The roaming checkout –Why mobility is the new imperative for Retail?

iVend Mobile Today’s tech savvy shoppers are adopting new mobile technologies at a record-setting pace. The use of wireless devices is multiplying exponentially, with countless app stores and applications springing up to meet the demand.

As customers use Internet-enabled technology to accomplish even more of what they do, these applications and devices have become increasingly personal, anticipating customers’ needs and offering goods and services to meet them. Retailers must keep pace with this rising expectation of on-demand service whenever and wherever desired—including inside the retail establishment.

Mobile POS (Point of Sale) is a readily available solution. Mobile commerce has become increasingly familiar, convenient and secure, with consumers feeling more comfortable making purchases using this option. Big retailers have capitalized on the change—boosting sales and gaining repeat business via transactions on mobile devices.

But there is no reason to limit such sales to Smartphones. With the advent of wireless networks, Mobile POS equipment offers an ideal solution to (1) address poor service and missed sales opportunities resulting from insufficient information about features and promotions at product displays; (2) alleviate customer frustration due to long or slow-moving check-out lines; (3) replace outdated and non-scalable immobile software systems; and (4) avoid lost revenue from reduction in valuable floor space when additional hardware is installed to increase sales points.

Typical features include:

  • User authentication / security
  • Equipped for credit card payments
  • Scan and manual entry capability
  • Access to item details such as inventory
  • Recovery, suspension, cancellation or deletion of transactions
  • On-screen stylus signature

As a portable solution for completing sales transactions and processing returns, Mobile POS makes it possible to add to the number of “cash registers” without multiplying the number of stationary machines. Whenever there are long lines at the registers, portable POS devices can be distributed to store personnel so customers can engage them to make purchases.

Associates scan the customers’ items with the attached UPC (Universal Product Code) scanner, after which customers are able to pay by swiping a credit/debit card along a slot in the same machine. The transaction details are transmitted from the mobile POS to the business’s server using a secured wireless network. The server then communicates with third party agencies such as Visa or Master Card to authorize payment.

Once authorized, information is sent back to the business’s server, which then communicates with the mobile POS to produce a receipt for the transaction. The design of the device allows it to be integrated with legacy POS systems so the store’s data and processing will not be disrupted.

When using the mobile device to process transactions, the payment gateway connections should not be disrupted (they should be as effective as broadband) and location specific mobile payment security guidelines should be strictly followed. That said, it is clear mobile POS represents a positive change with a number of benefits and features to help forward-thinking retailers leverage technology to improve business.

Closely related to a reduction in customer wait time are:

  • Interaction with the store personnel to assist in making shopping decisions
  • Retailer can increase the number of POS without adding new cash registers
  • Can be carried to any location in the store, as needed.
  • Helpful in handling additional volume during peak shopping seasons
  • Keypad will feed in customer information with receipts sent to customer’s mail ID

Mobile technology represents an enormous opportunity to improve store operations and consumer interactions, with mobile POS offering another innovative way to win customer loyalty and gain greater market share by addressing the consumers’ never-ending desire for speed and convenience.

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