It’s probably true to say that for most of us, one of the most life-changing innovations of recent times is the mobile device. Our smartphones, our tablets, our e-mail capable watches – these mobile devices have changed the way we communicate, work, socialise and find information. Mobile devices have changed not just our approach, but our expectations; we think of it as simply the norm to be able to have information at our fingertips. And these changing expectations extend to the way we want to shop.
In retail, mobility has transformed point of sale. From being a ‘bleeding edge’ technology just a few years ago, mPOS is now a must for smart retailers. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to explore the ways in which retailers can use mobile POS software to transform Customer Engagement and Retail Operations. So in this article, let’s focus on how mobile point of sale transforms customer engagement. Customer engagement is the key to customer satisfaction and we know that satisfied customers spend more and tell others how much they love our brand. So how does mobile POS enhance customer engagement ? There are five answers:
- Queue busting
There is nothing that irritates customers more than queuing – they have chosen to come into the store, to select their purchases and take them to the checkout. Then the retailer makes them wait to pay.A store assistant with an mPOS device can instantly take away the hassle of queues, bringing the service to the customer not the other way round. Checking the customer out at the shelf, bypassing the lane altogether, or checking them out in the queue, so that they’re in the car before they would have been at the front of the queue.
- Multiple payment methods
With so many payment options, it makes sense to offer as wide a range as possible, for maximum customer convenience. mPOS devices open up new payment options, including cash, cheque, debit, credit, store credit, gift card balances, loyalty points or currency, coupons and digital passes cheque, debit, credit, store credit, gift card balances, loyalty points or currency, coupons and digital passes.
- Product information
Up there with queuing, in terms of customers’ frustration, is not being able to find enough information about products. Comparisons between products, specifications, usage information, service/support information – all the factors that make the difference between deciding to purchase or not.If a member of staff can be close at hand, at the shelf, to answer those questions, lost sales are minimised and revenue increased. With the right information, the sales assistant can upsell and cross-sell, increasing revenue and profit even further. No sales assistant can hold a whole store’s worth of information in their head, so an mPOS app, with rapid lookup of all the key information to support the customer’s questions, is the perfect answer.
- Price and inventory lookup
The customer now has all the information they need, but the size/colour/specification they really want isn’t on the shelf. Or the price tag/shelf label is missing. Another opportunity falls into the black hole of lost sales? Not if the store staff have a mobile POS system at their fingertips, and can lookup realtime inventory information. By finding the customer’s exact item, at another store or in your warehouse, and offering a choice of pickup/delivery options, the sale can be saved. Another tick in the box for mPOS.
- Simpler returns
Using the same point of sale desk for returns as for sales only exacerbates the issue of queues, without increasing revenue. But with a limited number of fixed point of lanes, often retailers had little choice. Implementing a mobile POS solution can increase the number of POS stations, and allow the luxury of a dedicated station for returns, making the process smoother for those returning goods and not impacting those who want to purchase.
In conclusion, getting store staff out from behind the counter and into the store, alongside customers, and with mPOS at their fingertips, has a massive impact on customer convenience, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, the retailer’s bottom line.
To learn more, download iVend’s Whitepaper, MOBILE INNOVATION – Reinvigorating the store’s value