Mobile point-of-sale system: Benefits for retailers and customers

By Karin Kelley

| Retail

Heavy cloud usage, the rapid proliferation of mobile devices, the rise of big data analytics and the increase of robust reliable network connections have changed the way all businesses and consumers operate. Customers want immediate access to the products and services they desire to purchase, but they also crave flexibility when it comes to actually paying for these purchases.

Because of these new demands, retailers have been switching from traditional cash registers that simply process a transaction to mobile point-of-sale systems (mPOS) and related software that provide complete retail management. These new mPOS systems improve the customer experience and provide the business more control over their entire operation. This includes e-commerce, inventory management, data analytics and reporting, regulatory compliance and customer management.

More customers have smart devices on hand

As time goes on, an increasing amount of retail customers will own smart devices, whether they be phones, tablets or wearable technology. In fact, IDC predicts that 1.9 billion smartphones will ship worldwide by 2019. It’s clear that enterprises are striving to allow customers to use their devices in a retail setting. With new e-wallet technologies, for example, customers can use a sensor on their devices to make a transaction through a mobile app and the corresponding sensor in an mPOS system. In addition, retailers can use GPS location technologies and wireless protocols to market products and services directly on a customer’s device in a contextual manner.

mPOS systems can run the transactions through a lightweight device connected to a smartphone or tablet, which, in the long run, is much more efficient and inexpensive to implement than a traditional POS terminal. These systems also enable sales associates to conduct transactions from anywhere on the service floor. This allows the associates to provide better customer service and have the potential to make more sales.

Security and compliance

Most credit and debit cards now come with embedded, standard-based chips that are designed to make transactions more secure and traceable. Many modern mPOS systems are also compatible with the EMV technology that is capable of providing this new level of security. Though the government does not mandate that all POS systems be EMV-compliant, those that haven’t adopted the new technology will be held responsible for any incurred damages in the case of a security breach.

In the United States, all retail businesses are required to be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard requires that any business that accesses, stores and/or transmits personal cardholder data must be able to prove that that data is secure before a breach occurs. Many mPOS systems are equipped to provide real-time intelligence into the environment through the use of a variety of auditing features. These features provide thorough visibility across the entire environment, from endpoint devices to the network and infrastructure.

Inventory management and online shopping

Armed with smart devices and fast Internet connections, an increasing number of customers choose to shop online. But even if customers are actually in the store, they will likely use their mobile devices to conduct price comparisons or seek out additional options that are not on the floor. To enable this, mPOS systems should be able to connect with any back-end inventory and pricing management systems so customers know what is available and how much it costs.

Customers have always valued choice and flexibility when it comes to choosing how to spend their hard-earned dollars. With the advent of the cloud, proliferation of powerful mobile devices and new levels of online cloud access, customers also want more flexibility and instant gratification in the overall retail experience. When retailers have a solid mobile point-of-sale system in place, they can meet these new demands while streamlining the entire operation, gaining more insight into their customers and delivering rapid services from the cloud.

Written By

Karin Kelley

Independent Analyst & Writer

Karin is an independent industry analyst and writer, with over 10 years experience in information technology. She focuses on cloud infrastructure, hosted applications and services, end user computing and related systems management software and services. She spent nearly eight years…

Other Articles by Karin Kelley
See All Posts