Industry Night: Retail & Mobile POS II

Mobility in the retail industry is changing everything from the way consumers shop, to purchasing habits, to checkout and the way we pay.

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by BIGresearch, a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up 14 million from last year.

But, of the online shoppers, which ones were e-commerce, and which ones were m-commerce. Short for mobile commerce, m-commerce is taking retail by storm—and it’s no surprise. As consumers continue to do more with their phones, they want to be able to shop on their phones. And consumers aren’t just making purchases from their mobile devices—they are also using their smartphones while in the store, looking up prices and comparing products.

An article from Internet Retailer states, “Mobile commerce is different than e-commerce in that it is tying the e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar channels together. Customers are standing in stores looking up product information and prices and reviews, and that is having an impact on sales online and in stores.” In order to keep sales up, retailers need to cater to the consumer, not only creating mobile websites, but also mobile apps and QR code campaigns.

And consumers aren’t the only ones turning to their mobile devices. In our last look at the retail industry, we explored the possibilities of using Apple iPhones, iPod touches and iPads as point of sale systems, a growing trend among retailers. Many retailers operate at a loss all year, depending on 4th quarter holiday sales to drive business. However, in order to cater to consumer demands and increase sales during busy holiday times, traditional POS systems are becoming outdated, bulky and expensive to scale. With a cloud-based POS system, such as those offered with the Apple products, retailers gain the ability and agility to quickly meet demands. Since these solutions are portable, manpower is no longer tied up at the register and can be used as necessary to keep lines moving, help customers and ultimately, keep sales up.

Mobility has brought exciting changes for both retailers and consumers. But, what else is in store for the future of retail? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.