Retailers are constantly searching for new ways to keep up with evolving customer expectations, and a “mobile point-of-sale” (mPOS) has become an essential solution for providing omnichannel shopping experiences today’s customers demand. With its versatile nature, it’s no surprise that mPOS is quickly becoming the new standard for in-store customer engagement.
Retail consulting partners cited flexible POS solutions as a top concern for retailers in a 2022 report with 60% of retailers stating that upgrading their POS is a top priority.
So why are so many retailers looking to upgrade their POS and what additional capabilities are they looking for? Retailers have identified improving the in-store experience as a strategic priority and mPOS serves as a crucial link to unlocking the full potential of unified commerce.
Guide to Mobile POS (mPOS)
Mobile POS (mPOS) is a point-of-sale that uses devices like smartphones or tablets to service customers and process payments from anywhere in the store. Next-gen POS platforms go much further than payment processing by providing store associates with a 360-degree view of the customer and real-time inventory management – empowering them to facilitate any part of a shopper’s journey.
mPOS capabilities allow retailers to activate this data and bring to life customer service strategies in exciting new ways including:
- Personalized customer service: mPOS solutions allow shoppers the flexibility to browse, ask questions, and buy on their own terms. Store associates can accept payments, check inventory (endless aisle), provide clienteling services, and access loyalty information from anywhere in the store, without ever leaving the customer’s side.
- Empowered associates: mPOS solutions empower store associates by freeing them from fixed checkout counters and allowing them to do more of what they love – helping customers. With mPOS, associates are able to help customers solve problems in the moment, reducing wait times, eliminating friction points, and making the in-store shopping experience more engaging. With 73% of customers stating that the checkout experience is their number one pain point, the flexibility that mPOS provides can play a key role in improving the shopping experience.
- Real-time customer & inventory data: mPOS devices access data from the cloud, allowing store associates to view real-time customer and inventory data. Associates are able to see customers’ previous orders, wish lists, and browsing history, giving them tools to make every touchpoint with the consumer more meaningful, efficient, and personalized.
- Omnichannel fulfillment: mPOS solutions that are integrated with an order management system (OMS) can be used to fulfill omnichannel orders (such as buy online pickup in-store – BOPIS). Customers can buy a product online and when they arrive in the store to pick it up, an associate with a mPOS – from anywhere in the store – is able to view the order information and readily fulfill the order in just a few taps. This decreases picking errors and increases the efficiency of store operations. In today’s world, this type of omnichannel-ready experience is one that consumers have come to expect.
Mobile POS & Unified Commerce
The list of capabilities for an omnichannel mPOS is impressive on its own, but mPOS really starts to shine when it’s tightly integrated with a unified commerce system. Unified commerce goes beyond omnichannel by incorporating various solutions and data sources that provide a comprehensive view of your customer’s journey – and truly seamless experience for the customer. And a tight integration with your mPOS helps put that data to work in several key ways:
- Accessibility of product information: Unified commerce ensures accurate product information, pricing, and promotions across all channels – and puts this information in the hands of any retail associate that needs it. By using a mobile POS that is integrated with an OMS and inventory management solution, retailers can lean on the mPOS as a primary source for product information. This allows associates to confidently speak to product pricing and availability, proactively identify out-of-stock items, and deliver a personalized shopping experience – both online and in-store. This is the type of convenience and seamlessness that builds loyalty.
- Inventory optimization: A tightly integrated mobile POS and OMS provide real-time inventory visibility, which is essential for omnichannel. For your consumer, this means that when shopping online, the products you say you have in-store… are actually there. And when a customer is in-store, you can have out-of-stock items shipped directly from another location. Inventory visibility also comes into play with returns. You need to be able to accept an in-store return from an online order (BORIS) and place it back in stock while making sure the system accurately shows its availability across channels. This visibility allows retailers to fulfill orders from any location, whether it’s the store, a distribution center, or a nearby outlet. Optimized inventory management leads to reduced stockouts, improved customer satisfaction, and increased sales.
- Personalized engagement: Seamlessly integrated retail solutions capture and consolidate customer data from various touchpoints. When connected to a mobile POS, retailers can use this data to deliver personalized and tailored promotions at the moment of checkout (such as near-miss deal alerts), which lead to increased purchase sizes.
- Future-proofing your brand: When exploring new retail tech solutions, it’s essential that business data is accurate, reliable, and transmissible. Having a unified commerce suite of solutions that are seamlessly integrated will unlock new opportunities to delight your customers at every touchpoint while empowering your store associates to do more of what they love.
Effectively Leveraging mPOS
If you’re one of many retailers looking to enhance your customer experience, upgrading your POS is a great place to start. But all POS systems are not created equal – and bad systems can have ripple effects throughout your organization.
An omnichannel-ready POS (like the one build by KWI) is needed to ensure that you can take advantage of the new ways in which retailers are engaging with customers. This means that your POS, OMS, and CRM systems need to work together to ensure the right data is in the hands of your associates – wherever they are in the store.
If your in-store experience could use a little more joy and a little less headache then it is time for a new POS system. We’d love to talk.