Reimagining the in-store customer journey
We have experienced an in-store retail revolution over the last century. American entrepreneur Clarence Saunders kick-started it in 1918 with his self-service Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Memphis, Tennessee. The idea gradually spread around the world. Saunders disrupted the prevailing grocery model. Mobile point of sale (mPOS) is threatening to do something similar for the in-store operational and service model.
CULTURE SHOCK: SELF-SERVICE
What we take for granted about modern-day supermarkets must have been a real culture shock when it first arrived. The revolution started at the door. There were different ones to enter and leave the store. Queuing at separate counters to be served individually became a thing of the past. Instead customers were given shopping baskets and encouraged to select items from open shelves themselves.
Stores looked different with more space for merchandise, illuminated signs and shelf-edge strips showing prices. Shoppers queued to check out at the end with sales assistants using cash registers, instead of mental arithmetic, to ring up the sales.
It must have been unfamiliar at first. Some stores employed hostesses to guide customers around. Yet once the stores and the new processes became established, it’s hard to imagine how it was ever different. Maybe we’ll look back on the mPOS revolution in the same way.
CULTURE SHOCK: MOBILE SERVICE
Mobile POS is just that — mobile. Which makes staff, service and payment mobile, too. This could have wide-reaching, not to say revolutionary, implications for retail service and store layout.
If staff can serve customers anywhere in-store, this could mean the end of queues. Removing queues could also mean removing counters. There is no need to ask customers to come to a particular part of the store to stand in line to pay at counters. Or set aside store space for that purpose. What your business does with the extra store space depends what you’re selling. It could mean more space for merchandise or for trying or experiencing the products.
mPOS also allows more paths to purchase. If an item is out of stock or not available in store, staff can also close the sale via their web-enabled mPOS device with the full range of stock. Staff can take an order in store for delivery later. Similarly, customers may buy some items in store and order other out-of-stock items for delivery later.
Many of the shops that clung on to the old ways amid the self-service revolution found themselves out of business. The same could be said about stores that fail to embrace the mPOS revolution.
If you are running the latest version of PXP’s ANYpay POS, you can take advantage of mPOS through a simple integration. We operate a plug and play solution, which is deployed remotely with no need for in-store visits or terminal by terminal updates
To request a free consultation about mPOS or your particular needs, contact us