How has mobile technology infiltrated the retail market?
November 18, 2013

Advanced payment integration tools are increasingly important for small and medium-sized businesses. Technological developments that once simply represented enhanced convenience on the consumer end of the retail experience have now given store owners unique opportunities to enhance the efficiency of backroom financial operations. Not only is it easier for businesses to accept mobile payments without compromising the accuracy or security of transaction data, but the growth of this technology has also enabled retailers to increase customer retention rates and generate larger profit margins in the long run.

According to Mobile Payments Today, a recent study released by the market intelligence firm ABI Research revealed the broad reach of smartphone and tablet technology on the overall retail industry. The report, titled "Retail Technologies" reveals quarterly data forecasting the impact of mobile devices on payment processing, marketing, analytics and the management of gift card programs and loyalty programs.

"Smartphones create a platform on which to unite the variety of different technologies deployed in-store," Dominique Bonte, practice director at ABI Research, told Mobile Payments Today. "This creates huge potential to significantly improve the customer experience as well as streamline existing pain points such as staff efficiency, product discovery, queue management, coupon redemption, linked loyalty programs and closing the redemption loop on offers/advertising."

How exactly do these tools affect the retail market?

Expanding the point of sale
The ability to accept mobile payments enhances the retail experience in unique ways. For instance, rather than having shoppers wait in long checkout lines, store clerks can offer people the chance to purchase goods and check out essentially anywhere in the store as soon as they're ready. This convenience may have a profound impact on long-term customer retention rates, as shoppers will be more likely to return to places that offer a consistently satisfying experience.

Targeting consumers directly on their smartphones
Smartphone and tablet technology also presents small and medium-sized retailers with new marketing opportunities. Data compiled by Research Now found American consumers are especially responsive to a personalized Web experience. Stores can target new shoppers by offering rewards on mobile devices. They can also obtain access to valuable data regarding buyer behaviors.

The need for payment integration
As retailers incorporate new tools into both the online and in-store experience, integrated payment systems can ensure all financial information is properly collected and stored in a central and easily accessible location.

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