In the crowded mobile point of sale market, One Step Retail Solutions is making a name for itself by providing its Teamwork Retail software to rap artist Jay-Z for his Rocawear clothing stores.
One Step's rivals include prominent mobile payments providers such as Square, PayPal, Intuit and Groupon. Having Jay-Z as a client could set it apart from a very crowded pack. Similarly, Gordon Ramsay of Kitchen Nightmares put LaVu Inc. on the map when he promoted its iPad payment system on his show.
The mobile point of sale market "is very competitive and there's a lot of small companies trying to find this niche in retail just because it's much easier to sell software these days because of the app store," says Gil Luria, a vice president at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "For this type of product it is particularly beneficial to have celebrity affiliation because there is no sales force. There's no better way to draw attention than be affiliated with a celebrity."
Payments companies frequently turn to celebrity endorsers to bring attention to their brand, particularly for prepaid cards. Suze Orman, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber have all associated themselves with prepaid cards. Magic Johnson has even had two separate prepaid cards bear his name in recent years.
"Many celebrities are savvy business professionals; it is not uncommon for a celebrity to launch additional ventures including clothing lines, retail or perfumes," says Amy Hanson, a spokeswoman for One Step. "Certainly many celebrity ventures will need to be backed by a reliable point of sale system."
Teamwork Retail was installed in Rocawear's flagship location in Brooklyn's Barclays Center last fall and will expand to all of its U.S. stores. Based near Tampa, Fla., One Step Retail Solutions partners with ArmorActive, which provides security for its system, including iPad stands and enclosures. The enclosures come with card readers attached.
One Step's Teamwork Retail also offers a customer display with signature capture, stock count, shipping and receiving information, employee time cards and analytics.
Because the system is cloud-based, all stores interact and share data seamlessly. With cloud-based systems, data can be shared quickly and easily to keep all stores current on inventory and updates.
While the iPad point of sale may not appeal to all retailers, Luria says tablets can benefit the fashion and jewelry industries, where employees can use the devices to assist customers.
"There's certainly going to be a lot of growth with mobile in retail," Luria says. "Especially when there's a consultative sale the retail [employee] can tap into all the information and data and product while engaged with the customer face-to-face."
The Bean, a New York City-based multi-chain coffee shop, switched to ShopKeep POS terminals about three years ago to use the vendor's cloud-based reporting and data management system.
iPad-based point of sale systems can also help a merchant with its branding, says Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst who specializes on mobile commerce and digital payments at Aite Group.
"Obviously the iPad is very trendy," he says. Retailers "wrapping their point of sale solutions in a cool form factor that allows much more customer interaction" can differentiate a merchant, he says.