How Australian Retailers Can Harness Connected Mobility

Tom Christodoulou, the ANZ sales director & general manager at Zebra Technologies, looks at how mobile POS systems can help retailers stay connected in an increasingly omnichannel world.

Picture this: after breezing through a well-designed store, you find yourself stuck behind a long checkout queue– marring the otherwise pleasant shopping experience. This is a significant problem for many retailers, as shoppers in this situation will reconsider their purchases or even abandon their shopping altogether.

Today’s ‘on-demand’ customers expect a seamless shopping experience. Hence, retailers need to be innovative in how they interact with consumers across multiple channels. Cart abandonment is a common pain point for online transactions, and the same applies to physical stores.

Empowering Front-Line Staff

In order to address the demands of the omnichannel consumer, some retailers have turned to mobile technologies. Recent global research found that 60% of shoppers believe store associates who are equipped with mobile devices are able to provide a superior shopping experience. Fifty-eight percent also agree that store associates using mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices are in a better position to provide an improved service.

In parallel to rising shopper expectations, the growing myriad of mobile payments and digital coupons adds a whole new level of complexity to the checkout process. From mobile and contactless payments like Apple/Android Pay, tap (or wave) cards, to NFC payments, consumers have a slew of payment options at their fingertips which they readily utilise. Retailers that are unable to offer payment options in alignment with consumer expectations risk missing out on potential sales.

With this in mind, mPOS devices emerge as a potential solution which can help manage the many payment options while offering far greater flexibility and personalisation. This will help retailers enhance their digital toolkit to delight even the most connected customers. A mPOS device will empower front-line associates to have full visibility of a sale from beginning to end, allowing them to build stronger relationships and loyalty with customers.

The benefits of mobility are truly unlocked as store associates armed with mPOS devices can be dispatched anywhere in the store. Payments can then be processed as soon as the customer makes their decision, adding another layer of convenience in the era of cashless payments. This will effectively translate to increased sales as the number of customers walking away from purchases is decreased.

Furthermore, retailers equipped with mPOS devices are free to redesign the sales floor without being constrained by fixed power points or layouts. Ultimately, retailers can enjoy the flexibility to design better store environments and updated layouts that best serve the business to improve customer experience and sales.

The tech-savvy customers of today are connected in so many aspects of their every day; they expect the same from the retail stores they interact with. mPOS technology is inevitably gaining traction as a powerful tool to enable digital transformation within retailers. A recent global survey, for example, projected that 87 percent of retailers will integrate mPOS devices into their store operations by 2021.

As the scope of digital technologies available to consumers continues to evolve, the onus is on retailers to adopt the latest technologies to provide a contemporary experience. Technologies including mobile devices, scanners, RFID, and location service, are all crucial in ensuring a tailored seamless shopping experience. The most successful retailers will be those who are able to implement a well-developed digital toolkit with the best technology tools to create experiences that delight the connect consumers of today.

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