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Retail Mobility: How Mobile Technology Empowers Retail

by Sean Jung & Natalie Schlueter

Did you know that when mobile point of sales (POS) is deployed, retailers experience a 25% increase of “in-store” client satisfaction and a 24% increase in sales revenue? These are numbers that cannot be ignored. Retail mobility has changed the way people shop, and work in the retail environment. How can retailers take advantage of this large opportunity now?

Recently, we have seen an adjusted shift to accommodate the changing landscape of consumerism and the shopping experience. Retailers are required to adjust their operations to provide a safe, comfortable, and seamless customer experience while remaining committed to brand values. We have seen retailers focused on improving their e-commerce presence to compete with the large online retail establishments. There is still room for in-store mobility management with large retailers focusing their stores on becoming fulfillment centers for online orders.

Today we see retailers trying to balance the fulfillment type work their store carries out as well as the needed in-person shopping experience from consumers that does not feel awkward and provides a sense of safety. Mobile devices help.

Here are some current examples of how retailers are successfully taking advantage of the mobility edge and implementing it into their retail environments:

Seamless Curbside Pickup

Nearly 67% of shoppers in the United States have used buy online, pick up in store (BIPOS) for their shopping experience in the past six months. In the past year, we have seen large retailers such as Target, The Gap, and even grocery stores heavily adopt this experience into their business model. These stores utilize their store-front shops as mini fulfillment centers for their online orders.

The opportunity for e-commerce has increased dramatically. In this model, consumers expect quick fulfillment and short pick-up time, therefore retailers are under pressure to deliver beyond expectations and before time. How does this happen?

Mobile applications allow customers to let the store know they are on their way, allow customers to check in when they arrive, and can even estimate the arrival time for the retailer.
These communications go directly to the mobile devices of the associates in store to start the fulfillment process and allow for seamless pickup by the customer.

Improve the In-Store Customer Experience

Today’s consumers expect a lot from their shopping experience. It needs to be personal, applicable, and ethereal. What do these mean?

Personal: The in-store experience feels like it is only meant for them with 1:1 help, self-serve kiosks and readily available information for any question they may have when asking a store associate.
Applicable: Do they feel as though the product offered in store will serve their needs? Photos, videos, testimonials, pricing and more need to be at the hands of store associates to be deployed at any moment.
Ethereal: Is the in-store shopping model an experience? When consumers walk into a store they hope to feel a sense of relief knowing they will be taken care of, the product being shown is fully stocked and presented well, and the store associates know where to locate specific items with ease. It needs to be an entire shopping experience, not just an errand.

With this in mind, why is it that consumers currently spend more than 18 hours a year stuck in store waiting lines? The mismanagement of device use, or no handheld device use at all. Three quarters of the shoppers are unwilling to wait longer than five minutes before leaving empty handed.

To help solve this, the implementation of hand-held mobile POS in retail allows for an efficient interaction between customer and associate with the ability to facilitate quick, contactless payment within a very short time, offer online solutions for out of stock product, and give the consumer the personalization, and experience they deserve.

Empower Employees

Mobility can serve as a powerful tool that empowers employees to answer stock questions, check inventory and quickly close sales right at their fingertips.

For retailers thinking about implementing a mobile point of sale system, here is a list of key questions to ask:

  1. How many devices will you need to equip for employees? Consider a spare pool for lost/damaged devices as well.
  2. Will your wireless infrastructure support the number of devices you need?
  3. Will any additional hardware be needed for payment processing, scanning, etc.?
  4. How are you going to manage the application/OS updates for each device?
  5. How will you ensure these devices are readily available for each employee shift, fully charged and updated?
  6. How will you secure and charge the mobile devices?

Never Fear, A Solution is Here

As a leader in best-in-class mobile device charging and managing solutions, Bretford paves the way to support future innovations and is positioned to complement many major hardware and software platforms that support mobile point of sale technologies.

From the PowerSync Pro™ Smart Hubs that facilitate hands-free, multiple device charging and provisioning at one time, to the CUBE® Pre-Wired Cart that charges and provides a safe environment for devices to be stored, to TechGuard Connect® Charging Lockers that include a powerful software management platform that will allow you to remotely track, manage and maintain your mobile devices, Bretford is positioned to help optimize retail operations to be future proof, innovative, and efficient.

Find your Bretford solution today.

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