The overwhelming presence of antiquated point-of-sale systems and infrastructure is currently preventing mobile from realizing its full potential in-store.
Technology is changing constantly and more marketers are jumping on the mobile payments bandwagon. However, without correct hardware and education, point-of-sale adoption might still be an ongoing challenge for many.
“While workarounds and layered solutions are possible, at a certain point, retailers have to commit to revisioning their in-store experience from a mobile-integrated perspective,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh.
“Retailers will be judged more and more on their ability to provide a mobile-ready experience,” he said.
Extended product ordering, self-checkout, in-aisle checkout, ereceipts, and virtual POS experiences are some of the key entry-points for evolving the in-store experience.
Nowadays, many marketers are creating more options for tech-savvy customers.
A recent report from IHL Group found that 33 percent of retailers have no plans to adopt mobile point-of-sale systems soon, suggesting that plans to deploy smartphones and tablets in-store have slowed compared to a year ago.
When it comes to POS systems, deployment is key.
The key operational issues involved with adopting mobile POS include device and merchandise security, how to handle cash, payments, bags, customer service levels and reworking traffic flow.
Although many are struggling, others such as Starbucks and Apple are making great strides at integrating mobile into their in-store experience.
“Embracing Passbook and using convenient mechanisms to interact with the brand are great ways to effectively drive loyalty,” Mr. Mason said.
“Although retailers will drive limited experiments, widespread adoption will be slow,” he said. “Traditionally, old systems are heavy, costly, and work in long migrational cycles.
“Now that POS can be virtualized and has to be mobile-ready, the same rigor that exists for successful ecommerce teams has to be introduced in stores. Retailers must embrace fast innovation cycles and adapt at a quicker rate.”
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