Arming employees with mobile technology

Mobile technology: the new key to a better in-store experience

Is it time to empower your retail employees’ use of mobile technology? Your customers say yes.

In a 2011 Motorola Solutions survey, when asked their opinions on aspects of the in-store shopping experience, 45% of shoppers reported dissatisfaction with the availability of coupons and discounts, while 42% were unhappy with the amount of time they spent waiting in line and checking out. And nearly 41% expressed dissatisfaction with their lack of knowledge about out-of-stocks.

Frustrations like these can drive any customer straight to a store’s competitors. Consider how mobile technology can help your sales associates create a more satisfying shopping environment. In the same Motorola Solutions survey, 75% of retail associates felt they could provide a better in-store customer experience if they were equipped with the latest mobile technologies.

Ready to think big with your mobile in-store strategy? By using mobile technology effectively, you can take a huge step closer to omni-channel retailing – an emerging approach in which businesses enable a seamless customer experience across multiple channels. The result: a shopping experience that maximizes customer satisfaction.

Here’s how you can start deploying mobile devices in ways that will enhance your current in-store environment and support omni-channel retailing.

Three ways to use mobile effectively

  1. Using mobile devices as an alternate checkout option.
    In an era of electronic payments, why make customers wait in line just to check out? Consider offering mobile checkout . Since early 2011, Home Depot has allowed customers to check out from anywhere in its stores with the help of associates carrying mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices. Nordstrom launched a similar program in mid-2011 – and reported a 15.3% increase in total retail sales for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Even smaller companies such as Moosejaw, an outdoor specialty retailer, are getting into the game; the chain plans to roll out mobile POS services at all stores in 2012.
  2. Using mobile devices to provide inventory and location information.
    Busy customers who don’t find what they’re looking for on the shelves don’t want to wait as an employee checks for more “in the back.” Mobile devices let employees track down inventory items – whether in the store or at another location – within seconds.

    Walk into any Lowe’s home improvement store, for example, and you’ll probably encounter associates who can check inventory availability via iPhone. The company anticipates that these devices will make it easier for associates to answer customers’ product-related questions and steer them toward appropriate purchases.

  3. Using mobile devices to enhance the in-store experience.
    Providing associates with mobile devices can do more than just eliminate hassles for your customers. It can also help you deliver a better, richer overall shopping experience.

    The possibilities are especially exciting for fashion retailers such as C. Wonder. In the chain’s boutique in New York’s SoHo district, associates are piloting a mobile solution that lets them use iPod touch devices not only to process all customer transactions, but also to cross-sell effectively. The solution is designed to allow associates to look up a customer’s previous purchases, show them how new items will look with the rest of their wardrobe, and mix and match accessories to complete ensembles.

Get more information

If you believe your associates could boost sales by streamlining checkout, making inventory data more transparent, and adding value to the shopping experience, consider how mobile in-store technology can help.

PayPal offers payment processing technology designed to work with mobile devices to create a more customer-friendly in-store environment. Learn more

Want to know more? Contact your PayPal Account Executive or email us.