You are probably well aware of how much mobile devices have changed in the past decade. But how much has retail tech changed with it? With every new addition to current mobile devices, new trends emerge in retail to take advantage of the growing capabilities of mobile devices. There are plenty breakthroughs that have revolutionized the way consumers shop retail, and the companies have started making the most of those changes have been also seeing the most success.
Phones as an in-store assistant
It’s hard not to see it all the time once you notice it for the first time – everyone has their head down and phone out in the store, almost at all times. Some retailers have been concerned in the past about consumers using their device to price-check a product, and leaving to go to another store – or worse, order it on Amazon. But more often than not, consumers are actually looking up information on the product they want. They’ll also sometimes log onto a banking app to move money around, or even looking up coupons for the product.
The least stores are expected to have is free high-speed Internet, which has been shown to increase the amount of time consumers are in the store, and how much they are willing to spend. But more sophisticated tech has emerged that builds off free Wi-Fi to the benefit of both the retailer and the consumer. Some retail stores can pick up when a mobile device is connected to its Wi-Fi and offer exclusive deals for mobile users. In return, stores collect valuable insights into customer profiles using site analytics, allowing real-time advertising on their phones.
Digital wallets and point-of-sale
Have you noticed how many ways there are now to pay for products in-store? QR scanning has been available for some time, and click-and-collect has seen a large push from retailers, though not as popular. Mobile apps have grown is use, but only for certain outlets; others have struggled to recoup the costs of development. The big revolution isn’t on the app store, though. Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, PayPal, and dozens of others are offering digital wallets that have grown in bursts since it was introduced.
With 68% of consumers who have a digital wallet already making a majority of purchases with it, it’s important for retail stores to keep up with the demand. Most consumers have only one type of mobile payment they use, so it’s critical to have a POS system equipped for every payment type. It’s more secure than card payments, and generally more convenient for most customers. There were five times more Apple Pay users in 2017, with some interviewed claiming they only bring their phone and license with them to the store. If this trend continues, having a modern POS is a necessity moving forward.
Lower chance of fraud and chargebacks
You would imagine being able to save on credit card fees and chargebacks would be something retailers would be excited about. These costs add up to about four percent off of revenue, and having the opportunity to reduce those costs seems like a no-brainer. Digital wallets for in-store payments, as well as paying using mobile apps, tend to be more fraud-resistant and don’t incur the same fees that credit cards do. In addition, location services can further verify a customer’s transaction. Surprisingly, this has been one area many retailers have fallen behind in – few retail chains offer the tech to support new consumer preferences, even if such tastes are to their own benefit.
The next step is for retailers to actually upgrade their Wi-Fi and POS system to support the experience their customers want. Best Buy has been one of the dominant brands in this case, with an integrated system including mobile-supportive POS systems, mobile-friendly kiosks, and of course, high-speed Wi-Fi. Being able to capitalize on emerging capabilities of smartphone with an integrated system is becoming a fundamental aspect of shopping as we approach 2020. Check out some other ways emerging tech are changing the industry from the Retail’s Big Show 2018 and learn more about building a robust integrated system in a retail environment.