Dazzle Your Customers with Point-of-Sale Mobile Apps
Retailers across the board are coming to rely more and more on mobile retail apps designed to enhance the point-of-sale experience. Last year, a full 65% of retailers surveyed in a study by the Aberdeen group said that they embraced a strategy for the deployment of mobile POS apps to improve their customer service.[i] Indeed, a full 38% of retailers have already begun to implement such a strategy.[ii] Of those retailers who are investing in mobile POS apps, about three quarters are focusing on using mobile devices to empower employees, while 63% are specifically targeting consumer-operated mobile devices.[iii] This demonstrates one side of mobile application development that may be overlooked: mobile business apps can provide a substantial return on investment not only by empowering consumers to help themselves, but also by empowering staff to help customers on the sales floor. As brick-and-mortar stores face more and more competition from online retailers, increasing customer satisfaction with the sales experience becomes an ever more important component to any traditional retailers’ business model.
Mobile Business Apps for Employee Empowerment
There are a number of ways in which business apps for mobile devices can help sales staff increase customer satisfaction, including the following:
- fast and simplified inventory management
- reduced waiting time for information acquisition
- enhanced loyalty programs
- faster check-out and return times
- remote order placement and advanced order preparation
In all of the above examples, mobile apps demonstrate their ROI through the acceleration of information transactions. For example, a customer at a shoe store might inquire of a retailer if they have a particular shoe in a certain color and size. If the staff on hand has a properly equipped mobile device, they can look at their in-store inventory quickly to check, instead of needing to walk to the back-of-house and thereby leave a customer waiting. If the given pair of shoes is not available in store, the staff could look at the inventories of nearby stores in the chain to see if they are available anywhere else locally, or could even order a shipment of the shoes directly to the customer’s doorstep. By eliminating foot travel and phone work, that retailer has already saved a substantial amount in labor needed to service that customer, all while making the customer happy for the faster service that they received.
Likewise, loyalty and other customer identification programs can be more seamlessly integrated into the retail experience through the use of mobile applications. Mobile devices could quickly scan a customer’s identification when they come in and add that information to the database. Once the customer is ready to check out, all the relevant personal information that the retailer wanted to record during that transaction would be immediately available in the store’s database, reducing the time it takes to give a phone number or scan a card. Once again, the retailer has accomplished two goals at once: saving on labor per customer interaction, and speeding up service to improve customer satisfaction.
Customer Service in Advance
Another exciting use of mobile app technologies for businesses lies on the consumer side. Retailers, particularly those that deal in heavy items that may be ordered at fairly high volumes such as home renovation outlets and gardening supplies stores, can create free mobile apps for their customers which would allow orders at brick-and-mortar stores to be placed online to be picked up on-location. Retailers could give time estimates for when the order was ready, and then prepare the items for fast pick up by the customer at a designated location. Retailers could even ensure that an extra staff is on hand for the pick up to help the customer load it into their car. This kind of service not only would enhance the sense of professionalism associated with the given retailer, but would also aide the retailer in employing labor to its maximum efficiency, all while reducing wait times at checkout substantially. Once again, the deployment of mobile applications for businesses demonstrates itself to be a win-win for retailers and consumers alike.
DDA has specialized in finding innovative business solutions through the use of mobile applications since there were devices capable of deploying them. Ask DDA Apps how you can improve your customers’ experience while maximizing productivity; contact DDA today.
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[i] Aberdeen Group, Inc. “Retailers Embrace Mobile Point of Sale Systems for Consumer Engagement, Interactivity, and Revenue.” January 11, 2011. MarketWire. December 6, 2012. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Retailers-Embrace-Mobile-Point-Sale-Systems-Consumer-Engagement-Interactivity-NYSE-HHS-1378722.htm