The changing POS: Are mobile devices causing a retail evolution?
August 19, 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses continually see consumer preferences change and new technology emerge, yet there has been perhaps no bigger development in the past few decades than the online store. Purchasing products online has never been easier thanks to SMBs investing in electronic payment systems. But even the in-store point of sale has begun to change due to the integration of the virtual and in-store buying environments through mobile devices. 

According to PYMNTS, portable gadgets are becoming more integrated in the retail space than ever before. From mobile payments to shopping in virtual stores on the go, portable electronics are blurring the online and offline retail environments.

The evolving retail landscape
The emergence of mobile devices has allowed SMBs to connect their virtual shopping environment with their physical stores, and it may cause the POS to change in the long term. According to PYMNTS, portable gadgets allow consumers to research products online while in brick-and-mortar stores and are, in fact, driving customers to enter physical stores rather than the other way around. By being able to see goods online first, customers can choose which products they want to buy and visit a store to do so. According to PYMNTS, this is one retail trend that is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Yet mobile devices are doing more than providing consumers with another way to research products; they are making the checkout process more efficient. Yahoo reported installing mobile POS devices throughout a retail store not only streamlines the checkout process but helps to influence shopper behavior.

In the near future, employees may be walking around SMBs' physical stores with a mobile device in hand to help consumers look up product information and allow them to purchase goods on the spot using an attachable credit card reader, Yahoo stated. Providing each staff member a portable device and credit card reader attachment may improve worker interactions with customers by offering the consumer valuable time with the employee. In fact, doing so may boost customer satisfaction.

The retail world continues to evolve, and mobile devices are right at the center of the transformation. Portable gadgets are changing how consumers purchase products online and in stores while also streamlining the in-store POS process with mobile payments. With the world becoming more mobile, SMBs may begin to see the retail environment look to portable devices as a way to improve customer satisfaction and sales. 

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