the tobacco industry. "Our so-called channel friendly' products are generating huge interest from independent retailers because of their competitive prices, ease of installation and ease of use," he says.
Mitchell believes the 25 to 30 per cent drop in pricepoint has enabled a lot of Ma and Pa stores to break into the market. Meanwhile, increasingly techno-savvy retailers are seeing the possibility of combining their front and back-office functions into the one PC-based system.
"Retailers from all walks are starting to understand the importance of capturing as much transaction information as possible," says Mitchell. "They can see the impact it will have on managing their supply chain, speed of ordering, delivery and recovery of stock."
Safety issues are also driving the rollout of kiosks and ATMs for bill payment, ticketing and depositing takings throughout the course of the day, according to Mitchell. He says small businesses, such as petrol stations, pubs and newsagents, in high-crime areas have started installing ATMs. This is not only as an added service for customers, but as a means of protecting their earnings, especially as banks continue to consolidate branches.
Government decisions, such as the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission's dissection of the Franklins franchise and its delegation of a certain number of stores to independent owners, is winning particular approval from resellers, issuing them with opportunities that aren't monopolised by the vendor's direct sales force.
NCR is also witnessing enormous growth in its reseller channel, as local companies look for offshore opportunities in the South East Asia region, utilising its product's built-in language flexibility. However, being a PC-based technology, POS hardware is susceptible to the same slim margins as the desktop and mobile computing markets, forcing resellers to find the value-add and maintain their competitive differentiator.