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Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) is a smartphone, tablet or dedicated wireless device that performs the functions of a cash register or electronic point of sale terminal. mPOS systems allow service and sales associates to conduct financial transactions anywhere, improving the customer experience and freeing up valuable real estate that would otherwise be dedicated to a POS countertop. However, for many retailers mPOS won’t completely replace traditional POS systems.

The mPOS model works for a retail store like Apple because they’re selling only one or two small items and emailing most receipts. But that process isn’t always realistic for clothing retailers who use the checkout counter for several functions. They need a place to scan multiple items, remove security tags, provide a bag, receipt and possibly a promotional card. The checkout counter is also a place where merchants showcase goods to upsell. If you take that away, you could be missing out on sales.

Retailers should think of mPOS as more than just mobile check out. If your mPOS system has access to shopper and inventory information, it can help sales associates engage with customers at the time of decision.

Single Source of Data

Many retailers unsuccessfully comb through a hairball of fragmented integrations, where their brick-and-mortar stores are disconnected from their website and distribution centres.

So before you can start empowering your sales associates with a mobile device, you need to have a single system for order, customer and inventory data from all channels. This data can then be supplied to the mPOS device and other customer facing systems such as ecommerce or customer care. This single system will eliminate duplication and fragmentation while delivering real-time data and creating efficiencies and opportunities to improve the customer experience.

Make the Sales Associate the Expert

Giving sales associates access to accurate, real-time information on inventory, product specs and reviews allows them to offer real value to the customer on the floor. Today’s consumer has so much information at their fingertips. By the time they’ve walked into a store, they’ve probably researched a product extensively online. Sales associates on the floor usually don't have the same access to content, or if they do, it requires them to leave the customer.

A handy mobile device can level the playing field by giving the sales associate quick access to the same product information and reviews that the customer has researched. Now the sales associate is not only seen as the expert, but also providing real value to the customer.

Insight Into Your Shoppers

Not only does mPOS give sales associates the tools to look up product information on the spot, but it also gives them access to detailed data about the customer—one of the most valuable benefits of using mPOS.

The key is knowing your customer as soon as they enter the store. Imagine a customer walking in and being greeted by an associate who can pull up their order history, or their wishlist from your online site. This type of access gives the associate unprecedented insight into the customer’s favourite brands, colours and sizes. This makes the customer feel like the sales associate actually knows them and can be of value—not just telling them what is on sale. The alternative is the associate trying to gather all of this information during a long conversation that many customers don’t even want to start.

Endless Aisle

Shoppers want what they want, when they want it—if it’s not available at your store, they will turn to your competitors to buy it. mPOS solutions can prevent losing a sale by providing endless aisle capability. With real-time, enterprise-wide inventory data being provided to your mPOS, store employees can immediately locate and allocate the products for the customer without ever leaving their side. They can arrange for the item to be delivered to their desired location or picked up at a store. This ensures that the customer has a great shopping experience and the sale is made.

With mPOS solutions on a unified platform, retailers can seamlessly connect inventory and customer information to engage customers more effectively, drive more sales and provide a delightful shopping experience. Cutting-edge retailers know that mPOS goes beyond mobile check out, it’s about offering on-the-spot service and interacting with the customer—where the customer is shopping.