RSPA’s annual conference, RetailNOW, traded the glitz of Vegas for the honkytonks of Nashville and transformed the sprawling Gaylord Opryland Hotel into a mecca for POS resellers, manufacturers, ISVs and everyone in between. From August 5-8, we enjoyed our time in Tennessee hearing POS professionals wax poetic about current trends and what to expect from our ever-changing industry.

The biggest theme from the educational sessions, and one that speaks volumes for RSPA in general, was around helping resellers in multiple capacities. Whether transferring your business into the cloud and off-prem, seeking lead generation marketing tips, or moving from one vertical to another, RetailNOW aimed to educate and inform the audience at every turn.

With this in mind, below are four themes from the show and next steps for resellers to consider.

      1. Subscription-Based Services. In Avero’s session around creating great compensation plans for the subscription economy, speaker Todd Rendle raised a great point: Don’t feel like you can’t compete if you’re not cloud-based. Not everything must be intangible to succeed today. Citing Dollar Shave Club and Blue Apron, Rendle reminded us how several businesses still sell tangible goods and products (like razors and produce) but are subscription-based in their delivery model. The “cloud” doesn’t have to be synonymous with invisible services. Transitioning your business models to one that is “as-a-service” is more about how you bill and collect revenue than the type of goods you deliver. Too often resellers are quick to move their entire business to the cloud, but there are plenty of opportunities where staying on-prem or becoming a hybrid can still be advantageous.
      2. Hospitality Grows in Popularity. One of the biggest verticals on literal display at RetailNOW was food and beverage POS products. Solutions were omnipresent, and resellers working in the hospitality industry are poised for growth with an abundance of products heavily focused in this niche. Several booths blurred the lines between offering afternoon refreshments and realistically emulating short-order restaurants with demo-able equipment. As “unmanned” stations grow in popularity (think kiosks, self-checkouts), hotels and dining establishments are incorporating POS hard- and software in creative bundles. For resellers offering solutions around innovative, cutting-edge technology, hospitality markets are a great vertical to target.
      3. Security Threats. From the keynote on Tuesday to the breakout sessions and expo, security breaches were a topic du jour during RetailNOW. RSPA’s data security initiative is dedicated to helping further resellers on common payment security concerns in conjunction with the PCI Security Council and major card brands. Hearing that that poor passwords and phishing are the most common methods of penetration, we’d be lying if we didn’t immediately question our own personal passwords. It’s always helpful, even if seemingly obvious, to be reminded that security breaches can often start with the user, not the hacker, and can be easily prevented. That being said, the need for anti-phishing tactics, tighter firewalls and networks, training and education for enterprises and SMBs, and general cyber security services continue to grow in popularity for our market.
      4. Partner Ecosystems are More Important than Ever. Whether you’re a reseller looking to sell a solution, a service provider, or ISV, your network of partners is crucial. RetailNOW provided myriad opportunities to make new connections at its breakfasts, afternoon expo, and after-hours events. The breakout sessions and technology on the show floor, however, reflected a true sense of hybrid, complementary solutions that invoked unity across manufacturers. We were reminded how important working with others, and not in a silo, is for progress. Resellers were encouraged to develop a partner ecosystem to fill gaps in their business and create more opportunity for collaboration.

With this in mind, ScanSource prides ourselves on offering best-of-breed solutions from today’s industry-leading manufacturers and suppliers. We continually build our network of subject matter experts to provide a robust ecosystem for the benefit of all our customers. Contact us today to talk through any of the products, programs, or services we displayed at RetailNOW or to learn how we can help you put the aforementioned takeaways into action.

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The cloud is changing the make-up of technology along with the business models of technology providers. Instead of convincing customers to make that big upfront investment, you’re now able to ease into the sale by adopting a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) model. That makes it an easier pill to swallow for the end user, while providing you with a more consistent cash flow. [Read More…]

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