Does POS mobility lead to better tips?

When businesses look to upgrade their point-of-sale solutions, many consider direct upgrades. Could a new POS save physical space? Would it improve operational efficiency? Would it be safer by actively working to prevent security breaches and stolen data? These are all top considerations that merchants think about when looking to upgrade their POS.

However, a recent study conducted by POS review site, Software Advice, showed that a POS could also be linked to employee happiness, in that leveraging a mobile POS may actually encourage customers to leave tips. For some businesses, tips amount to a significant chunk of employees' wages, so any incentive to drive more tips would be beneficial for servers and workers.

No one wants to opt out of the tip
So, why does the POS affect how money people leave for a tip? It seems strange at first glance, but most of the reasoning has to do with psychology more than anything else.

First of all, leaving a tip when paying via mobile POS extension is not difficult. In fact, 51 percent of respondents said as much in the survey, while only 12 percent of respondents said it was "moderately" or "extremely" difficult to do so. Using a tablet-based POS actually allows people to be more precise when leaving tips and can help customers avoid shortchanging the server thanks to the option of automatically calculating the tip.

But beyond that, tablet-based POS solutions actively discourage customers from skipping tips. By asking for a tip after showing the customer the bill, but before allowing him or her to digitally sign the receipt, businesses can make opting out of giving a tip a conscious decision. No one wants to be the customer who chooses not to tip, and by making patrons actually opt out of the process, businesses can effectively discourage this activity - people cannot just "forget" to leave a tip.

"Tablet-based POS solutions actively discourage customers from skipping tips."

According to the survey, approximately 29 percent of respondents suggested they would be more likely to tip if they had to push a button to opt out of the tip and move onto the next step of the process to sign and get the receipt.

"Having easy-to-find 'Quick Tip' buttons helps increase the amount customers give servers," Ben Harrison, senior vice president of branding at POS Lavu, told Software Advice. "There may be an option to continue without tipping, but most customers will leave a tip once they see this screen."

Other companies have confirmed the power of suggestion in this regard. The San Francisco Gate reported anecdotal evidence from multiple local businesses that suggested having the tip option so prevalent was the way to go. Moe Luke, an employee at a San Francisco-based sandwich shop called Deli Board, noted that tips shot up "a hefty amount" after the shop switched to a tablet-based POS solution.

Luke even noted some customers began tipping for orders that people do not usually tip for - for example, purchases made at the counter.

"We're just pushing in these orders, la-di-dah, and people are like, 'Sure, you deserve a $5 tip on a two-sandwich order,'" he told the news source.

Just another reason to consider a mobile POS
Mobile POS solutions have garnered a lot of interest in recent years, mainly because they take up less space and provide businesses with greater versatility regarding where they operate. However, these devices can bring even more value to the table, such as ease of use for employees or perhaps... better tips.