Mobile Point of Sale solutions are gaining ground in the retail word. Retail chains, as well as independent stores, are using hand-held tablets or iPads to provide checkout options for customers anywhere in-store. The days of long lines and checkout counter queuing may be numbered, to the advantage of both clients and retail outlets.
For retailers, bypassing a traditional checkout register can help curtail customer wait time, better utilize store resources, and maximize physical floor space.
Recently, Sephora deployed NextPosition by Agilysys and RedIron 2Mobile, a mobile POS solution. The beauty retailer launched the project at its headquarters store in New York City, running the NextPosition interface on Apple iPads.
The solution was an easy fit for Sephora, where customers browse skincare and makeup products throughout the store, often with a Sephora beauty consultant. A mobile checkout option allows customers to pay where they are, bypassing a checkout line and limiting the possibility that long lines could cause customers to bail.
Agilysys and RedIron helped Sephora integrate POS, customer payment and loyalty program features in a mobile solution that extends the current SAP point-of-sale system.
Revel Systems, a cloud-based POS solution for restaurants and retail, also utilizes iPads to replace traditional fixed cash registers. Revel mainly targets larger retail chains and franchises, processing payments for companies like Camille's Sidewalk Cafe and Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. The Revel POS system is big on analytics, generating a broad spectrum of reports and data: from sales trends and labor hours to ingredients used.
Revel Systems include a kiosk mode that allows customers to order food themselves (in the case of a restaurant setting), a purchase order system that notifies vendors when inventory is low, and an offline mode that ensures usability in case an Internet connection goes down. Recently, Revel partnered with LevelUp, a payment provider, and Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which will provide on-site tech support.
Celerant Technology Corp is also offering a mobile point-of-sale solution with the Motion CL900 SlateMate. The SlateMate is essentially a tablet PC with a built-in barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader, allowing a customer to check out remotely, and receive a receipt via email. Celerant’s mobile POS is an extension of their Command Retail solution, and also offers access a customer relationship management database, allowing employees to view purchase history and edit customer information.
In the case of high traffic volume, Celerant’s mobile POS can be used for line busting, which is the practice of scanning customer items to provide a total, printing a receipt, and allowing the customer to check out at the cash register without ringing up individual items. In a similar way, customers can receive quotes from the sales floor and take them away for future recall. Mobile POS also allows for easy registry, giving customers the ability to scan barcodes and upload preferences into online registries.
As more retailers adopt the concept of mobile point-of-sale, prepare to see store layouts change as counter space is freed up and the flow of product doesn’t necessarily have to be directed toward fixed checkout lanes at the front of the store.