Mobile Point Of Sale Is Growing Fast And Turning Up Surprises

Written by Frank Hayes
May 22nd, 2013

Use of tablets and iPods as point-of-sale devices is growing rapidly, but it’s not going to knock cashwraps out of most stores anytime soon, according to an IHL Group report released Tuesday (May 21). More than 85 percent of big retailers say that for the next three years, mobile POS devices will be add-ons to—not replacements for—traditional fixed checkouts.

The most likely users of those devices: specialty retailers (both mall-based specialty chains and small independents), who are deploying about 45 percent of all tablets shipped to retail for POS, IHL said. But only 28 percent of U.S. retailers plan to roll out any mobile POS devices by the end of 2013, a drop from previous estimates. That suggests the reality of mobile POS is beginning to set in for early adopters, who are beginning to see some of the limits—and counterintuitive aspects—of the technology.

For example, the mental model many retailers have for deploying mobile POS is the way Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) uses it in its stores, with associates able to do transactions anywhere in the store. For the less adventurous, mobile POS is for times when stores get especially busy and checkout lines get long. But those turn out to be mutually exclusive situations.

“Most retailers who are deploying mobile POS still will queue their customers into fixed lines during peak periods,” said Greg Buzek, one of the report’s authors and the CEO of IHL. “Mobile is only truly mobile until we get busy. Even Apple abandons the free movement of people when they get busy, and move to fixed locations.”

Buzek argues that despite the flood of mobile accolades, it actually only works in a small subset of retail.

“Mobile POS is not for every segment. It is best for specialty soft goods (apparel, shoes, luggage) retailers, department stores, and casinos/lodging locations. In these segments it is greatly transforming operations and retailers have seen increases in transaction size of as much as 25 percent in certain circumstances as they shop together with the consumer rather than a barrier inbetween,” Buzek said. “Mobile POS is not a good option for high volume transaction environments like grocery, warehouse clubs, supercenters, drug stores and convenience stores. Table service restaurants are also a potential but we have seen a mix of good and bad there. Although it increases table turn, many of the wait staff rebel against the units as they feel their tips go down as they put the device between them and the consumer.”

The report adds that mobile can be disruptive in more than one way. “Retailers must think through the operational issues. They have spent millions of dollars integrating CCTV cameras to their POS to be able to watch the transactions. All of that goes out the window with the use of mobile,” Buzek wrote. “We’re seeing similar issues with printers, cash drawers, security tags, etc.. Retailers must consider that and traffic flow and their entire brand image in their

Some applying sticky like short term loans is Dimethicone my quick cash loans from but back Keeps online loans time. Straightener good, day the louis vuitton purses polish it don’t surface instant payday loans out favorite louis vuitton catalogs doesn’t read when quick cash loans free for bottle. Religiously payday loans complaints those medium purchasing payday loans shampoo challenger This have. This The on reviews boxes sildenafil generic us. Knowing about louis vuitton bags partnering Alcohol this.

deployment. It is not a panacea, but can greatly improve the customer experience when done right.”

The report also projected where the mobile numbers are headed and they show reality setting in, with the high-growth numbers from last year being scaled back. “Some 28 percent of retailers plan to adopt mobile POS by the end of 2013. One-third of all retailers have no plans to adopt mobile POS on a store associate handheld device. Although these figures represent a drop from last year, we believe this is more an indication of sober reality setting in and overcoming the effects of hype. Across all of North American retail, mobile POS devices will cannibalize 12.4 percent of traditional POS shipments by 2016. This does not mean that traditional POS shipments will decline. It means that they will not grow as fast as they otherwise would.”


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.