Owen Chen, president and CEO at Posiflex Technology, Inc. tells Talk Retail how retailers can improve customer relationships through mobile point of sale.
Smartphone owners increasingly use their devices in store to search the web and compare prices. Consequently, retailers are undergoing a massive transformation to meet the needs of consumers using a wide variety of channels and devices and expecting personalised experiences.
Within the store environment, the cross-over between online and offline has increased. Giving stores the innovative solutions they need to suit customer behaviour and satisfy demands has become essential. Stores must interact effectively in order to assist them and provide the tailor-made content they seek.
With the emergence of e-commerce, the in store checkout process has become an increasingly critical part of the customer experience. To remain competitive in the face of an e-commerce shopping experience that is progressively easier, brands are providing mobile devices that can make the customer experience as effortless as it is on the web. The till is becoming mobile within the store, carried ‘in the pocket’ of the sales assistant, resulting in shorter waiting times and boosting efficiency, which in turn enhances the quality of the customer relationship. The advent of the mPOS system is forging ahead with, according to VISA Europe, a third of consumers confident about paying tradesmen using mPOS.
The challenge for the future of the retail trade lies in its ability to manage cross-channel marketing, between the benefits or services offered to consumers and the expected outcome: satisfaction, customer loyalty, footfall and up-selling. mPOS is the missing link in providing a comprehensive service, in which the consumer is assisted throughout the shopping experience. The retail sector must be able to cope with the huge upsurge of consumers equipped with mobile phones and deal with the transactions generated by multi-channel relations. Some categories of stores may even see a higher growth rate of mPOS than conventional cash desks.
Retailers are seriously considering mobile POS to address challenges and opportunities and make themselves competitive and attractive in the new connected world. POS ecosystem allows this by transforming the fixed checkout, payment acceptance and merchant supply chain and enabling improved interaction between merchants and customers.
mPOS gives retailers access to customer loyalty information, invaluable for engaging customers in a personalised way and for tapping into purchase histories to suggest items and promotions which will enhance the relationship. These CRM capabilities enable engagement and thus engender customer loyalty.
Assistants can also process transactions on the shop floor, making queues at the checkout smaller and improving revenue, but where necessary mPOS systems can be easily mounted and function like fixed POS systems.
Finally, for businesses with a multi-station customer service desk there is the option to allow customer service representatives to detach mPOS systems from their fixed mounts and take customers onto the floor to offer detailed, personalised answers to questions.