24 April 2018

By Richard Heitmann, Sales Director – AURES Technologies UK

Cinemas place a fairly unique set of demands on point of sale systems. Now that the majority of large sporting events and music concerts operate on advance sales, cinemas represent the largest sector where on-the-door ticket sales are the main priority.

Alongside the requirement to process ticket sales and seat allocations quickly and efficiently, cinemas also crossover into retail and hospitality with snack sales and on-site bars or cafes. Some cinemas sell snacks and tickets from the same service points, requiring multi-purPOSe EPOS solutions.

Over the next few years, more and more cinemas will start to adopt mobile POS (M POS) systems. M POS has seen considerable growth in recent years in retail and hospitality sectors, with more and more businesses using tablets to complement or even replace fixed EPOS terminals.

According to some estimates, the global M POS terminal market will grow at a CAGR of close to 33 per cent to 2021.

The main advantage of M POS is flexibility. In restaurants, waiting staff can process orders and payments at the customer’s table. In large retail stores, staff can use tablets to look up stock and answer queries, processing sales there and then at the ‘point of decision’.

And M POS offers obvious benefits to market retailers, mobile food vendors and pop-up stall operators.

Less queues, better service

The rise of M POS has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of mobile payment technologies, especially ‘tap and pay’ contactless card payments. This offers some big advantages to cinema operators, allowing customers to purchase and pay for tickets as they enter the auditorium, rather than queuing in the foyer.

Imagine a busy Friday or Saturday night, with customers queuing out of the door for the first showing of the latest blockbuster. With POS tablets in reserve, extra staff can quickly be deployed to meet the demand, serving customers faster and reducing waiting times.

This flexibility can be applied to much more than cutting down on queues, however. As described above, in retail environments M POS is valued as a means of taking service to the customer, and combining service with sales – some people talk about a shift from Point of Sale to Point of Service.

Cinemas can benefit from this also. Tickets and snack orders could be processed at once, with receipts or vouchers printed for redemption. It adds flexibility to where you can POSition vending points for snacks, for example having them by the entrance to the auditorium, or reviving the tradition of mobile vendors selling snacks in the auditorium during shows.

As well as aiding productivity and adding value to customer service, M POS also provides a direct link to eCommerce and mobile marketing. Point of sale tablets use the same technology consumers have on their smartphones, the same app platforms can be used for advanced ticket sales and fulfilment and collection at venues.

It also aids loyalty schemes and promoting special offers. Discounts or promotions can be sent out via SMS, email or via a branded app using a QR code, which can be scanned by an M POS terminal on arrival for instant fulfilment.

Service is a key point of difference for operators looking to create the best POSsible cinema-going experience.

Want to find out more? Click here to take a look at AURES’s cutting edge range of M POS tablets and multi-use products.