A mobile point-of-sale system consisting of software and portable hardware is a technology-based option that can relieve stress.
January 1, 2023Ed.Note: This article was previously published on retail touchpoint.
As the world recovers from the pandemic and consumers return to the high street, retailers are eager to capitalize on increased foot traffic by offering a superior in-store experience. Even though COVID-19 has been in effect for more than two years, one hurdle the retail industry is still grappling with is the resulting labor shortage.
To stay afloat during the lockdown, some retailers have had to lay off their in-store staff. The pandemic has further disrupted the U.S. labor market in what many are dubbing “The Great Resignations.” More than 47 million people will have left their jobs by 2021, many seeking better work-life balance and flexibility, higher pay and a strong company culture. Yet even though the world has returned to normal — and has been for some time — retailers are still finding it difficult to rehire the same number of workers as before.
As retailers grapple with labor shortages, alternative solutions must be sought to mitigate any negative impact on in-store sales. Retailers can rely on innovation to fill the void left by staffing shortages by deploying the right retail technology. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) systems, which consist of software and portable hardware to process retail transactions, are an option that can help alleviate labor shortage pressures. It calculates sales totals, processes payments, monitors inventory, collects company data, and more. The mPOS system converts any tablet or smartphone into a checkout point. This capability enables retailers to serve consumers anywhere, in-store, pop-up stores, or even on the go.
Simplify checkout and increase efficiency
According to queue management research, 75% of customers never wait in a queue for more than five minutes, which means slow service means lost sales. Through card and mobile payments, mPOS is designed to increase business efficiency, thereby increasing profitability and shortening checkout and returns lines. Long lines can often be frustrating, which makes more sense given the greater number of digital options consumers have to easily complete transactions.
Retailers can use mobile-first and responsive POS to keep their checkouts mobile, or use the same solution to place their devices on the counter or offer self-checkout options. Combining all three is the ideal long-line strategy because it keeps fast-moving shoppers happy while also increasing average order value.
Liquidity is critical to the success of assisted selling. Everyone will be happy when assisted selling is made easy with mPOS. It’s an ideal way for retailers to differentiate themselves from the competition, build customer loyalty to generate long-term sales, and ensure customers feel like their time in the store is well spent. Allowing associates to complete multiple sales anywhere in the store, not just at the sales counter, can have a positive impact on sales and customer experience.
Simplify workflow to optimize service
mPOS solutions provide real-time analytics and customer data. When retailers integrate their mPOS with an online order management system (OMS), they can monitor when consumers are most active, which products are on sale and how they prefer to pay. By connecting all in-store and e-commerce channels, retailers gain better visibility into their operations at any point in time.
In addition, mPOS solutions can also help retailers take stock, receive inventory, and transfer inventory to and from central warehouses. Partial cycle counts and automated warehouse transfers prompted by specific reason codes increase accuracy while minimizing errors. Stocktaking is usually performed twice a year, allowing ample time for inventory variances to develop. The ability to use mPOS devices for inventory and cycle counting simplifies inventory verification and allows businesses to eliminate errors and maintain accurate inventory levels. All of this is made possible by deploying the technology, which eliminates the need for manual data entry — a time-consuming practice at the best of times, let alone during a labor shortage crisis.
easy to use
Using the mPOS solution is simple and uncomplicated. Retailers who already have point-of-sale POS terminals can choose to support integrated mPOS systems. Also, mPOS systems are very helpful in training new employees. The advanced mPOS system enables retailers to provide training in a fraction of the time compared to traditional POS systems, which are very complex and may even take a month to get used to.
At a time when retailers tend to hire temporary staff, the role of technology becomes very important; thanks to its user-friendly interface, employees can learn to use the mPOS system in a short period of time. Store associates are critical when it comes to delivering a great customer experience. Industry-leading cloud-native mPOS technology provides in-store associates with all relevant information, such as customer purchase history, customized offers and inventory availability.
Also, with the help of mPOS systems, salespeople can offer personalized discounts and alternatives to their customers. Performing multiple tasks from a single source of information is critical to filling the void left by the ongoing labor shortage. Retailers must understand that a seamless customer experience should not be compromised while trying to address staff shortages. mPOS technology is a great option retailers can rely on and take advantage of.
Amber Hovious is the Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships for Teamwork Commerce. For seven years, she has been part of the Teamwork Commerce family, developing marketing strategy, business growth and approach, and nurturing extensive partnerships to drive long-term success.