According to research from IHL Group, mobile in retail is now a $5.7 billion business worldwide and one that continues to grow rapidly. Retailers have embraced mobile POS solutions as a way to extend the reach of their in-store POS and engage with shoppers. However, these solutions remain in the “show and tell” phase, offering only limited information about products available in the store and the ability to scan and purchase those items.
Over the next 12-18 months, retailers can expect to offer a richer, more personalized omnichannel shopping experience through their mobile POS deployments. The emergence of new platform-agnostic solutions, along with deeper integration of the mobile POS to backend enterprise systems tied into the supply chain, will enable retailers to transform the physical store shopping experience and deliver:
“Anywhere, any store” shopping – If goods aren’t available in the store, with a few swipes of the fingertips, sales associates on the store floor can instantly search for inventory across store locations, message other store associates as needed, place an order for delivery, and have it shipped to the customer from anywhere within the country.
Advanced analytics – Sales associates will have instant access to customer data – including buying patterns, preferences, and recent online or store purchases – to offer a more personal and customized shopping experience. Store managers will gain access to real-time reports on retail operations, such as the status of merchandise during promotions or product performance that will empower them to improve store performance.
Direct access to global data – Current mobile POS solutions have limited access to global merchandise and inventory data. By directly integrating into the retailer’s central enterprise systems, mobile POS clients – across all stores – are constantly synchronized with the latest information. This will give sales associates the ability to easily view merchandise information and availability offered at other stores in real time so they can help customers find and purchase the products that best fit their needs, regardless of location.
Global views into inventory…and the future – Today store personnel can use a mobile POS to check and manage the delivery of inventory at their store location. With deeper integration, retailers will not only be able to extend that visibility to global inventory and deliver “anywhere, any store” shopping, they will also be able to place orders for items not yet manufactured. This glimpse into the future of shopping is entirely possible – and probable – within the next few years with this level of mobile POS integration.
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