Retailers offering mobile checkout during the Christmas holidays could see dramatic increases in sales
December 4, 2013
Informa Telecoms & Media's latest research indicates that major retailers can no longer solely rely on the in-store POS (point-of-sale) terminals for transactions and need to evolve their strategy to offer both online and mobile payment options to customers. Retailers that offer multiple payment options, including a mobile checkout facility, will be able to serve more customers and reduce loss of sales due to shoppers' reluctance to queue, especially during the busy Christmas holidays.
The use of mobile POS terminals can help retailers to serve more customers during busy times and issue paperless receipts to customers' e-mail addresses, rather than making customers wait in long lines to pay at fixed POS terminals. During the 2012 Christmas holidays, lifestyle brand Alex and Ani implemented mobile checkout technology in several of their US stores and witnessed an impressive 318% increase in sales just from transactions processed by sales associates carrying mobile POS terminals.
"Many retailers have now deployed, or are in the process of deploying, mobile POS terminals," says Shailendra Pandey, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and author of the report. "Unlike a few years ago, many vendors are now offering mobile POS terminals and support services. These vendors are also offering attractive incentives to merchants and retailers to upgrade their old terminals with new mobile POS systems."
Retailers, especially the big supermarket chains, are eager to reduce POS staffing costs and are introducing self-service checkout counters. In the longer term, adoption of NFC- and cloud-based mobile payment services could reduce the retailers' need to have many checkout counters. Shoppers could scan the items they want to buy using their mobile phones and pay for their shopping by simply waving their phone in front of an NFC reader, or by using a cloud-based mobile payment service.
Other interesting alternatives to enable brick-and-mortar retail payments are now also available, including services based on a plug-in card-reader such as Square, mPowa and Ezetap. Mobile POS provider Payleven has launched a chip-and-PIN POS terminal in Europe that links to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. The device has been certified by both Visa and MasterCard.
Informa estimates that by end-2016, over a billion mobile subscribers will be remotely buying physical goods and services via their mobile phones every month. Also by 2016, about 1.1 billion users will be actively using mobile local payments in retail stores and on public transportation networks.
About the report "M-Commerce Strategy for Retailers: Business Case, Investment Priorities and Expected ROI"
The research (www.informatandm.com/mcommerceretailers) analyzes what major retailers must consider while developing their mobile and digital strategies. It assesses the mobile investment priorities for major retailers and the potential ROI and cost savings they can expect from investing in mobile and digital platforms. It also analyzes the business case for MNOs to enable m-commerce services for the retailers.
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