How the Cloud Gives Small Retailers Advantages the Big Guys Have Long Enjoyed
Retailers are able to translate this in-store data into actionable steps to increase efficiency and reduce costs. For instance, retailers can determine how many store associates to put on the floor at any given time, when to roster staff breaks, how to allocate tasks, and more.
Mobile payments, digital wallets and even new currencies (e.g., Bitcoin) are changing the way people buy things. And we're not talking about the future, we're talking about what's happening now.
The idea of paying for items using a smartphone isn't a novel concept. In fact, for quite some time now, PayPal has been offering check-in capabilities that allow customers to pay using their phone, eliminating the need for cash or credit cards.
It gets better. PayPal has gone one step further in making the customer experience even easier thanks to Beacon, a low-frequency Bluetooth technology that enables customers to pay for their merchandise without even taking out their phone.
Users of the PayPal app can program devices to "check in" to their favorite stores and even accept payments automatically for specific retailers, all without removing their devices from their pockets. In short, they can give themselves a shopping experience that's entirely hands free.
Beacon technology lets retailers personalize each consumer's shopping experience even more. For instance, whenever a shopper checks in using their PayPal app, the retailer will be able to view their name and purchase history with their brand. This paves the way for meaningful interactions and better customer service — and a quicker coffee in the morning.
This trend reminds me of the first days of the iPad — you looked at it and saw it was cool, but what was even better was knowing that all around the world people were busy building apps to make it even better. Here's to an exciting time to be in business, and to being in the cloud.