With Christmas just a week away, it’s that time of the year to dust off the crystal ball and peer into new year to see just what it holds in store for retail. 2015 saw a decided shift to mobile and 2016 will see this move to mobile solidify. 2016 will be about convenience, speed and data—things mobile provides exceptionally well. Mobile will become the industry mainstay in 2016.
The underlying basics of retailing haven’t changed. Retailers always need to:
- Provide faster and better, frictionless service,
- Provide more detailed, more accessible product and sales data faster
- Reach customers with product and sales data faster
- Receive and analyze highly detailed customer data faster
All with the goal of improving the shopping / buying experience, enhancing customer relationships and increasing sales and profits. Mobile does all of these things very well and 2016 will see the majority of retailers embracing and harnessing it in the following ways:
We’ll see more of this location based technology incorporated into the retailer’s bag of tricks to reach customers in proximity on their mobile phones with personalized messaging, offers, deals and promotions. It’s a great way to get motivating and incentivizing data to customers fast.
It’s also a fast way for customers to easily access detailed product info in store, just by touching their phone to products. Retailers in turn can access detailed, granular data on product location and what products are selling and why, as well as gain insights into customer behavior and buying habits. Look for beacons to provide better customer engagement, richer experiences and buying incentives.
Omni Channel Reach
Reaching customers across every channel is going to be a necessity as more and more consumers take to their phones to either begin or finish the shopping and buying process. Retailers will have to have an online and e-commerce presence combined with their brick and mortar one. The way to compete in the next year will be to offer every step and touchpoint along the way in the buying process, in any way and at any time the customer needs it.
Mobile is giving customers the ability to research products, offers and promotions online or in-store, connect with retailers on social media, on the phone (yes, talking!) or in-store, purchase online or in-store, and pickup in-store or schedule delivery. The next year will see the majority of retailers embrace this approach.
Data Aggregation & In-Depth Reporting For 360 Degree Visibility
Data is the key to understanding customer habits, preferences, buying patterns and needs. Harnessing data from all sources: mobile, online, social, and in-store is key to providing the best possible customer experience and engaging customer service. It’s also a necessity for self knowledge.
With the right tools, retailers have access to a literal wealth of data at their fingertips. Aggregation and analysis of customer, transactional, POS, and social media data, gives retailers the clearest snapshot of who their customers are and what services and features are most useful to them. It’s an important way to build better relationships.
The same 360 visibility into retail operations is imperative if retailers want to be efficient, effective and profitable. From supply chain to stock room, from the sales floor to employee commissions, access to and analysis of every aspect is essential. Look to retailers relying on powerful POS and Retail Management Systems that provide this in 2016.
It’s safe to say that mobile payment will continue its upward trend in 2016 as Apple, Android and Samsung all get further in on the act. The simplicity and ease of NFC mobile payments for consumers is a surefire experience enhancer, speeding transactions significantly at the point of sale, ensuring secure payment, shortening lines, and making checkout frictionless. Adoption has so far been slow, but expect to see this along with in-app payment take off in 2016
Just about every retailer will be using a Mobile POS in 2016. Plain and simple, there is no reason not to. Mobile POS is now incredibly affordable and it can perform every function a fixed POS can at a fraction of the cost. Mobile POS on tablets and phones provide exceptional convenience for both customers and retailers, allowing every facet of the sales process to be conducted anywhere, from looking up and displaying all customer and product information to processing transactions, taking payments and issuing receipts.
Gone are the days of lines for fixed terminals. Mobile POS provides a sales experience that’s better distributed, more efficient, faster and more modern. Customers benefit from quicker, personalized, relaxed and convenient service, and retailers can have and run their entire operation from their hand.
2016 is the year of convenience, speed and data. Retailers should make sure they’re equipped to handle the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that mobile is bringing next year with a POS that adapts to and anticipates trends in retail.
At B2B Soft, we’re not just following trends, we’re predicting and anticipating—creating and innovating solutions that retailers need to be successful, not just in the present, but in the future.
Call 212-742-2301 or use the contact form at http://b2bsoft.com/contact/