29 May 2019

The traditional boundaries between the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are becoming increasingly blurred. Today, we have shopping and entertaining destinations where retail, restaurants, cinemas and more sit comfortably side by side. But what if, instead of being separate concessions, these were all part of the same multi-faceted business? How would this consolidation affect point of sale, combining distinctly different POS disciplines with their own unique requirements?

To see how this would work in practice, look no further than the modern stadium. Professional sports and entertainment venues already function as sophisticated multichannel operations combining ticket sales with merchandise retailing, bars, restaurants and fast food concessions. For stadium operators, POS systems have to be able to serve all of these purposes.

Through a number of channel partners, AURES supplies POS hardware to dozens of professional stadiums and multipurpose arenas. Here are a few things we have learned over about what makes a POS system work for every occasion.

Flexibility meets demand

Stadiums experience marked peaks and troughs in trade unlike any other sector. Around game days and events, traffic at retail and hospitality outlets suddenly explodes as thousands of customers arrive. A stadium POS system has to be robust enough to cope with the sudden spike in traffic, capable of processing transactions at high speed and with minimal risk of failure.

We also find that stadium operators like to keep their options open with their POS hardware. They may notice their retail operations are busier immediately before

an event, but bars and food outlets see their peaks during or afterwards. And, in between game days, operators try to maximize revenues by holding special retail or catering events at their facilities.

The option to repurpose POS terminals and use them in different places and for different operations offers tremendous flexibility. This is one reason why the AURES YUNO  and NINO terminals are so popular in stadiums. As well as being very reliable high-performance units, they are also compact, easy to move and simple to set up. Stadiums also utilize mobile POS equipment like the AURES SWING, which can be used as a fixed point POS device or tablet, making it ideal for pop-up sales at events, or for queue-busting initiatives.

In the hands of the customer

Stadium operators have been quick to see the value of handing some of the control back to customers in the point of sale process. One example is the use of customer-facing screens in sports clubs for customizing shirts and other fan merchandise. Imitating the kind of experience customers would get ordering shirts online, a screen makes the whole process more immediate and direct, giving people the assurance that they can get exactly what they are looking for.

Another popular trend in stadium POS is the use of self-service kiosks. Kiosks have major benefits in ticketing, reducing queues for on-site purchases and collecting pre-orders. But one of the most exciting things about kiosks is the potential to integrate all sales in a single channel. Customers attending an event could, for example, pre-order drinks and snacks when they collect their tickets, or purchase merchandise to pick up after the event. Stadium operators can now offer apps allowing customers to order drinks and snacks from their phone while an event is in progress, optimizing convenience and event revenue.