25 September 2018

As POS technology develops at a rapid pace, customer-facing industries are continually discovering new ways to add value at the point of sale.

In the cinema sector, where POS systems are deployed at the box office, snack counter and increasingly in cafes and bars, the emergence of sophisticated software platforms has allowed these varied operations to be more tightly aligned and more efficiently managed.

We have seen self-service ticketing kiosks become common place in cinema foyers, with intuitive interfaces enabling customers to purchase tickets quickly, avoiding the line at the main box office window. 

As POS technology continues to evolve, what other solutions can we expect cinema operators to adopt in the future that will further improve service and add value to the business? Let’s take a look at some ideas.

The end of queues

Perhaps the biggest priority for any cinema operator is how to make the customer experience as streamlined and convenient as possible. In particular, they want to minimize time spent in line waiting to buy tickets, snacks and so on. At peak times, long lines represent a significant pain point which potentially keep some movie-goers from return visits.

We have mentioned how self-service kiosks have become common place in a bid to ease congestion at staffed ticketing booths. Future developments in kiosk technology could see an end to printed tickets, with digital e-tickets instead sent to a customer’s mobile phone on completion of the transaction. Not only would this shave off a few precious seconds per sale, it would also align on-premise ticket sales with advanced web-based ticketing.

Ticketing could be enhanced further with one touch purchasing – simply select the movie you wish to see on screen, scan a mobile payment app on your smartphone via Bluetooth or NFC and have the ticket sent to your device instantly.

There are other more radical developments in the offing, too. Cinema POS software providers are already offering advanced snack ordering solutions so customers can purchase items for pickup during intermissions to avoid lengthy queues. We may one day see automated self-checkout in cinema snack shops, with product packaging containing printed RFID codes that can be automatically scanned and charged to a customer’s payment app.

Maximizing sales opportunities

Many cinema operators are already taking advantage of mobile POS solutions to speed customer transactions. The main benefit of movable POS hardware is flexibility – you can set up the point of sale wherever you like to meet demand during peak movie times, offload fixed POS stations at the snack bar and box office, or capitalize on opportunities as they arise such as the sale of promotional merchandise.

With Mobile POS terminals like the AURES SWING, staff can be stationed in the foyer at the busiest times, selling tickets and snacks. When required, SWING can be mounted on a pole or wall, enabling temporary sales points to be set up quickly outside the doors of cinema auditoriums to make sales as customers head to their seats — a tremendous convenience for both independent cinemas, large multi-plexes and movie-goers looking for a streamlined customer experience.