Exclusive Interview With the Head of Clover App Market: Mark Schulze Talks About UberRUSH, Most & Least-Used Apps and More

Last week, Uber announced UberRUSH, an on-demand delivery service for small businesses. What’s more, it has partnered with commerce platforms and POS providers to make it a success. One of the POS providers UberRUSH has partnered with Clover. Let’s Talk Payments has been covering Clover (one of the leading POS providers in the US) since a very long time. Clover, a subsidiary of First Data, is an all-in-one system with custom hardware designed specifically for POS, software that helps you run your business better and a merchant account that offers some of the best rates in the business. Clover is able to best serve merchants and create opportunities for developers through the Clover App Market, which recently surpassed the 100-app milestone. With apps developed specifically for the restaurant, retail and services industries, merchants can customize their systems to the specific needs of their business. UberRUSH is the new addition to its app market. To discuss how UberRUSH and Clover will redefine the SMBs market, we interviewed Mark Schulze, Head of the Clover App Market via email. Here’s the transcript of the interview:

LTP: What are the most popular apps in the Clover marketplace amongst small businesses in the US? What makes them popular?

Mark Schulze: Merchant needs vary wildly both between individual merchants and over time. The beauty of the Clover App Market is that merchants can continuously update their mix of apps to reconfigure their Clover system however they like. Generally speaking, employee management app Homebase is one of the most popular apps in the Clover App Market. It manages payroll and scheduling, alerting employees of their schedules via text, email or notification in the iOS or Android app and easily facilitating shift trades. Employers can now spend less time managing schedules & preparing for payroll and more time focusing on growing their businesses.

Other popular apps include gift cards by Gyft, a gift card solution for digital and physical gift cards and Perka, a customer loyalty solution. These apps address two concerns of most merchants: streamlining operations and improving customer loyalty.

LTP: In general, what are some of the least used apps in the Clover App Market?

MS: There are some invaluable apps that have very, very specific features that are only relevant to certain niche businesses. Naturally, these tend to be downloaded less. For example, a boutique shoe store will have no need for an app like Bar Tab Auths and a bar will have no need for an app like Fuel, the pay at the pump app for gas stations. But for bars and gas stations, these apps are very valuable individually. We also have a number of enterprise management apps; so, while they have fewer users, they are applied across hundreds of locations in some cases.

LTP: Are you predicting a significant increase in transactions via UberRUSH when SMEs start using it? Do you have specific objectives for measuring the success of this new launch?

MS: Delivery is a new battleground in many retail segments. Here, SMBs have traditionally been at a disadvantage. UberRUSH enables these SMBs to be competitive with larger retailers without the need to hire full-time drivers or contract with delivery companies. This is why we do expect significant UberRUSH use; convenient and affordable on-demand delivery is a much sought-after service for SMEs, but has been difficult to implement until now.

LTP: Will Clover POS tracking from when the item is dispatched from the store all the way to the final delivery? Would it also have additional features like SMS notifications?

MS: Clover users can easily track deliveries via UberRUSH from their Clover device starting with dispatch and ending with delivery. Business owners can remain at the helm assisting customers in their brick-and-mortar stores while simultaneously monitoring deliveries to remote customers. The UberRUSH app on Clover tracks the delivery for the consumer.

LTP: How does one find the app on the Clover App Marketplace? How is it priced for small businesses?

MS: Business owners access the Clover App Market directly from their POS. All Clover devices come equipped with a basic business management app package and business owners can customize their app dashboard to their preferences and needs. Prices and packages vary from app to app, as most apps are third-party.

LTP: What are the other big app integrations Clover is looking forward to in Q4 2015 and 2016?

MS: We can’t give any specifics, but we are currently in talks with several major companies regarding integrations with the Clover App Market. We surpassed the 100 app milestone mid-year and continue to launch several per week. With more than 500 registered developers, we are very excited to see what gets cooked up. We are looking forward to watching the App Market continue to grow and thrive in the coming year.

LTP: After the innovation in POS systems and Clover’s new approach of looking at POS systems, would you still define POS as a system that allows a business to accept payments? Do you think new terminology is necessary to describe what is on the cash counter now?

MS: Several trends have forced brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their businesses. One is the tremendous growth of e-commerce. The second is the equally impressive growth in the number and sophistication of smart devices, and the third is the dramatic increase in the capabilities of the POS systems themselves. Each of these has caused the retailer to rethink how technology can help them turn these trends into opportunities. The term POS has transitioned from simply a point-of-sale to becoming the center point of the business itself. Much like how a smartphone is much more than a phone, Clover is much more than a register. Owners are running their business from Clover. This is why Clover has reinvented the traditional point-of-sale—long dominated by outdated server-based technologies—with the ability to be a payment terminal or a full point-of-sale, bringing business owners exactly what they need. The majority of business owners need more out of their POS systems. Business owners are always looking to gain a competitive advantage and with apps developed specifically for the restaurant, retail and services industries, business owners can customize their systems to the specific needs of their business. POS systems still need to accept all forms of payment, but it is no longer enough to just accept payments; the POS needs to be a business management tool.

LTP: Anything else you would like to share with our readers? Anything that keeps you awake at night?

MS: We are always thinking about the needs of our merchants. We strive to help them run their businesses with ease, find ways to serve their customers better and ultimately help to make them successful.