Businessman working at his workplace

Mobilizing your point-of-sale

I was recently out making my annual purchase of new sneakers. When I found the right pair I gave a nod to the salesperson and he walked over with an iPhone in his hand. I told him my shoe size, he scanned a bar code on the shoe to check their inventory, went to the back and appeared with them. When I was ready to pay, I gave him my card, he swiped it on the same phone and I was done.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions like the one I experienced have been a growing demand in the retail space. Why not, right? The technology enables your mobile device to become your point-of-sale (POS) to go directly to customers, save time and expand where sales can be happening in your store.

In a world where online shopping is slowly nudging out brick-and-mortar shops, retailers are looking to tools like MobileIron, Hexnode and MaaS360 to help usher in a technological advantage that can attract customers. While mobile devices as POS solutions have been used by major retailers since as early as 2013, we’re starting to see the adoption in restaurants, hotels and gyms as well.

According to Cambrionix, MDMs do have their own set of drawbacks, which is why mass adoption is still growing. The day-to-day management of ensuring devices stay charged, updated and in good condition was one of the most difficult adjustments for people. Determining connectivity benefits of a data plan or secure WiFi network was another thing people had to think about. This goes hand-in-hand with the need to ensure the solution is going to be secure if you’re going to be handling people’s credit cards. Lastly, the need for sufficient support teams was critical for users.

PC Magazine rounded up the top MDMs for 2017 if you’re a small business looking to play like the enterprises do. Mobile Business Insights recommends personalizing the mobile in-store experience by creating a seamless experience by placing devices at every stage of the shopping journey. This helps bridge the gap between the experience online shoppers seek in an in-store experiences. As we go into the holiday season, shoppers are expected to head even more to the Internet than previous years.

I occasionally spend my time working in a wine room that uses a mobile POS system. It’s changed the way we’re able to engage with our customers by allowing me to walk right up to them, take their order, swipe their card and send them on their way.

What would it take for you to incorporate this technology into your business?