I had the extreme pleasure of attending a monthly meeting of the Seattle Tech Startups group recently. For any of you 206 geeks out there, you should definitely check it out. Lots of smart people, fun demos, and great content.
This time we got some demos – my personal favorite was
JamGlue Jamglue. DO NOT go to that site unless you have several free hours to remix music on the baddest-assedest flash app ever. Seriously. It’s amazing what those guys are doing, it’s gonna blow up quick.
We also got a demo by Justin Laing of a site called MerchantOS. It’s a SaaS offering targeting the small business point-of-sales market. Think Salesforce.com for your local bike shop. After the meeting, Justin handed me his business card and asked me to write a post about his company. I’m definitely not in the business to offer “expert advice” about what he could/could not be doing better, but I’ll do what I do best: throw out some really bad ideas about how I would do a POS system. And trust me, it really would be a POS. 🙂
POS Mobile – Buy stuff…with your phone! I know, I know. But hear me out on this one. The cashier rings up your purchase. When it’s time to pay, POS Mobile displays a 2D bar code on a little screen. You whip out your cell phone camera, take a picture of the code, and text it to the POS Mobile shortcode. Once the payment is processed, the user would receive an electronic receipt text in return. Users could opt-in to get targeted ads related to their purchase on their receipt in exchange for cash back, points, discount coupons, etc…
POS Suggestions – This one is simple – think Amazon/Netflix recommendations for retail purchases. As items are scanned, correlations between various products are made. For example, someone who purchases taco shells also purchased salsa, refried beans, lettuce, etc… There are a few options for this one. In the short term, users could simply see a list of related products as their items are being scanned. This may remind them of something they forgot to buy and would save them an extra trip back to the store. In the long term, imagine walking past an RFID scanner with a cart full of groceries. The system could analyze your potential purchases and provide helpful suggestions for related items that may be nearby (salsa sale – aisle 4!). Or even better, as you walk down the aisle, little lights would highlight related items as you approached them! How sweet would that be?
That’s it for now. Best of luck to Justin and the rest of the Seattle Tech Startups out there, looking forward to catching up at the next meeting.