Retailers plan to expand the use of mobile technology for point of sale (POS), customer engagement and payments, according to a new survey by Boston Retail Partners (BRP), a management consulting firm.
The report on the findings, "Mobile Technology – Transforming the Customer Experience," outlines how mobile devices will change retail operations and the shopping experience in three key areas:
- Mobile POS – Nearly 300 percent more retailers plan to deploy mobile-as-checkout-device in the next two years
- Customer-facing Mobile Services – About 200 percent more retailers plan to leverage the geolocation feature of mobile devices to enhance the shopping experience within the next three years
- Mobile Payment – Some 350 percent more retailers plan to support NFC (Near Field Communication) payments by October 2015 as more consumers use their smartphones at checkout
“Mobile technology enables retailers to break down barriers between the digital environment and the physical store,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Advancements in mobile capabilities are driving retailers to upgrade and replace technology to keep ahead of the competition and keep up with their very informed, technology-savvy customers. In the payments arena, mobile payments could become the next ‘killer app’ for mobile devices, much like what iTunes did for music.”
The mobile trend can create several opportunities for retailers to enhance customer service, according to BRP analysts. Store associates can use mobile devices for checking inventory for products not immediately available, assisting customers on the selling floor, and supporting transaction processing anywhere in the store.