As a result of changing customer behaviour, retailers are increasingly looking for more innovative solutions. Sticking with something because it is ‘the way it has always been done’, is no longer an option. This is as true of payments, as it is of delivery or opening hours. With UK consumers spending more than 18 hours a year stuck in store waiting lines, retailers face a problem. Not only does this create store flow and product positioning issues, it also leads to walk outs, as three quarters of shoppers are unwilling to wait longer than five minutes before leaving empty handed.
The negative effect of waiting times equates to more than £1billion in lost sales each year. Traditional tills aren’t fulfilling bricks-and-mortar’s full revenue potential, and in their current form they aren’t adding value to the retail experience, either for the retailer or customer. mPOS can increase sales by being more convenient – but ultimately it simplifies the transactional process – removing customer stressors. Integrated into the customers shopping process, payments will no longer be a defined end point, and the customer experience can once again become a holistic journey.
Looking at the key areas of staff and management, we show how mPOS solves this problem and allows retailers to focus on customer service.
Every POS solution on the market needs a safe pair of hands to drive better store experiences. But mPOS empowers staff who, no longer limited to a counter service, can become true brand ambassadors across the store. With the queueing and paying experience currently deciding 57% of in-store satisfaction, enabling staff to serve, sell and take payments anywhere in the store could have a potentially huge impact on the customer’s experience.
But more importantly this means transactions are longer defining staff-customer interactions. With three quarters (72%) of UK shoppers thinking that receiving product recommendations based on their purchasing habits is a ‘cool’ capability, there is clearly a growing appetite for personalisation in bricks-and-mortar retail. Retailers can cash in on this by introducing devices into the store which give staff access to the information they need, when and where they need it. From upselling and inventory, to rich content such as how-to videos for consultative selling, this will allow your staff to deliver a truly personalised, customer-centric experiences.
For the store managers who are looking for a tool that offers complete control of every store function, mPOS enables them to access sales per hour, transaction values, customer wait times and, with managed services, it frees them up to spend time with staff and customers. They will also be able to problem solve during peak trading periods, re locating staff and introducing more devices where necessary.
With customers increasingly wanting to interact with companies across multiple channels mPOS allows managers to easily create stations for specialist services such as returns and click-and-collect. It can also integrate loyalty schemes for rewards based on customer value in all channels. For the 29% of customers who are happy to share their location with a retailer if it means receiving unique incentives, managers can drive customer targeted and location specific sales.
Retailers need point of sale technology which is more than a payment point, connecting multiple store functions, and constantly, easily accessible. This will free them up to spend more time focussing on their customers’ needs to deliver a seamless experience. A successful mPOS strategy means more than plugging in a device; gauge your hardware and software needs now and in the future, to invest in a solution that’s fit for purpose. Many retailers may choose outsource managed services for their payments to take everything off their hands. Payments isn’t retailing, retailers should be freeing themselves up to do more and leave the payments to the experts.
You can read more about the scale of lost opportunities surrounding Mobile POS in the latest Verifone report: The real cost of not offering mobile POS here.
- Laurel Wolfe, Marketing Director, Verifone Europe, @londonlaurel