‘The store of the future’ – the goal of many retailers and the subject of hundreds of articles, white papers, discussions and forums. There are as many view about what the ‘store of the future’ looks like as there are people you ask. Of course the reality is that none of us know exactly what the future holds, which is why I believe that instead of thinking about building the ‘store of the future’, we need to building a ‘store for the future’ – that is, using the technology we have here and now to build the flexibility to put ourselves in the best possible position to take advantage of future directions in retail. Whatever they may be.

At iVend, we believe that one of the most powerful ways that retailers can position themselves for shoppers’ demands is through Mobile POS. So just how does mPOS build an environment for the future.

mPOS is the foundation of assisted selling. We all take for granted the vast amounts of information available at our fingertips, and expect the same in a store. mPOS allows you to equip your staff with that information, and to provide it at the customer’s side. Not only delivering the level of detail your customers demand, but also giving your staff the opportunity to find out more about the purchase, recommend the best product and potentially increase the sale.

Without mPOS, store formats are fixed and can quickly become outdated, not meeting the needs of customers, or the retailer. Mobile POS allows retailers complete flexibility of store layout – it is rapidly deployed, and can be placed in any part of the store, at moveable stations or with roaming floor sales staff. Space can be made available for a special promotion or theme and the store swiftly re-arranged and kept looking fresh and interesting.

Rapid change is inherent in technology – consumers are used to changing their phones and tablets regularly to keep up with innovation. Yet stores with nothing but fixed pos tie themselves to a technology infrastructure that is costly and time-consuming to upgrade. mPOS, with cloud-based applications, allows them the flexibility to take on new applications, new hardware, new forms of payment and of loyalty.

Retailers know that convenience is top of customers’ list of demands. Many retailers want to respond by taking the store to the shopper, rather than vice versa. A cinema tucked away at the far end of a shopping centre might want to sell and activate gift cards in the heart of the action, a retailer might want pop-up stores in extra locations at seasonal peaks, a speciality provider might want an outlet at a festival or event. With mobile POS, a pop-up or temporary store can be trading within minutes – on the spot with their target market.

Gone are the days of long inductions and training courses. Staff are one of a retailers most important, and most expensive, assets. Weeks or months of training before they get on the shop floor is a thing of the past. In our instant gratification society, staff and retailers alike want fast productivity – and mPOS helps deliver it. Staff are highly familiar with mobile technology and apps – the technology they use in their social lives don’t need extensive training and they expect a similar approach at work. With information at their fingertips through mPOS, they don’t need to spend time learning the details of every product, they simply search based on the customers questions, and can focus on engagement and personal service.

None of us knows exactly what the future holds. But one thing is for sure – by implementing mPOS now, retailers are keeping far more options open than sticking to fixed pos, and ensuring that we are best placed for whatever it brings.

To learn more about how iVend can help you position your store for the future with mPOS, or to read our White Paper “MOBILE INNOVATION – Reinvigorating the store’s value” click here

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