Merchants using Revel Systems' iPad point-of-sale software will now have the option to incorporate Web ordering into the system, and will also be able to accept Apple Pay when Apple's mobile wallet launches next month.
Revel is making the e-commerce platform available through its open-source code, allowing merchants to use its application programming interface (API) to establish an online business and make changes on the site as needed, the San Francisco-based company announced Sept. 23.
The e-commerce features include shipping information with tax adjustments according to destination, product descriptions, images that change when a product color is selected, bar codes for each product, the ability to track serial numbers, and payment acceptance buttons, including PayPal and Apple Pay.
Revel felt the payments landscape was missing an open-source e-commerce option that connected into a current POS system for retailers, said Chris Ciabarra, chief technology officer and co-founder of Revel.
"Retailers have to build their own platform from scratch and there is a disconnect between the online platform and the brick-and-mortar store," Ciabarra said. "People were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and make it work."
The open-source code allows smaller and midsize retailers to connect their physical stores and e-commerce site, making it easier to control inventory and run the business, Ciabarra said.
"In the past, it was two different systems, and the retailer may get online orders for products that are out of stock, but the system wouldn't know it," Ciabarra added. "Now you will have live inventory and sales going back and forth from e-commerce to brick and mortar in one system."
Because tablets have become an important consumer-interface technology, Revel's open API makes sense for bringing a website into play as well, said Maria Arminio, president of Avenue B Consulting Inc., a Redondo Beach, Calif.-based payments management consulting firm.
"It stands to reason that if you wanted to create a touchpoint with your customers for loyalty-related reasons, that your ability to tie their activity on a website to what they are doing in the physical space makes it a really important feature," Arminio said.
Revel will try to expand its merchant base and produce loyal customers for those merchants by integrating Apple Pay into the Revel POS software, Ciabbara said.
Revel has integrated Apple Pay through its processor, Chase Paymentech, and established coding for the service on the e-commerce system, Ciabarra added.
It will be important for the smaller businesses using Revel to adopt Apple Pay, which means they must be able to accept contactless Near Field Communication payments, Ciabarra said.
"The big retailers will have NFC, but people don't go to big retailers for lunch," Ciabarra added. "The mom-and-pop stores and restaurants have to have it."
Revel built its own NFC protocol to communicate with NFC devices and integrate with Chase Paymentech for the processing of Apple Pay payments, he added.
The open-source API continues Revel's recent trend of providing more services for its clients. Earlier this year, Revel partnered with Index to provide merchants with more customer analytics data from physical, online and mobile channels.