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Star and PMC provide Specsavers Opticians with cost-effective and powerful Tablet POS solution

Retailers today face the challenge of creating a mobile POS environment in which the customers’ demands and expectations are not only met but exceeded in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  Innovative POS technology has a key role to play in making the transition to mobile easy and seamless, while providing the flexibility to use any mobile device and ensuring secure payment.   

Without doubt, Tablet POS can facilitate and enhance the entire customer experience.  One of the ways in which Specsavers has changed the industry is the introduction of personal service at dedicated desks using innovative applications on iPads. Specsavers is the first optical company to introduce digital measurements for the dispensing of glasses, which is “really rather clever”. 

This approach has been hugely popular with customers. Specsavers, however, faced a challenge in terms of wanting to be able to improve the customer journey even more by allowing customers to make card payments at the counter rather than taking the customer to a busy till point. This would enable them to create a very personalised customer experience journey.

In terms of taking the payments, there were a few business challenges that were faced;

  • Managing mobile payments in a bank approved manner
  • Specsavers’ ageing POS application did not support mobile payments

Specsavers turned to PMC and its mobile payment solution, Store Enabler.  Store Enabler has been specifically designed to meet the mobile payment challenge in a Customer Present environment. It manages POS peripherals such as scanners, printers and payment devices and can be driven from the customer’s POS application or their website. PMC’s Solution Architects and off-shore development team were able to develop modifications to the POS application which enabled it to interface with and drive Store Enabler.

Store Enabler allows Specsavers to use any mobile device with their existing Star TSP700 and TSP700II printers as well as existing payment provider, makingit easy to completely mobilise the payment process. Specsavers can run a number of devices from the one master till located in the store and take transactions along with Customer Present payments seamlessly from the iPad. Store Enabler even gives the associate the option of printing the customer’s receipt to the nearest available Star printer.

Elliott Winskill, Store Enabler Product Manager at PMC, states: “With a small amount of work PMC took the legacy POS system and enabled Specsavers to use iPads to complete the full selling journey.  This did not require widespread changes to any of their systems and means updates are quick and efficient.  We also support the latest version of iOS before it is released ensuring that Specsavers can always be at the forefront of technology.” 

Star’s solid reputation for innovative product design, reliability and multi-platform support alongside over 40 years’ experience providing retailers with traditional and Tablet POS printing solutions means Specsavers benefits from a high level of expertise and experience alongside excellent technical support. 

As David Pearce, Technical Director, Star Micronics EMEA, says: “Star has a long established relationship with Specsavers which has used a range of Star printers with different Ethernet interfaces for over 15 years. By working closely with PMC and Star, Specsavers has been able to seamlessly turn an existing POS application into a mobile POS environment that completely mobilises the payment process and creates a personalised customer experience.”  

As Elliott Winskill at PMC adds: “One of the key benefits to using Store Enabler is that PMC has created a close partnership scheme with Star, ensuring that it keeps up to date with new releases and new technologies.  As a result, Specsavers is assured that any issues are handled by both parties as one team and Specsavers is able to trial new printers or technologies at little cost.”

The end result is an easy to use solution on an iPad. This allows the Specsavers’ associate to extend the highly personal customer experience all the way through to the end of the card payment transaction without the need for the customer to move around the store. It allows Specsavers to put more till points in the store very economically, therefore easing transaction completion without causing crowding.