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Popularity of Mobile POS Increases at Major Retail Locations

Posted by admin on 3/18/13 11:00 PM
Topics: college retail, retail technology, mobile POS

The following excerpt is from the article J.C. Penney rings up 25% of store sales via mobile devices and was written by Bill Briggs, senior editor for InternetRetailer.com. View the full article for more information on the results major retail chains are seeing with Mobile POS devices.

One-quarter of all J.C. Penney Co. Inc. store sales are coming through mobile point-of-sale devices, and all store associates will have handheld iPod Touch devices by the end of this month, CEO Ron Johnson told Wall Street analysts last week on the chain retailer’s year-end earnings call.

“Within one month, every employee on the floor of a J.C. Penney store will carry an iPod and be able to check out customers anywhere in the store,” Johnson told analysts. As of two weeks ago, “25% of all transactions were conducted on a mobile device,” he said. “In this quarter we will start to see product information, training and all of our employee support systems go directly to employees through our in-store Wi-Fi networks on these iPods.”

The use of mobile devices in stores is catching on as chain retailers use them to assist shoppers with such services as checkout and inventory status, and the iPod Touch is gaining ground as the device of choice among several other chains.

REI is currently rolling out iPod Touch devices to employees in its 120 U.S. stores, enabling them to help customers look up product information online, check inventory availability, place online orders and pay for items without waiting in line, says Mark McKelvey, REI’s divisional vice president, retail solutions.

Freeing store associates to assist shoppers in the aisle was the reason Moosejaw implemented iPod Touch devices in its nine stores, says Eoin Comerford, CEO. The mobile devices help keep store associates on the floor where they can interact with customers for the duration of their visits, including checkout. “That’s where we want our associates to be, on the floor engaging with customers, not behind a register,” Comerford says.

The retailer’s two newest stores, in Natick, MA, and Boulder, CO, have only two payment terminals, down from three to four available at Moosejaw’s older stores. 60% of all transactions at the new stores are completed on the mobile devices, Comerford says. Newly hired associates at all stores are now trained on how to check out customers on the mobile devices before they are trained on how to use the cash registers.

Reducing checkout lines in its stores before the 2012 holidays approached was a goal for Alex and Ani LLC. They outfitted each of their 24 stores with several of the mobile checkout systems. “Mobile checkouts have given the store environment a more intimate feel, and improved the flow of customer traffic while almost eliminating lines,” says Alex and Ani chief technology officer Joseph Lezon.

Alex and Ani says the mobile checkout system was in part responsible for a 318% increase in store sales year over year during the 2012 holiday season.

MBS offers three Mobile POS options, including a version that operates on the iPod Touch, specifically designed for college stores. Talk with your MBS Representative for more information on how our solutions can free your store from a traditional check out line.

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