Three Ways Mobile POS Can Revamp Your In-Store Experience

19 January 2023

Did you notice something different about the last restaurant you dined in? When your waiter came to your table to take your order or hand over the check, were they carrying the traditional notepad and paper receipts? Or did they have a tablet in their hands?

Mobile POS has already become a staple of the hospitality industry. In restaurants especially, it streamlines service from the moment diners request a table to the moment they pay. Everything – checking reservations, placing orders, totalling up the check – can be done on the same device. It saves staff trips back and forth to the kitchen or checkout, and it reduces mistakes (no more errors writing down orders!)

But what about retail? Can mobile POS tablets have a similar positive impact in stores, or is this a technology that just suits the restaurant trade better?

Few retailers are likely to want to completely replace fixed checkouts with sales personnel carrying tablets. Unlike in restaurants where customers are seated in one place and therefore easy to serve in an efficient order, in stores it makes sense to channel footfall through fixed locations. You risk losing sales if people are left to mill about waiting for a clerk to find them.

But as a complement to existing POS systems, mobile can make a huge difference to the overall quality of experience you provide to your customers. Here are three reasons why.

Blurring the boundaries between online and offline

It’s no secret that more and more people are shopping online these days. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to use stores full stop. In fact, a lot of online shoppers like the security of knowing a retailer has a physical store where they can collect purchases rather than wait for delivery, or take back faulty or unwanted items and actually get to speak to a real person to resolve the issue.

What people don’t like, however, is walking into a store and having to wait in line with all the customers making purchases just to get some service. Or even worse, finding a clerk and being told they have to wait in line because that person doesn’t have the right information. It reminds people of why they went online in the first place.

But if sales personnel on the store floor are armed with a mobile POS tablet, that doesn’t have to happen. They can look up the online purchase there and then, get the information they need and provide the assistance the customer is looking for much faster.

Improving personalization

Every good sales clerk knows the value of engaging with a customer well enough to be able to make carefully nuanced, personalized recommendations. A skilled and experienced member of sales staff will be able to achieve good results just by asking the right questions.

But imagine how much better they would be if they could, say, ask for a customer’s loyalty card or online account details, and look up information about them to help with those recommendations? Or even get targeted prompts based on that person’s purchase history? Or look up product details there and then to provide sizing information or suggest alternatives?

Mobile POS tablets put information literally in the hands of sales personnel that can help them take personalization to the next level.

Busting queues

Every store experience peak times when queues build up at checkout. And every retail manager cringes at the frustration customers feel, knowing some will think there should be more POS terminals available. A few will be put off returning again.

The realities of cost and floor space mean there’s always a maximum number of fixed POS terminals you can have in any given store. But what about flexible, mobile sales points that you can roll out as and when required?

This is exactly what POS tablets offer – the power to tackle queues pro-actively, by deploying extra staff to process sales while customers wait.