Mobile Holiday Retail: Start Your Engines


Folks, the holidays are upon us.  It is officially past Halloween, which makes it also Christmas.  In my home base of New York City, skating rinks are set up in the parks, the Rockettes are up and running, and the Christmas and Hanukkah retail explosion is hitting us full force.  Let’s remind ourselves that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  Yeah, you know, the day before Black Friday.

 So let us have a look at what lies ahead, particularly for the retail point of sale market.  This year promises to be a banner one for retailers, if not in sales then at the least in technology.  We predict that this holiday retail season will mean that mobile point of sale technology and mobile payments will be making major inroads, and shoppers will see more and more of the technology first-hand in small retailers and in major national chains.  Over the next few weeks as we approach the end of the year, we’ll bring you a series of features on the holiday retail shopping season.  Our national economy could most assuredly use good news so we all have great hopes for good retail numbers.  Regardless of what happens, we think we’ll see a major increase in mobile technology at the point of sale.

 Recently, Kmart and Sears announced that they would be rolling out major changes to their inventory, checkout, and price check solutions.  Arming associates with tablets, the major chains will attempt to combat holiday crowds and make the shopping experience less of a nightmare.  Ideally, the experience is less running of the bulls and more of an enticing pleasure due to decreases in wait time, inventory issues, and general chaos.  Customers can even elect to have receipts emailed to them, the mobile (and green!) cherry-on-top of the new point of sale solutions.

 Finish Line, a national athletic shoe and apparel chain, is also rolling out a mobile point of sale solution for the sales floor.  Associates will be on the floor interacting with customers and offering them streamlined checkout from their iPod touch mobile devices.  Again, this solution is designed to combat long checkout lines and complicated issues with returns and refunds.  Finish Line found after a pilot trial that mobile point of sale devices drove sales, and decided to roll out a more comprehensive solution in preparation for the holidays.

 As we approach the retail season that determines a business’ relative success or failure for the calendar year, we find ourselves wondering how this year’s increase in mobile point of sale technology will be received by both the general public and the number-crunchers.  Does your business plan on integrating new mobile solutions this year?  If so, what?  Any exciting things we need to let people know about?  Let us know!



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