The threat of an e-commerce takeover has retailers everywhere shaking in their boots. They’re thinking, “What can we offer that the internet can’t?”
In response to the phenomenon, smart retailers are doing everything in their power to improve the in-store experience. They know that consumers aren’t drawn to their brick-and-mortar stores for the prices or the selection – both of those elements are available online, from the comfort of their own home. They know that consumers are looking for a shopping experience that is quick, easy and valuable.
So the question then becomes “how can we provide value?”
Retailers are looking to technology, specifically mobile point of sale (POS) solutions, to add value to the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Technology can seamlessly connect sales associates, customers and inventory in innovative ways to provide an experience that cannot be gained through e-commerce. With handheld mobile devices and wireless POS peripherals, store employees have the power to make sales on the sales floor – where the customers are. A combination of mobile and traditional POS solutions allows retail stores to bust lines, speed up the checkout process and ultimately provide more value to customers.
When sales associates are equipped with handheld mobile devices connected magnetic stripe readers and/or wireless printers, customers can “skip the line” so to speak — they can make a purchase right from the sales floor without having to stand in an unnecessarily long line. Employees can not only reduce congestion at the checkout counter, but also check out customers at both the counter and the point of purchase simultaneously.
In doing so, a retail store can improve their customer service. With more associates on the sales floor, more of customers’ questions can be answered. As mentioned, the goal is to provide customers with an in-store experience that is more valuable than shopping online.
Mobile POS also allows retail stores to can increase their sales turnover. With checkout lines moving quickly and employees checking out customers on the sales floor, a store can checkout several customers at one time to avoid crowding and streamline customer throughput.
And when employees can roam the open, decongested sales floor equipped with a mobile device, they can also employ upselling and cross-selling strategies. Sales associates can travel around the store making suggestions and recommendations to increase a store’s selling opportunities.
Improved customer service
When customers are able to make more personal, information-driven connections with sales associates, they are better able to understand your products, mission and message. They are able to establish a connection with your brick-and-mortar store that cannot be gained while simply clicking a button and adding an item to their digital “shopping cart.”
In addition, employees can leverage their mobile POS devices as a brand advocate or powerful tool to maximize the shopper’s experience. some mobile POS devices – depending on the software – will allow employees to provide customers with more information, such as sizing charts, inventory availability and shipment schedules.
When customers have questions, they won’t have to wait until they get to the register or the fitting room – they can ask a mobile employee. Many customers might feel that having to wait until they reach the checkout counter to ask their question simply isn’t worth the wait. Having employees working on the sales floor also comes in handy in situations where the store is too crowded for customers to get the attention they need. Overall, the increased amount of attention that sales associates are able to provide to customers makes their shopping experience easier, quicker, more enjoyable and more valuable.
How will you use mobile POS technology to provide value in your brick-and-mortar store?