Is mobile POS largely about line-busting?
Much has been made about the potential of mobile POS to break up long lines to speed checkouts. But mobile POS is promising much more.
A study last year from Juniper Research predicted that smartphone and tablet-based mobile POS terminals would handle 20 percent of all retail transaction value by 2021, up from an estimated four percent in 2016. The gains are expected to be driven by larger retailers not only looking to “queue bust,” but to develop more targeted and situational campaigns.
“We are seeing several vendors tailor their software to the needs of specific industries, integrating mPOS capabilities as part of broader cloud-based business software,” said James Moar, a Juniper analyst in a statement. “These additional services can then make use of the sales data directly to manage inventory, monitor staff performance and other functions, which can all add more value to a business and justify a higher margin.”
In its report, “Future Of Point Of Sale,” Enspire, a provider of cloud-based online solutions, argued that the problem with the checkout process is the “break in the sale” that occurs when a sales associate hands the customer over to the casher. The use of tablet or mobile can support a “one-step path to purchase” by which the sales associate can work with the customer all the way through checkout.
Advanced POS capabilities can also enable associates to offer information on products not available in the store or soon to be introduced. “Sales associates should feel empowered with greater information in order to interact with customers like never before,” said Enspire’s report.
IHL Group’s 2015 report, “mPOS: Houston, Do We Have a Problem?,” found some retailers were realizing as much as a 25 percent increase in sales with a mPOS solution. But most weren’t leveraging mPOS to provide shoppers with product or promotion information. The study also found that stationary terminals had some advantages. Greg Buzek, CEO of IHL Group, told Fierce Retail at the time, “Most of retail is still about putting things in bags at the end of the transaction. That requires a counter to do it well.”
- An mPOS revolution: Why mobile is reinventing the point of sale – Juniper Research
- Future of Point of Sale: Moving Beyond Traditional POS to Retail Engagement – Enspire
- Mobile devices replace POS terminals at checkout counters – Fierce Retail
- mPOS: Houston, Do We Have A Problem? – IHL Group (purchase required)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: To what extent do you see mobile POS complementing stationary terminals? Which of the promised benefits of mobile POS do you see as having the most and least impact on retail operations?