Offline retailers: Evolve here first to keep up with e-commerce
By Jeff Scott, CEO of Infinite Peripherals
The easiest thing about shopping online is how quick it is for a retailer to collect the consumer's money. From one-click shopping carts to suggested purchases, to the ability to complete the transaction from anywhere, the money exchange process can be completed with almost no effort from either side.
It is critical that brick-and-mortar retail stores replicate the same seamless experience in-stores in order to maintain relevance. In my opinion, predictions of the death of the in-store experience have been greatly exaggerated, but competition has never been greater, and the brands that chose to ignore the standards of the modern consumer and their buying preferences will without a doubt end up in the same graveyard as Blockbuster and Kodak.
With 92 percent of Americans' retail shopping still occurring in physical stores, retail stores are not on their way out; they just need to adapt to remain relevant and potentially even outpace e-commerce and online retailers. The point-of-sale aspect of the experience is arguably the most critical stage, and we'll discuss how retail POS technology can improve both the shopper's experience, as well as the retailer's bottom line.
The mobile cash register
Mobile technology has replaced many tools such as maps and cameras, but now it's time for it to displace the traditional cash register completely. Retail stores are shifting to an evolving world of customers using mobile POS (mPOS) solutions and technology to improve the overall in-store experience. mPOS integration allows retailers to consolidate various omnichannels, including accounting and inventory, as well as a vehicle for increased customer engagement — these allow employees to move out behind the cash wrap and drive increased customer interaction and personalized service abound. Think about it, if every transaction was as seamless as the experience at the Apple store, wouldn't a day of shopping errands take a fraction of the time?
Mobile point-of-sale strategy fuels your omnichannel strategy
Consumers are interacting with brands on more channels than ever, and driving an efficient omni-channel strategy can be a daunting task for any retailer. Mobile point-of-sale, however, allows a number of advantages to drive efficiency, offering improvements in areas like scale, data collection, and the ability to sell anywhere. Due to its simplicity, cloud-based mPOS systems allow companies to quickly and easily add more mobile devices to their arsenals or establish a new store without headaches. Furthermore, despite their small package, mPOS devices can store many valuable data points when it comes to real-time reporting for the status of inventory, restocking, and product availability. Finally, since the devices can be brought anywhere, a retailer can sell to a customer whether they're shopping in the aisles, directly to the table, or putting them in front of the store.
The growth trajectory of mobile POS
Mobile POS is already rapidly growing within retails sectors. In fact, 451 Research forecasts the global installed base of mPOS will reach 54.03 million units in 2019. It is fairly intuitive to guess that mobility is the future of retail POS technology, but this fact reinforces that these solutions are key to remaining not only relevant but also allow them the opportunity to stay ahead of the game against their online counterparts.
This methodology is consistent even with online brands such as Warby Parker, who see the value for physical locations when combined with mPOS solutions to efficiently expand their foot traffic and deliver visual experiences for their products.
The fact that companies are aware of the pressure to adjust to the new demands of the consumer as a result of the evolution of key technologies is a critical step, but now is the time to carefully evaluate each step in the customer's shopping experience, starting with the point-of-sale. By blending in mobile POS strategy into the traditional in-store experience retailers have more flexibility to leverage the power of a sophisticated retail management while taking advantage of capabilities offered by mobile solutions to run their business, connect with customers, manage logistics, and sell anywhere.