Mobile Gives In-Store Associates More Control

Retailers across categories are embracing mobile to empower their workforce and enrich customer experience. Although mobile POS (mPOS) is great — it aids in line-busting efforts and allows associates to essentially complete transactions from anywhere in a store — customers are craving something more.

Shoppers now expect associates to have the same, if not more, information that they have. They also want a more intimate clienteling experience.

“Customers can go into a retail store and have competitive pricing information and product information for the item they’re looking at,” explained Alex Seritis, Account Executive at Infinite Peripherals, a provider of mPOS peripherals. But some associates don’t have this information, creating a daunting disconnect between them and in-store shoppers.

Mobile technology “allows an associate to now ring up an item, look it up, gather some competitive pricing and provide the customer with reviews on the spot of the item, and ultimately help them through the checkout process,” Seritis explained. MPOS, combined with selling apps, can put brick-and-mortar retailers “on a level playing field, helping them compete against the online retailers of the world.”

Brick-and-mortar retailers that roll out mobile devices in-store can even exceed their online pureplay competitors. After all, brick-and-mortar retailers have one significant advantage: They have the ability to connect with customers face-to-face, and in a more personal manner. Using mobile technology only enriches the experience and provides information at associates’ fingertips, which in the end can improve employee engagement.

“I think the one thing retailers need to do more of is drive the customer interaction and look to develop relationships with their customers while they’re in the store,” Seritis said. “I think any mobile solution should really try to drive some sort of interaction with the associate and the customer. It really does add a little personal touch to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.”

If a product is unavailable in a store, associates can leverage “save the sale” capabilities, such as looking up inventory in other stores and online, and having items delivered directly to the customer’s door. These benefits are making retailers realize the potential ROI and bottom-line impact of in-store mobility.

As a result, adoption is on the upswing. “What used to be a ‘nice to have’ is no longer that,” Seritis said. Infinite Peripherals has deployed technology in 30% of the top 20 U.S. retailers, and has implemented more than 400,000 iOS devices in the field.

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