Mobile POS: Breaking Down Barriers

Mobile POS: Breaking Down Barriers

28-Feb-2013


Mobile devices are slowly but surely replacing the traditional cash desk to provide a more personalised customer service experience.

Fixed till points and long queues are soon becoming a thing of the past as mobiles and tablets become a ‘normal’ part of the shopping experience. Mobile technologies are increasingly being used in retail to simplify and enhance the in-store experience and bridge the gap between online and offline. Mobile POS solutions in particular are enabling forward-thinking retailers to provide a more personalised experience on the shop floor that strengthens customer satisfaction and loyalty.

‘The store is becoming a collection point, a customer service point and an assisted service point that offers more theatre and interaction for the customer’ says Mark Denton, head of consulting at BT Expedite & Fresca. ‘The concept of being able to be served anywhere will make visiting a store easier and will allow stores to raise the quality of their customer service. The power of the tablet devices, combined with flexibility of what a mobile POS offers, will allow retailers to introduce new retail concepts, layouts, culminating in new customer experiences.

The widespread adoption of mobile technology in recent years has forced a major technology shift, causing retailers to rethink the point of sale. According to a new report from the US-Based Boston Retail Partners, the 14th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey found that while traditional registers play a big role, they will continue to diminish as other technologies gain traction. ‘the momentum has already shifted and mobile devices are poised to pervade the retail industry within in the next few years – we expect that by the end of next year the shift in point of sale hardware will be significant’ says the report.

The opportunities for mobile pos are far and wide, from impacting the checkout to assisting consumers on the floor and empowering associates to provide better service, argues Marcia Grosland, director of the Customer Experience Consulting Group at global technology company NCR Corportaion. ‘Retailers who have deployed mobile pos can experience a variety of benefits, notably capturing more sales, increasing store capacity and improving operations’.

Indeed, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to employing a mobile POS system. In the case of queue busting for instance, mobile POS does not work for every retailer, argues Grosland. ‘For retailers who rely on up-selling at the checkout through promotions, warranties or impulse items, revenue can be lost with queue busting.’ she warns. ‘Mobile POS must work in line with all aspects of your business, not sabotage your efforts to add revenue at the checkout. The bottom line for retailers is that you must direct your mobile POS implementation in the areas that will have the biggest impact for your store and your customers.’

To view the article in full (by Retail Focus - pg 46), please click here.