As consumers, we’ve been spoiled for many years now. We want the latest and greatest technology that will make our lives easier, and we want it now. We’ve become accustomed to getting what we want, as quickly as possible – whether it be the latest version of the iPhone as soon as it’s released, or a Smart TV that can deliver content from multiple sources.
Consumers are now demanding the same type of high-end technology from retailers when it comes to the point-of-sale (POS). According to a recent study commissioned by my company, I Love Velvet, and conducted by third-party research firm OnePoll, more than half of Americans believe the cash register is “outdated” and would be “gone soon.” The rise of mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) solutions is the largest factor in the demise of the cash register, with savvy consumers calling the shots. In today’s world where you can make a purchase online at the speed of a click, consumers want their in-store experience so be just as fast and seamless. Thus the rise of MPOS solutions.
All is not lost for the traditional POS system, however. It’s a known fact that while MPOS use has risen dramatically over the past few years, many of today’s businesses still heavily rely on legacy POS systems. However, we are starting to see organizations integrate MPOS in addition to their existing systems, complementing existing technology.
Where are consumers adapting to emerging MPOS technologies?
Consumers feel most comfortable using MPOS technologies in retail settings (26%), paving the way for large retailers to begin offering these in-store solutions. The food/beverage industry came in second, with 14 percent of consumers feeling most comfortable using MPOS, followed by airlines/car rental companies (10%).
But beyond the high-tech feel of MPOS, there is a real business benefit here. For example, our report found that if consumers could check out quickly, from anywhere on the store floor (a major benefit of MPOS), they would not only shop at the store more often, but that they would also tell a friend or share their experience on social media. Additionally, 56 percent of consumers would appreciate that the store made their experience more convenient. This is a huge bonus for companies looking to drive real differences in both branding efforts and sales.
Lack of trust comes with level of security
On the other hand, MPOS adoption doesn’t come without challenges. We’ve heard loud and clear for years that MPOS has been plagued by security concerns, with 57 percent of consumers stating that it’s their top concern. Furthermore, 62 percent of consumers said it would affect their decision to use services like Square or LevelUp if they did not provide the same levels of security as the traditional cash register.
Nonetheless, the payments industry is moving in unison with the evolution of technology, which in turn, presents another challenge to keep up with the security requirements and standards of mobile payments. Considering the hacks and security breaches in the past year on traditional POS systems and financial organizations, retailers need to pay attention, now more than ever, of the threats these new solutions could have if not correctly addressed. As such, true enterprise-grade solutions need to be both PCI-PTS and PCI-PDS certified.
The Learning Curve
While MPOS solutions are gaining traction across the board, consumers still feel uneducated about how they work.Even though 1 in 5 consumers polled had allowed a retailer to check them out using a MPOS solution, just as many still avoid using MPOS. The overall understanding of MPOS technology remains a barrier for consumers, with 1 in 10 consumers saying they would be more likely to use MPOS solutions if they had more information about them.
This presents a key opportunity for retailers to proactively educate their customers on MPOS. Customers will feel not only more comfortable in using MPOS, but will continue to support these retailers with their business. Providing customers with a wealth of information via dedicated emails, on the retailer’s website as well as at check-out will help raise consumer confidence – ultimately helping retailers more efficiently and cost effectively check out customers.
The results of our survey were loud and clear: consumers are done with the traditional cash register. They not only want to use MPOS, they expect to use MPOS. With the implicit benefits of cutting down lines, improving CRM efforts and increasing use of retail floor space, it will be interesting to see which organizations adapt with the times and meet consumer demand for MPOS – and which organizations are left behind.