Harnessing in-store mobility to bust those Christmas queues
Guest Post: Lee Jones, Ingenico – Long before the days of COVID-19, shopping in-store had ceased to be a stand-alone experience. Online retail had been rapidly evolving to sit alongside it, creating an omnichannel environment that combines the digital and the physical.
However, since UK-wide lockdown and restrictions on movement took effect earlier this year, online retail has shot through the roof – increasing to an unprecedented 2.34 billion by June 2020 – meaning that customers are much more adept at navigating ecommerce stores and combining the two experiences.
This is especially important to retailers as they prepare to reopen their stores in December, following a second national lockdown. Having lost out on the November period for pre-Christmas shopping, retailers need to do everything they can to maximise their in-store sales during the December period.
With bricks and mortar stores closed for almost half of the peak sales period, we anticipate a rush of shoppers keen to get their Christmas shopping wrapped up in as short a time as possible once lockdown ends. However, 78% of customers admit to abandoning checkouts due to long queues, a fact that has only been further exacerbated by consumers’ new reliance on the speed and convenience of online shopping. As a result, it is critical that retailers understand the importance of providing a mobile, omnichannel experience for customers that speeds up the payments process and avoid long queues, whilst still providing the in-store familiarity they keep coming back for.
With this in mind, how can retailers combine the online and in-store retail capabilities to create an omnichannel experience once stores reopen for a more efficient Christmas shopping process?
Completed in under 10 seconds from one bank to another in real-time, instant payments are not only processed quickly, but also at any time of day. It is the ideal payment method instore for high price goods, mitigating the risk of card transactions being declined due to monthly limits. And the best bit is, they can be integrated into a range of checkouts, including on-the-go devices, to suit any business. The instantaneity of the transaction can be highly beneficial to companies’ cash-flow, and likewise instant refunds add great value for customers.
Scan and Pay
Scan and pay is a mobile-based payment option that enables the customer to scan a QR code relating to the product using an app. Completely erasing the need for a checkout service and queues, payments are made via a merchant app. Providing greater in-store mobility, Scan and Pay allows consumers to shop on the go. Essentially, they walk in, pick up the item, scan it, and go. With scan and pay shop now and pay online when leaving.
MPOS and EPOS systems
Much like a cash register, MPOS systems are used to process transactions, but instead they work via a mobile point of sale. What makes this method unique is that by being able to take payments on a mobile phone, or on a tablet using an EPOS system, payments can be taken anywhere in a store, as long as the sales assistant or merchant is carrying a smart device. This can work out extremely cost effective, as it reduces the need for costly terminals.
And the best bit? By utilising in-store mobility, all these payment methods can help eradicate the need for crowds and queues. What’s more, in-store mobility further delivers that personal experience the shopper is looking for by putting the store associate back at the heart of the sales decision. A benefit that is especially important considering 88% of customers report that they are more likely to make a purchase in-store if sales associates are knowledgeable.
How can retailers provide in-store mobility?
By providing sales associates with smart connected handsets, it will enable them to better respond to sales queries and take payments anywhere in the store. And, if the device is connected to a single omnichannel system, it will also allow them to identify the consumer wherever they are in the sales journey, match their insight, and provide a gateway to loyalty programmes and their benefits.
To ensure they can provide all this for their sales associates and their customers, retailers need a smart, flexible, easy-to-use device that allows store associates to combine several payment services onto one system, with rich product and customer insight.
But how can retailers know which device is right for them?
Ingenico has long been a pioneer of in-store mobility solutions. Its forthcoming generation of devices will enable retailers of all sizes and scale to create a smoother shopping experience for consumers and boost the revenue-generating potential of sales associates. Never has this been more important than in the face of a pandemic forcing stores to close their doors for months on end and needing to maximise the peak trading time available to them.
Furthermore, with over 20 years’ experience and a range of payment system offerings, Ingenico, a Worldine brand, is perfectly placed to answer any questions you may have – retail, security, technical or otherwise – and help your business improve its in-store mobility with a bespoke payments system.
To find out more, visit Ingenico
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