Mobile POS is at the very heart of the transformation taking place in retail – the merging of digital with bricks and mortar retailing, known as Unified Commerce. This transformation touches every part of retail, and is made possible by the convergence of mobile technology, digital payments and cloud communication. As individual components, none of these technologies is new, but being able to put them together and, crucially, to use them to link to traditional back end systems packs a powerful punch.
Retailers clearly see the benefits of Mobile POS, and research (from Retail Info Systems) shows that all bar 16% of retailers have plans to implement it. So just what is it that retailers are looking to gain from implementing Mobile POS ? The answer is: A whole world of new business opportunities…
We can divide these opportunities into three key categories:
Customer engagement, Customer satisfaction
The Holy Grail for retailers is satisfied customers – loyal customers who return time and time again, who spend more each visit and who tell their friends and family how much they love the brand. Mobile POS can help to drive up this engagement and satisfaction – it can be used to enable staff to engage with the customer in the aisle, help them with product information, show them items that are not on the shelf, arrange delivery and take payment without queuing. Pop-up stores with Mobile POS bring your goods to the shopper, saving them having to enter the store at all. Flexible digital payment options make customers feel the retailer understands and wants to help them, rather than imposing limitations. Mobile POS = Customer Engagement = Customer Satisfaction.
Increase sales, no lost sales
How many times do retailers lose a sale between the aisle and the checkout ? Of course they don’t know with 100% certainty, but what they do know is that reducing or eliminating it can only increase sales and profit. Maybe customers can’t find the item in their size/colour or simply can’t find someone to help them with the information they need to finalise their decision. Or they get fed up with waiting to hand over their payment and simply walk out. Mobile POS, with endless aisle and queue busting capability can go a long way to driving down those invisible lost sales and converting them to highly visible dollars.
Productivity and process management
Retailers can be so focussed on the selling function of their store, that they neglect the other reasons customers visit – to process returns or make layby payments for example. These processes are often carried out only at a service desk and are not always as customer friendly as the selling. Mobile POS can transform this side of the business too, with staff having the tools to serve these customers from anywhere in the store, and with full visibility of all the necessary data to support a smooth and easy process, which is efficient for the customer and the retailer’s staff.
There is a lot of excitement about the opportunities that Mobile POS offers, with many retailers planning to put it at the core of their operation, keen to open the door to a new world of business possibilities.