Now more than ever, consumers expect to be immersed in a completely branded experience across every channel. In order to meet these expectations, retailers are developing multifaceted mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) strategies to meet shoppers’ expectations.
As more stores aim for seamless, “channel-less” experiences, retail has expanded beyond just in-store and online shopping from a PC to evolve into an all-encompassing retail ecosystem. By collecting and analyzing data, retailers are able to identify and understand individual consumers’ behaviors and preferences and use that information to make relevant offers and personalize shopping experiences. However, a disconnect can still occur when consumers enter physical stores, as there's often no way to recognize those shoppers and personalize their experiences. That’s where mPOS comes in. No longer just a line-busting tool, mPOS provides a way to stay connected with in-store shoppers.
How mPOS Works With Your Entire Retail Ecosystem
- Convenience: iVend's 2016-2017 Great Omnichannel Expectations Shopper Survey revealed that consumers appreciate convenience and are looking for ways to save time and make shopping trips more efficient. According to our survey, about one-third of consumers no longer think about which channel they’re using as long as it’s simple and accessible. Sales associates can make shopping a more convenient experience by using mPOS to access information, refer to the customer’s shopping history, check loyalty points, search for out-of-stock items, place orders, and take payment — all without leaving the customer’s side.
- Fulfillment: Customers appreciate having options of both home delivery and in-store pickup. According to our survey, more than half are researching products online before they buy, and almost 60 percent take advantage of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) offers. By enabling your employees to immediately complete purchases, restock returns and place orders, mPOS helps stores gain a real-time view of their inventory. If your business manages inventory across channels with a single stock pool, consumers in any location or shopping on any channel can find the item they want and have it shipped to a local store or directly to their homes. This can be especially useful during the busy holiday season or other sales events when demand for “hot” items is high.
- Payment: Customers’ patience for the checkout line is lessening. After all, if there aren’t any checkout lines online, why should there be a wait in-store? If configured correctly, mPOS enables sales associates to accept payments of all types on a tablet or other mobile device as they assist customers, without directing them to wait in line.
- Loyalty: Our 2016-2017 shopper survey showed a gain of more than 10 percent from the previous year, revealing 50.5 percent of people feel equally rewarded in-store and online. You can use mPOS to help in-store shoppers feel rewarded by checking loyalty rewards points, redeeming points, and even making them aware of current promotions for which they're eligible. This type of personalized service can also build loyalty, encouraging customers to return where they know sales associates are informed and ready to help.
- Innovation: If you’re looking to change the game, mPOS gives you the ability to create new processes and strategies by enabling your employees to be connected to store systems wherever they are. Any information from your retail management system can be accessible and used in creative ways to elevate customer service and delight shoppers. It also helps you complete a 360-degree profile of customers, adding in-store shopping data to online and mobile sources, which can help you refine the personalized experiences you offer.
Shoppers with smartphones are commonplace; you want sales associates to be at least as informed as shoppers about the merchandise in your stores. Equip sales associates with mPOS to keep them connected to your entire retail ecosystem to create a consistent brand image, pleasing shopping experiences and, ultimately, customer loyalty.
Paula Da Silva is the senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific and the Americas for Citixsys, a provider of software products for the retail sector.
Paula Da Silva is Executive Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances at iVend Retail by CitiXsys, a global provider of integrated omnichannel solutions for retail and hospitality chains sold through a worldwide distribution network of certified partners.
Paula Da Silva has more than 25 years of experience in information technology. Since 2006, Paula has been instrumental in building iVend Retail into a global market leader in the retail industry and currently spearheads the recruitment of channel partners to expand iVend Retail’s worldwide footprint. As a thought leader she has authored multiple online articles for publications like Apparel, Retail Touchpoints, Total Retail, RIS News and Multichannel Merchant. Frequently invited to speak, she’s made appearances at Retail Now, The Australian Retailer Association and at Sage Partner Community events. Paula’s passion for retail extends to her personal life where she has made shopping an artform, visiting premier shopping destinations around the globe from Sydney to Los Angeles.