The Advantages of Mobility at the Point of Sale

Mobile point of sale systems provide many advantages over traditional fixed point of sale solutions. Mobile systems allow employees to be more engaged with the customers, which can in turn lead to improved sales. Mobility can speed up the checkout process and save space on the counter. And of course, a newer POS solution will likely include support for alternative payments and current features.

A growing market
The market for mobile point of sale systems is growing rapidly. Industry Today reports that the sector is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate of 47 percent from 2015 to 2022, spurred by the numerous retailers that will add mobility to their existing technology. Retail markets in the U.S., U.K. and Japan already see a high level of penetration for mobile systems, and economies like India, China, Brazil and Mexico aren't far behind. It is expected that there will be more than 245 million mobile point of sale units in use by 2022 according to a report published by Transparency Market Research.

The mobile point of sale concept was first introduced to the retail market by Apple in 2010, according to Marcus Hodge, vice president of product management at Verifone, PYMNTS.com reported. The computer giant began issuing iPads to its sales associates, which allowed them to interact with customers in a new way. The tablet could be used not only as a point of sale at the end of a transaction, but also to provide more information to a customer to assist them in making a purchasing decision.

Advantages of mobile
Going mobile has many advantages that help both the retailer and the customer. Though there will probably continue to be a place for the counter-bound cash register for years to come, mobile point of sale solutions are already proving their worth. 

First, mobile POS solutions are typically much smaller than the average cash register. They have to be, as they are designed to be carried around stores by associates, but that size difference can also be used to the advantage smaller retailers. In small, urban retail shops, counter space is often at a premium. Utilizing a mobile solution can help save some of that space for more products, which can, in turn, lead to higher sales.

Mobile technology leads to better engagement from salespeople. Instead of being trapped behind the counter, waiting for shoppers to come to them, a mobile point of sale frees up sales associates to move about the store, where they are better able to answer customer questions and engage them about new or complimentary products. Having associates free from the anchor of the counter-bound point of sale can also cut down on losses via theft, as there is more likely to be someone keeping an eye on things. Of course, mobility isn't an all or nothing play - many businesses can enjoy the benefits of mobility by adding mobile POS extensions to a current POS deployment. Restaurants with robust PC-based POS systems are a good example of a merchant who can benefit from mobile POS extensions for table-side ordering.

Lastly, a tablet can help in making a sale. Tablets and mobile phones can call up further information about a product that the customer may wish to have before making a purchase. A tablet can display product reviews or videos that may assist a shopper in making a buying decision. 

More and more, retailers are adding mobile point of sale extensions to their existing systems to take advantage of all of the extra benefits they bring. The future of the retail environment is in mobility, so merchants should be asking their POS provider how to mobilize their POS offering to take advantage.