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What does a VAR need to know before selling to a mobile business?

October 18th, 2018
Pop-up stores represent a huge opportunity to VARs, but they also need a personal touch.

These types of shops – also known as flash retail – are great ways for small business owners to put their products on display to a wider audience by finding small venues, like coffee shops or markets, and selling in this location for a limited time.

This is where VARs have an opportunity, as mobility and connectivity is key for these businesses. They need reliable and affordable solutions.

The technology that will benefit mobile businesses most includes:

POS Systems – Pop-up shops will need rugged point of sale systems to process transactions. They will also need advice and solutions regarding how they plan to handle cash transactions.

Android Pay/Apple Pay – Smartphone-based payments could be key to mobile businesses but accepting this kind of payment requires a specific reader.

Receipt printers – Pop-up stores may operate with printed receipts, emailed receipts or a combination of the two. Consider the need for battery life, connectivity, and overall speed, given the mobile, stop-and-go nature of these projects.

Card Readers – Business owners will likely want to opt for EMV-enabled card readers, but may be looking for something more advanced. Wireless payment systems should be presented as well, particularly if managing payments on tablets or smart phones.

Barcode Scanning - If the mobile business is planning to offer coupons or rewards, they will need advice on barcode scanners. For a mobile pop-up shop, it’s most likely they’d need a 2D scanner, so they can scan images from customers’ phones.

The key point is that pop-up shop owners will likely need to invest in a wireless solution in order to even function, unless they intend to stay cash-only. This may require VARs to offer more support and hand-holding, since network solutions can be complicated. Get to know their needs, their wireless capabilities, and what ISP they plan to use.

Pop-up shops are becoming an accessible business venture for many end-users, and they’ve a great way to expand without needing to fully commit to purchasing a location.

New examples include restaurants parking a food truck near a sporting event or music festival and holiday shops selling Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal items at temporary locations.

Farmer’s markets, craft shows, and other festivals also bring in both smaller scale and large-scale entrepreneurs, but come with more challenges surrounding connectivity and payment processing.

So get to know the types of pop-up shop your customers have or are looking to launch, and discuss the solutions necessary for success so you can expand your sales and build your relationships.

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