Do you fancy being stuck in a shop, queuing to pay for more than 18 hours a year? That is how long the average British shopper spends trying to pay for goods and services. Unsurprisingly, many give up and three-quarters of shoppers are unwilling to wait more than five minutes before leaving empty-handed. That adds up to more than £1 billion of lost sales every year.
Retailers are beginning to catch on to this quickly. Various research studies show an increasing dissatisfaction with the traditional paying experience.
For instance, the till queue and paying experience make up more than half of in-store satisfaction levels (57 percent). So slow, unreliable card machines, traditional ways to pay, and generic, paper-based loyalty schemes that do not take into account points earned online lead to declining satisfaction levels amongst customers.
Customers today want the shopping experience to revolve around their individual needs. Businesses are losing millions of pounds in sales each year because their payment systems aren’t optimised for the personalised demands of the modern shopper. In addition, 70 percent of retailers lack the ability to integrate online and offline customer data owing to little knowledge of how shoppers interact with their brand outside the retail environment. They may have a website and great offers to entice people to spend money, but that browsing experience or history is lost once they step inside a shop.
Personalising the shopping experience
The single most cost effective way for managing the customers’ appetite for personalisation is a mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solution. As a dedicated portable device, the mPOS performs the functions of a cash register or electronic point of sale terminal from anywhere in a shop.
It’s capabilities make it easy to answer shopper questions, take orders, collect loyalty points and accept payments in the aisle, helping to decrease long lines at the register. It can also support backend operations, such as stock control. The use of rich content such as ‘how-to’ videos helps with consultative selling and a more personalised shopping experience for customers.
The need for mPOS is evident. Findings show three quarters (74 percent) of shoppers surveyed internationally think receiving product recommendations based on their purchasing habits are a ‘cool’ capability, while 29 percent are happy to share their location with a retailer if it means receiving unique incentives. The rich capabilities and online connectivity of mPOS empower retailers to serve customers quicker and more personally, and drive additional revenue.
In fact, there will soon be a mind shift among retailers in which mPOS moves from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have”. By 2019 it’s predicted that 46 percent of all POS terminals will be mobile.
We believe that it is important to choose a secure mPOS solution that frees retailers from consumer technology upgrade cycles and adapts to multiple OS options. It is equally important to train the staff and evaluate the performance of the solution to improve the in store experience. We are living in an increasingly integrated and services-based world and it is critical for retailers to adopt mPOS solutions to simplify, personalise and offer the convenience and great experience consumers have come to expect.
By Kevin Freeguard, Vice President and Managing Director UK and Ireland, Verifone