Of course, we here at Newstore have come up with a long list of reasons why we believe that nothing is going to have a bigger impact on luxury retail, especially in-store retail, than mobile POS technology.
And we believe our proprietary technology will enable brands to communicate with and satisfy their customers more effectively than ever before. But as you can see in the following story written by Karl Swensen and Jigar Shah that appeared in The Point of Sale News www.pointofsale.com, we’re hardly the only ones who think this way.
In fact, we think Swensen’s and Shah’s list of Top 10 Reasons You Know You’re Ready For Mobile POS (excerpted below) should be required reading for any luxury brand looking to use mobile technology to significantly increase in-store and online sales.
1. Getting closer to customers is a priority.
The days of bored-looking store associates are over. Today’s associates are more akin to personal shoppers than to cashiers: Armed with tablet devices, they’re engaging customers throughout the aisles, verifying price and product information, and even managing home-delivery options. They’re also quickly and efficiently providing checkout of purchases. Mobile POS ensures that no customer is left behind – and that’s exactly how customers want it. Shoppers’ most requested store improvements are more knowledgeable associates and associates who can match prices, according to Cognizant’s 2015 Shopper Experience Study.
2. Future-proof solutions appeal to your organization.
Retailers are routinely plowing investment dollars into new and innovative platforms. A key sign that your organization is ready for mobile POS, however, is its interest in a platform primed to integrate with new technologies such as Internet of Things, beacons, and loyalty CRM promotions.
3. Mobility’s expansive opportunities require retailers to take a longer than usual view regarding POS options.
The average refresh rate for POS technology is four to five years, while technology investments typically extend out for five to seven years. Now that POS dovetails with advanced technologies, retailers will need to view their POS options in more strategic, long-range terms.
4. Cloud technology.
Cloud technology makes the ideal platform for the connected store and mobile POS. But to be effective, it must serve as the hub of your retail platform, not as an add-on. Cloud is the focal point for unified commerce, also called omnichannel, providing the versatility for new services and shipping options. Cloud offers other options in addition to connectivity, such as the cost reductions that result from moving hardware out of store premises and into central locations.
Not every retailer is ready for the cloud, however. It needs reliable wi-fi, a requirement that offers an advantage for mall-based locations with their larger infrastructure and network. Mobile POS can work without the cloud, but the cloud makes it more cost effective and easier to manage. That’s why the most successful installations will include discussion of cloud.
5. Digital marketing is constantly evolving.
Mobile POS plays an important role for retailers whose marketing functions are pushing to adopt innovative promotions such as digital coupons and beacon technologies. By connecting to the data stored in back-office systems such as CRM and order management, tablets allow associates to draw on a bounty of data to communicate with customers in more intelligent, personalized ways. For example, tablets allow “clienteling,” or the ability to access customers’ likes and dislikes based on past purchases, and to extend to them meaningful, custom offers that make them feel special. In this age of technology-wielding shoppers, mobile POS and digital marketing enable retailers and their associates to stay a step ahead of shoppers.
6. Mobile POS is the future.
Don’t laugh: Tablet- or smartphone-enabled associates help create positive marketing buzz for brands. It’s a look – and a capability – that’s part of today’s customer experience. To shoppers, stationary cash registers are technological dinosaurs. While tech retailers like Apple and Best Buy were the first to equip sales staffs with mobile POS, the trend is spreading into more mainstream retailers. Nordstrom Rack, for example, employs roving associates armed with mobile POS for fast, easy checkout of purchases.
7. Store labor is an asset to optimize.
Mobile POS is most successful for retailers that view store labor as an asset to develop, rather than a cost to squeeze. Yet labor represents store managers’ largest controllable cost, and retailers’ second biggest investment after inventory. Savvy retailers recognize the versatility of the tablet form factor to help them optimize store operations. For example, tablets can be used to notify associates about shelves that need stocking. By pushing out alerts of store customers who require assistance, tablets can also drive higher sales.
8. It’s time to embrace digital payments and security.
Make no mistake: Traditional credit cards will eventually become obsolete. As digital financial services become the preferred method of payment for consumers in their 20s and 30s, your organization wants to capitalize on the trend. You’re that much closer to mobile POS if your organization is prepared to invest in hardware to support NFC and the security to safeguard the customer data that whizzes through mobile devices. Without tight security, it will never be fully adopted. Added bonus: If your organization supports digital wallets, it avoids the headaches of PCI compliance and EMV.
9. The time is right for “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD)
Restaurants are leading the way with options that let diners use their smartphones to pay, place orders or scan items. As consumers grow accustomed to the scan-and-swipe convenience, can comparable retail offerings be far behind?
When it comes to BYOD, Starbucks’ mobile order and pay app is the gold standard. In December 2015, the coffee seller’s customers rang up 22% of U.S. transactions using its mobile apps[iii].
10. Unified commerce is going to be at the heart of your operations.
Mobile POS plays an essential role in creating the seamless customer experience across stores, web sites, and apps that defines unified commerce, or omnichannel retailing. But unified commerce requires tight integration and careful end-to-end planning. Retailers have already discovered the growing pains of integration with their buy-online, pickup-in-stores services, with 60% of consumers reporting problems at pickup, according to Cognizant’s 2015 Shopper Experience Study. As a new technology, however, mobile POS is generally easy to integrate and operationally more convenient for omnichannel orders. It can be built with capabilities that enable a smoother process for in-store pickup of online orders.”
Honestly, we couldn’t have said this better ourselves. Actually, we can because we’re building the technology that will make this easier than ever to implement.
We here at NewStore conducted an online and offline research of 112 luxury, lifestyle, and fashion retail brands to evaluate their mobile capabilities, mobile readiness, and mobile acuity. This research focused on native apps, mobile websites, in-store, and the omnichannel functionalities they deliver. The analyses also examined the quality and maturity of consumers’ in-store experiences with custom apps and mobile websites.
To find out more on what the current mobile customer journey is like and why it’s not making the grade, download your copy of the 2016 Mobile Retail Report.
It's the retail industry’s only comprehensive assessment on the state of mobile retail with best-in-class examples and actionable next steps on how to better compete in a mobile-first world.