Text

AirPOS Super Shopkeeper for June - Meet Michael Jenkins, Owner at Pure Running Ltd

Located in Belfast’s Wellington Place and Newry’s Francis Street, Pure Running is one of the leading specialist running and walking shoe retailers in Ireland.

But why AirPOS? Aware that traditional ePOS systems were outdated, Owner of Pure Running, Michael Jenkins realised how quickly the retail landscape was changing and wanted a joint up ePOS and e-commerce solution that was easy to manage, modern and mobile.

When asked about his decision to use AirPOS, Michael said that;

"Given the fact the AirPOS platform is scalable across multiple stores and multiple channels, the system really future proofs our business and will help us to reach new customers as well as stay in touch with our current customers better"

AirPOS has been happily ticking away in Pure Running for just over a year now and Michael summarised his experience to date;

"From day one, we really hit the ground running with AirPOS! I know that the AirPOS team will continue to help and support us as we continue to grow because the platform is constantly evolving with new features being developed all the time."

When we asked Michael what the future holds for Pure Running, he told us that;

"In these first 20 months as Pure Running Ltd, we have opened over 40 accounts with all the top running, walking and fitness brands. The next stage of our development is to launch our new online business in the Autumn - promoting lots of fantastic running offers and exclusives from 40 brands. The new website will be launching this summer at www.purerunning.co.uk with online shop to follow. Its onwards and upwards for us with a new Multi channel route to market thanks to AirPOS!”

So whether you’re after ‘gutties’, ‘go-fasters’, sneakers, runners or running shoes, be sure to call into Pure Running where you’ll get some of the best advice and widest range of quality running shoes in Ireland.

We blog about our customers every few weeks and if you’d like to get involved as one of our featured shopkeepers, just email aaron@airpos.co.uk

Text

AirPOS at mPOS World, calling names and talking numbers…

For such a large city the pace of life in Frankfurt is sedate. The city is quiet and calm, despite the multitude of people and traffic constantly passing through its tramline sliced streets. The place is a tonic; a picturesque example of 21st century living where street markets intersect seamlessly with modern shopping malls and breath-taking old architecture sits quaintly beside hyper-modern skyscrapers. Frankfurt is a shining example of the old living comfortably beside the new, and as such is the perfect place to host mPOSWorld. 

As the world’s largest event for retail’s new wave, mPOS World is also a patchwork of the old and new, with traditional hardware and payment companies standing not just beside, but with, the newest wave of retail focused start-ups.

On opposing plains as always stood Star Micronics and Epson, interspersed mostly with mPay providers (we’ll get to definitions in a minute) while Visa, Mastercard and Micros representatives milled around the floor. Star kindly again hosted AirPOS on their prominent stand, but also iZettle, Payleven and others. It’s a winning approach that show’s Star’s strategy of embracing tablet POS and payment to be forward thinking and paying dividends, again the perfect melding of the old and the new.

The talks also featured this theme, with Shopkeep making the journey all of the way from the USA to talk iPad POS and the benefits of the cloud, while we also gave a keynote on the importance of data and the need for POS providers, mPOS providers (again, we’ll get back to definition later) and more traditional payment companies to push forward together. After all we are all trying to achieve the same thing, a market-ready replacement of legacy POS and payments systems that allows everyone, from the smallest retailer to the largest supermarket, to adopt technology that will help them to make better decisions, and ultimately more money by adopting modern business techniques such as data mining in a simple and affordable fashion.

On that note it speaks volumes that the big news of the day was the acquisition of Micros by Oracle, one of the original big data companies. What this means for SMEs and small retail is hard to say, but the purchase is likely to be more about the enterprise customers in the Micros estate rather than the small merchants. That’s a lot of data for Oracle to chew through, and of course that’s exactly what Oracle are and have always been about. It might well be the final check out for Kaching! But I guess we’ll need to wait to find out more on that one.

In our talk, we also touched on the issue of defining what we’re doing and giving it a name that our end customers can understand. We live and breathe small retail solutions and yet we’re starting to get confused by what the industry now calls mPOS. Of course it means mobile point of sale but can a card reader attached to a phone or tablet with some fundamental software really be considered a legitimate replacement for POS?

We don’t think so. Of course the term mPAY also is used to describe what iZettle, Payleven, iPay, FlyPOS and others are doing and we think this is perhaps the better term. Certainly iPay have an exciting proposition coming to market soon, more on that presently.

And then again a combination of what we do (which we just call POS or ePOS by the way depending on your territory) and what the new payments guys are doing is the ultimate proposition, and we can look beyond this to feature many value adds and exciting developments being brought to market by companies like Zapper and Yolla in loyalty for example for what comes next.

It’s long been said that 2014 could be the year of mPOS, cloud POS or modern POS, whatever terminology you wish to choose. And given the extensive research being touted by Visa at the event this seems to be the case.

Thus far in 2014 we have had visibility across a mass convergence, with better hardware such as the iPad Air, Google Nexus and latest range of Samsung Galaxy tablets bringing sufficient pep on which to do things, mPay providers beginning to open up and integrate with more advanced POS providers and Visa and Mastercard waking up to the fact that what we’re collectively achieving is not a fad, but a revolution housed under the roof of our own very successful trade event. The name may change in years to come, but mPOS World should act as validation for us all, and a springboard to do more and better things in years to come. 

Our slides are available via the following Slideshare link, enjoy :)

http://www.slideshare.net/martyneill90/a-little-data-makes-a-big-difference

Text

AirPOS Super Shopkeeper for May - Meet Pete Jones, Director at The Eden Centre

Throughout February and March, we ran a competition to win a Google Nexus 7 fully loaded with AirPOS. Pete Jones from the Eden Centre was our lucky winner and a few weeks on, we thought we’d catch up with him to see how AirPOS is helping him in The Eden Centre. 

Situated in South Wales, The Eden Centre is an indoor active play centre for children that offers the best of facilities as well as a cafe that serves excellent coffee and great food.

But why AirPOS? According to Pete Jones, Director of The Eden Centre;

"On starting the business nearly 2 years ago we were looking at all different kinds of POS with specific ideas in mind, we wanted a platform that we could change and adapt to the company, we wanted technical help that when we had issues they could be contacted, We wanted to be able to have stock control on multiple sites, and we also wanted staff to have there own unique logging in procedure, AirPOS ticked all of these boxes and we are so pleased that we chose to use this platform."

AirPOS has been happily ticking away in The Eden Centre over the past two years and when we asked Pete what the future holds for The Eden Centre, he told us that “Expansion is continuing and new sites are starting to be developed but best of all, I know that AirPOS will continue to help and support us as we continue to partner with them. Keep up the great work!”

Since installing AirPOS, it’s proved invaluable according to Pete who summarised his experience to date;

"AirPOS has been a strong platform that has grown with us, as our business gets bigger and bigger the platform has managed to keep up and we would be happy to recommend AirPOS."

We blog about our customers every few weeks and if you’d like to get involved as one of our featured shopkeepers, just email aaron@airpos.co.uk

Text

Retail Analytics: The Next Frontier for Retailers

Small retailers who think analysing data is only important for larger retailers should think again… Deciphering sales trends, customer information and utilising retail data is a strategy that all retailers should must employ. Technology has created smarter shoppers – it’s time to become smarter shopkeepers.

We were very privileged to be asked to speak at the ‘Add To Basket’ Conference in Dublin a few weeks ago, an event organised by IBEC Retail Skillnet in association with Retail Ireland to highlight the urgent need for retailers with a physical presence in Ireland to get a larger share of the country’s growing online market.

We had some of the industry’s brightest minds from a number of Irish and international organisations including Mags Kennedy (Facebook), Mark Barry (Google), Roisin Woods (McElhinneys) and our very own Marketing Manager, Aaron Flanagan deliver presentations, describing the benefits trading online currently offers. (You can watch Aaron’s presentation below)

Whilst the conference aimed to highlight the urgent need for retailers with a bricks-and-mortar store to get a larger share of the growing online market by going multichannel, it was also an opportunity to discuss the growing importance that connected data plays in this rapidly changing retail environment.

Let me explain.

In a galaxy not so far away technology is rapidly changing everything, relentlessly and without apology to those who can’t keep up. It’s one of the few things that never stands still, with advancements happening on a daily basis. That’s evolution folks, and it isn’t going to stop. One area that has experienced a large deal of development over the last few years is analytical retail.

Retailers are more data-driven than ever before, taking advantage of POS and e-commerce data in new and innovative ways. Analytics have become one of the most powerful tools available to retailers, providing more insights into their business, their customers and their competitors. The opportunity to achieve competitive advantage from “analytical retail” is enormous and is crucial for small businesses that want to compete with the larger companies.

Fortunately with the advent of cloud computing, small retailers can now take advantage of new and powerful technological business management tools, including some that didn’t exist even a decade ago such as cloud based point of sale systems.

Traditionally in retail when a sale was made, there was a plethora of information exchanged, but for far too long, it was not recorded. However cloud based POS in contrast to POS systems of old collects all of this information and puts all of the important data like sales, customer details, products and other business intelligence up there in that great big cloud, allowing you to manipulate it at will, pass it through other applications and much more from any internet connected computer. Now instead of wading through spreadsheets in a darkened stock room beside some noisy server, you can check your sales at home, or half way up a mountain if you really feel compelled to do so!

To illustrate this, lets use AirPOS for example. With AirPOS, retailers have one master inventory database that brings together the online and offline areas of their business - turning the traditional bricks-and-mortar store into the clicks-and-mortar setting that was considered a pipedream at best. Our powerful multi-channel software is helping retailers by providing real-time visibility across inventory, sales data, financial records and customer information, from both in-store and web sales at a price point that is the most affordable in the cloud ePOS marketplace.

With these sorts of analytical tools available, retailers of all sizes can dig into their data like never before, discovering those vital statistics needed to really understand sales patterns, best sellers, employee performance as well as helping develop closer relationships with customers and balance inventory better.

However the core value of retail analytics doesn’t lie in the sophistication of the technology, but rather in it’s end result - providing retailers with more insights into their business, their customers and their competitors. 

For small retailers, unlocking value in this fragmented world by harnessing retail analytics is vital now, more than ever before and it’s only by exploring, exploiting and employing this untapped wealth of knowledge in the retail arena will small retailers be able to make better business decisions and compete with big business.

Little data makes a big difference.

Text

AirPOS Super Shopkeeper for April - Meet Jacquie Cozens, Co Founder of Turtle SOS.

image

Turtle SOS are a non-profit association dedicated to the protection of marine turtles and their habitat in Cabo Verde (Africa), the world’s third most important nesting area for loggerhead turtles.

In the summer of 2007, two very concerned individuals - Juan Blanco and Jacquie Cozens were both appalled at the brutal and blatant slaughter of turtles all over Sal and were determined to do something about it so they started Turtle SOS.

Seven years on and Turtle SOS are a recognised partner in turtle conservation by the Cabo Verdian government and work in collaboration with the DGA (Ministry of Environment), the Camara Municipal (Local government), INDP (Fisheries Department), ISECMAR Marine Sciences Institute, Natura 2000 in Boa Vista, WWF and the law enforcement agencies in Sal.

But why AirPOS? To help raise money and awareness, Turtle SOS also has a bricks-and-mortar store and Jacquie Cozens, Turtle SOS Co Founder said that;

"We had a problem with stock control which sometimes caused us to unexpectedly run out of items - a serious issue when you have to import everything from Europe. However with inventory management and stock control being a core function of the AirPOS platform, this has been much improved"

AirPOS has proved invaluable to Jacquie who said that prior to AirPOS;

"We had a printed form with all items listed which would be completed by hand and transferred to an excel spreadsheet later which made it much harder to analyse which items were selling well."

Now thanks to the sales tools and powerful AirPOS reporting suite, Jacquie can now see her top selling items from anywhere and at anytime. Having used AirPOS for a couple of months now, Jacquie told us that;

"We feel really confident about using AirPOS because the team are always so helpful. We are now ready to take the next step and launch on online store using AirPOS, something we have been thinking about for some time!"

To find out more about the great work Jacquie and Turtle SOS are doing, be sure to check out http://turtlesoscaboverde.blogspot.com/

We blog about our customers every few weeks and if you’d like to get involved as one of our featured shopkeepers, just email aaron@airpos.co.uk

Video

We were very privileged to be asked to speak at the ‘Add To Basket’ Conference in Dublin just over a week ago, an event organised by IBEC Retail Skillnet in association with Retail Ireland to highlight the urgent need for retailers with a physical presence in Ireland to get a larger share of the country’s growing online market.

Watch our very own Marketing Manager, Aaron Flanagan deliver a presentation describing the benefits trading online currently offers.

Text

Windows XP D Day Is Here, Thankfully We’re Prepared!

You may have read our post a little while back regarding the potentially catastrophic shut down of Windows XP support and what this means for retailers using Windows XP for POS. If not you can find the article at the following link Is Windows XP POS’ Ticking Time Bomb? 

So today is the day when Microsoft will finally end support for Windows XP, their most successful and long surviving operating system to date. The fact that almost 1/4 of Windows users are still using XP hasn’t deterred Microsoft as many thought it would. As of today, XP will no longer receive updates, including critical fixes and security fixes essentially meaning that the system will from today be a wide open target for hackers, exploiters and anybody else on the more nefarious end of computing. 

For AirPOS users we have good news and many options should you decide to upgrade or move away from Windows all together. AirPOS is fully compatible with both Windows 7 and Windows 8+ making migration just a little bit easier. However there are a couple of considerations ahead of upgrading your Windows:

1) Will my peripherals such as receipt printers be compatible with Windows 7 and 8? 

In most cases drivers will be available for your POS peripherals will already be available for Windows 7 and 8. You can check your model numbers for Epson and Star Micronics. For other manufacturers please see their respective websites for details. AirPOS will use your installed driver to print as always, so if there is a manufacturer driver available you’re ready to roll. Our guide to setting up printers is available on our support Wiki at http://wiki.airpointofsale.com/windowsprintersupport

2) Will AirPOS work on my upgraded machine?

AirPOS will work as normal on Windows 7, 8 and later. Unfortunately there is no simple upgrade path available from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 and most likely a fresh install of your new version of Windows will be the simplest path to an upgrade. 

Microsoft have provided a tool to help determine if your current machine will be capable of operating Windows 8. You can find the Windows Upgrade Assistant tool here:

The process for a seamless transition for AirPOS is as follows:

1) Make sure that all of your days sales have synchronised to your online backoffice before beginning the Windows upgrade.

2) After installing your new version of Windows, simply reinstall the AirPOS Windows App and login as normal. AirPOS will pick up from where it left off previously.

3) Use our Windows Printer Setup Guide to install drivers for your printers that are compatible with your new version of Windows.  

Of course if you have decided not to continue with Windows our Android and iPad versions are available. Or alternatively you can purchase an entirely new POS hardware package via http://www.epospack.com

Text

And the winner is…

Throughout February and March, we ran a competition to win a Google Nexus 7 fully loaded with AirPOS for Android and the results are in folks!

Before we announce the lucky winner, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part - the response was great. Technology has created smarter shoppers and with your help, we’re creating smarter shopkeepers!

Anyways, on to the real reason you’re reading this blog. The lucky winner of the new Google Nexus 7 loaded with AirPOS is (drum roll please)…

- Peter Jones from The Eden Centre

As part of the prize, The Eden Centre will also be a featured case study on our website which you’ll be able to read here in the upcoming weeks. We look forward to seeing how AirPOS on the Nexus 7 will help Peter in The Eden Centre.

Well done again Peter, we hope you enjoy your awesome prize!

The team @ AirPOS

Text

Introducing ePOS Pack - Europe’s first and most affordable complete mobile POS, Payments and Hardware Package!

We are incredibly excited to announce the launch of ePOS Pack - Europe’s first and most affordable complete mobile POS, Payments and Hardware Package starting from only £700!

ePOS Pack is an out-of-the-box mobile POS and payments package that includes everything you need to run your business and start selling in minutes.

Ideal for use in retail establishments, cafes, coffee shops, mobile catering or anywhere else that a mobile point of sale is required, our range of ePOS packs are enabling modern shopkeepers to process transactions, take secure payments and use powerful analytics to transform and grow their business.

With AirPOS as the sales management platform, EPOSability as the hardware and services supplier and payleven for mobile frictionless payments, ePOS Pack is the complete mobile ePOS solution that SME retailers and merchants in the UK need to operate a modern, cost-effective, successful business.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your POS hardware and looking to purchase a complete mobile POS and payments package, then look no further than ePOS Pack - our brand new hardware store that offers all the essential hardware a business needs, at a price point that is the cheapest on the market.

> Visit ePOS Pack NOW

Text

AirPOS Super Shopkeeper for March - Meet Andy Agnew, Manager at the Black Knight Gaming Centre

Located in Larne, The Black Knight Gaming Centre is a great place for gamers of all ages and abilities to meet, play and form friendships with like minded folk.

But why AirPOS? Well The Black Knight Gaming Centre needed a truly joint up ePOS and e-commerce multichannel sales solution that was both easy to manage and simple to use.

We were happy to help and now almost 2 years on, Black Knight Manager, Andy Agnew had this to say about his AirPOS experience to date;

"AirPOS is brilliant - It’s quick, easy and simple to use and is really helping us run our business more efficiently"

So if you enjoy wargames, RPGs, card games, board games, tournament play or just a bit of fun, then the Black Knight Gaming Centre is just the place for you.

We blog about our customers every few weeks and if you’d like to get involved as one of our featured shopkeepers, just email aaron@airpos.co.uk

Technology has created smarter shoppers. Are you ready to become a smarter shopkeeper?

Sign up for AirPOS today and get a 30-day free trial.