I was visiting some relatives in New Jersey last May when I ran across some new retail POS technology. On one particular afternoon my brother-in-law and I took a run up the street to a local garden center. After picking out a few flats of flowers and some fertilizer for his wife, we headed to the POS check-out area. I was amazed at how busy the store was, but how short the lines were. While standing in line, we were approached by one very kind sales associate who said she could check us out immediately. She then immediately started scanning items on our cart. But, what was really neat is that we were not actually standing at the POS check-out yet. She was running the entire POS sales transaction through an iPhone that had a barcode scanner built-into it and a credit card swipe to authorize my brother-in-law’s VISA card. I had only heard about this sort of technology, but never actually experienced it first hand. It really made me think about how retail businesses are evolving, and how the transaction at the Point-of-Sale has changed with the wave of mobile devices that permeate our daily lives. Along with this wave of mobile devices comes a plethroa of new retail business opportunities.
Efficiency = Greater Customer Satisfaction
When employees have the ability to make the sale and swipe a credit card wherever they are, efficiency throughout the business improves. This efficiency contributes directly to an improved customer shopping experience and overall customer satisfaction.
Another great benefit to mobile pos is the ability to take your store on-the-go. Now, retailers can virtually sell anywhere (on the sidewalk, at a trade show or under a tent, etc). Examples: a Garden Center can now make sales outside in the yard to a retail customer, or scan items as they are being loaded onto a landscapers trailer and charged to their account. The Sporting Goods store can sell running shoes at next week’s charity 5K race. The mobility factor is invaluable as it creates a myriad of diverse and new sales opportunities. Even better, some businesses have started taking mobility to the customer side of the equation. Using a mobile app for your business can enable customers to make their purchases before they arrive at the store to pick them up.
Another great strengths of utilizing mobile technology is the ease of tracking Return On Investment (ROI). When applying a new campaign or promotion, an owner can examine how effective it is in bringing in additional revenue. For example, a Garden Center using a mobile strategy could implement a spring promotion using text messaging targeted to customers in their customer loyalty program (buy three perennials and get the fourth one free). Retailers can easily check how much revenue is brought in by that specific text message promotion or campaign.
Mobile POS units in the hands of employees enables them to access product information, store specials and coupons, etc. helping them to make suggestions and recommendations as they interface with the customer. Further, mobile POS is capable of emailing receipts to customers- not only does this speed up the checkout process, but it allows for another opportunity to add the customer email address to your customer database or or sign them up for the customer loyalty program.
Mobile POS allows for additional marketing opportunities, improved sales, easily trackable ROI, and increased business efficiency. Retailers across the globe are in the process of implementing them to increase their bottom line. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take more vacations yourself.