Author: Definitive Technology Group
The retail sector has taken some big hits in 2017, with many enormous retail chains across the United States announcing store closures, and some even filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With more customers taking their dollars to Amazon and shopping online, the retail business faces unprecedented challenges for the future - creating a welcoming and comfortable experience that gets people in the door.
The one commonality between businesses like Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Sears that lost big in retail in 2017 is that they failed to adapt their experience to the changing needs of the customer. Smart retail managers know that customer experience is everything, and that designing store policies and procedures that match the needs of the customer is the only way to stay competitive.
This article discusses the reasons why successful retail stores are making mobile POS carts a cornerstone of their efforts to serve customers better, and why your retail operation should too.
Mobile POS carts can play a significant role in enhancing customer service on the sales floor. When it’s easier than ever for customers to do their shopping online, mobile POS carts help drive engagement between customers and sales associates, leading to happier customers and increasing your bottom line. Here are a few ways that your retail operation can boost customer service using mobile POS carts:
1.) Use Mobile POS to process returns. Returning items is a complex, multi-step process at most retail operations. The associate needs to verify that the product was purchased from that store, determine the reason for the return, assess whether the customer is eligible for a refund or store credit, or if an exchange is possible, and complete the computer work and transactions. On top of that, customers returning merchandise aren’t always the easiest to please - they may be unhappy with the initial purchase and feel that their time is wasted by having to return the item. A long return process means that other customers form a line, and may leave if they think the wait will be long. Mobile POS carts let you direct the customer to complete the return away from the cash register, allowing an associate to give them complete attention and great service while keeping your checkout line moving.
2.) Use Mobile POS for personal shopping appointments. Giving your customers the VIP treatment is a great way to create brand loyalty, and it can be as easy as empowering an associate to guide the customer through the process, from the time they first call the store until they pay and leave. Create a loyalty program for your store that gives customers access to a VIP personal shopping experience. They can call in and book an appointment with an associate who meets them with a mobile POS cart when they arrive. The associate can prepare in advance by discovering what the customer needs and finding relevant opportunities to up-sell. When the customer chooses the merchandise they want, the associate checks them out on the spot, enabling them to jump the line. That’s VIP treatment!
3.) Use Mobile POS for price checks and instant orders. When a customer finds unmarked inventory that they want to purchase, the process of finding out the price can be a major frustration if they are in a hurry. If there’s a line-up at the cash register, the customer may not bother to find out the price and the sale is lost. Mobile POS carts allow any associate on the floor to access an available computer at any time, facilitating price checks that can lead to a sale. The associate can also use the interaction as an opportunity to generate an up-sale by pointing the customer to a matching or complementary item in the store. If your company also sells on the internet, mobile POS carts are an opportunity to facilitate purchases from your online store. Indigo/Chapters has used this strategy for some time, with their in-store kiosks pointing customers to inventory available at other locations, or available for order. With the help of an associate and a mobile POS cart, customers can order products online that may currently be out of stock at your location.
Shopping cart abandonment is the retail industry’s equivalent of a four-letter word. The very thought of it makes retail managers quake in fear. The idea that someone would come into your store, spend time choosing items that they want to take home, and then leave without making the purchase represents a system failure.
Sometimes it’s because the customer forgot their wallet at home, but often it’s because they’ve been let down by the service at the store. Mobile POS is here to help though - here are two ways that mobile POS helps ensure that your customers get out the door with the goods they want.
Mobile Retail POS systems are the best line busters in the business. Many retail stores struggle for revenue throughout the year, only to make up losses and turn them into big wins during the holidays. With long slow periods followed by intense rushes of business, matching checkout availability to customer demand is an impossible process that leads to long lines and frustrated buyers. Customers get annoyed if they are made to wait even five extra minutes in line - but what can you do to expedite the process for them? Mobile POS carts are the best ways to cut line-ups in your store. Not only do you have the flexibility to add additional checkout stations at will, but when customers see you do this, they are more likely to stay in line because they see your staff responding to the long wait times. Retail businesses lose millions every year because people don’t want to wait in line - don’t let your business sink because you can’t process sales quickly enough when you’re busy.
Mobile retail POS systems mean mobile sales - on the sidewalk and beyond. Sidewalk sales are a great way to generate excitement, walk-ins, and extra sales for your retail store - they give passers-by the opportunity to check out your inventory without stepping foot inside. However, when a shopper unexpectedly falls in love with an item, only to find out that they have to head into the store and wait in line to pay, you can literally see the enthusiasm leaving their face. Mobile POS carts make sales instantaneous wherever you are, so that excited customer can flash their debit card and buy the item they love right away without the extra steps that make walking away an attractive alternative to waiting.
The first step to competing with online sales giants like Amazon is refining the customer experience at your retail operation. Instant service, shortened wait times, convenient price checks, and a timely returns process are all solutions that you can implement with the help of mobile retail point of sales (POS) systems that enable you to bring the checkout counter to the customer instead of the other way around. Sales and service go hand-in-hand, so improving your customer service with mobile POS carts is bound to have a positive effect on your bottom line.