So You Bought an iPad for your mobile POS – Now What?

tablet-retail-dress-shopThe trend of moving from traditional point of sale (POS) to mobile POS is spreading through the retail industry, signifying the most profound change since the introduction of online shopping. In fact, a 2013 RIS News Store systems study revealed that providing mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones and tablets for store associates was a top priority for more than 61 percent of retailers. In addition, a 2013 study by Boston Retail Partners found that 12 percent of retailers had implemented mobile POS and 44 percent planned to do so in less than two years.

The clear takeways from the data are: the use of in-store mobility and mobile POS is on the rise. However, once the flashy iPads are purchased, many retailers still feel unsure of what they should do with them after the fact.

What we (VeriFone) have found from more than 60 mobile deployments worldwide is that retailers must first develop a clear set of goals and an execution strategy in order to make the investment worthwhile and unleash its full potential.

VeriFone GlobalBay worked with an independent 3rd party consultant to survey a dozen retailers that had experience launching in-store mobility. What was uncovered were the common pitfalls, success strategies and ‘ah-ha’ moments of mobile deployment.

So, what does it take to make in-store mobility a success? We broke it down into the following categories:

Operations

  • Re-imagine the store layout. Eliminate or reduce fixed point of sale registers to unlock hidden selling and merchandising potential.
  • Consider new staffing options. Mobile POS systems may eliminate the need for cashiers. Yet additional positions such as a ‘store runner’ to retrieve items in the back for mobile associates, could prove beneficial.
  • Consider mobile bagging stations. Mobile stations allow for bagging, tagging and gift wrapping throughout the store.
  • Mobile device care & feeding. Have a plan in place for keeping devices powered up and secure.

Employee/Associate Training

  • Train the next generation of sales consultants. Associates need to be able to engage instead of interrupt shopping experiences.
  • Creating new rules of engagement. Provide guidance for instances when multiple customers approach an associate at one time, as traditional lines behind cash-wraps are eliminated.
  • Get employees to buy in. Clearly define the rules and overall retail goals mobility is trying to solve for your store environment. Will it help employees to earn commission? Let them know!

Customer Education & Feedback

  • Marketing the solution. Perception is reality. Ensure customers have the right impression of the retail environment they can expect with mobility.
  • Gauge public interest. Poll workers and solicit feedback from shoppers to continue to improve their experience.

For the full white paper, Putting Mobile to Work in Retail, A Best Practices White Paper and to stay up to date with ongoing tips, tricks, best practices visit our website.

 

Comments

  1. So in a few years time this could mean that we see a reduction or even elimination of the fixed “Pay Here” point of sale in favour of sales assistants wandering around with an iPad and hand held card reader.

    I imagine the most difficult process of this will be educating the public. Everyone is so used to hunting for the big “pay here” sign. Also store designers will have to become smarter about the way customer flow is channeled as there won’t be a fixed POS to build around.

    It’s certainly an interesting concept and I’d love to see a total mPOS store in operation and how it functions in reality. Added to that it will be interesting to see how the British public react to the lack of formal queues. More than likely in the absence of a designated queuing area we’ll simply make our own queues.

    Nate
    Retail Computer Solutions

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