Mobile Point of Sale: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace
- Jul 9, 2013
Explosive consumer usage of mobile technologies and credit cards combined with new merchant opportunities around wireless processing and mobile marketing have opened the door for many retailers to enhance their consumer interaction using advanced strategies to accept and process payments, deliver electronic sales receipts, and allow customers to purchase products immediately without waiting in line at traditional front-of-store checkout terminals. Extending the point-of-sale (POS) to mobile locations through the store, or mobile POS, is becoming increasingly common at major retailers as well as small and mid-sized brick and mortar merchants.
Flexibility and New Opportunities
Mobile POS systems allow retailers to boost sales and enhance customer engagement by accelerating checkout services and improving the overall shopping experience. Wireless connectivity and mobile marketing increasingly change the way people shop, and those same technologies afford retailers new opportunities in terms of remote payment acceptance devices that can be deployed in store with sales professionals or offered as a self-service option. These new mobile POS devices allow sales professionals to conduct price checks, search inventory and even accept traditional or mobile payments remotely at the point of interaction, eliminating the need for the customer to wait in line at a traditional front-of-store checkout.
Mobile POS offers a myriad of benefits including:
- Driving incremental revenue through immediate, on-site payment (credit, debit, mobile) approvals
- Recovering revenues typically lost due to long check-out lines or poor service
- Enhancing the customer experience and encouraging repeat business through personal engagement
And, leveraging today’s technologies and mobile applications, retailers can easily implement integrated loyalty programs that automatically track and monitor validation requirements, store customer purchasing histories, and reward new and existing customers with targeted incentives and offers. By combining the mobile POS experience with integrated loyalty, retailers are exponentially increasing their ability to deliver a significantly improved shopping experience with additional convenience and value.
Compliance and Integration with Fixed Systems
Credit card companies require that merchants provide sales receipts for most transactions, but mobile POS systems have the ability to deliver receipts electronically via SMS (text) to mobile devices or through email. Mobile POS systems also can interact fully with a merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) solution including fixed terminals at checkout stations or in offices for inventory monitoring. And, approved hardware devices encrypt personal information before transmitting it electronically, protecting sensitive customer data from potential breaches.
Retailers can implement mobile systems gradually by starting with one or two kiosks or using smartphones in high-traffic areas. Many large retailers have already implemented mobile POS technologies to support in-store experience including Apple, Nordstrom, JC Penney, and Urban Outfitters. And, it’s not just for major ‘big box’ stores; new technologies like those offered through innovative POS solution providers and new application developers including SelfPay, make mobile POS accessible and practical for small and mid-sized merchants as well.
In today’s retail environment, merchants are faced with increased competition locally as well as online and challenges around customer acquisition and retention continue to expand. Delivering a value rich, convenient and easy shopping experience and leveraging new technologies and mobile tools is a clear differentiator and opportunity for merchants.