As mobile POS solutions gain popularity, major retailers are jumping on board the trend that made this year's top retail technology list, according to the 22nd annual "Retail Technology Study" published by RIS News and Gartner.
Many retailers are looking beyond the obvious benefits and also see mobile as a bridge to bringing the Web into the store, where it can also provide unprecedented visibility to enterprise data such as inventory. This innovation can turn the store into a hub of cross-channel convergence that unites the mobile, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar worlds, said Joe Pisano, president and COO, Starmount, the company that Perry Ellis International recently worked with to provide an in-store mobile experience to employees and shoppers.
"Fashion and technology change every day, but customers will always want a consistent brand experience and great service," he said. "Perry Ellis's incorporation of mobile technology demonstrates their continued leadership as a forward-thinking retailer who strives to give modern shoppers what they want."
Perry Ellis is hoping to improve its customers' shopping experiences, grow in-store sales and increase brand loyalty by implementing the mobile technology from Starmount. The platform should "provide customers with a more connected in-store shopping experience by enabling associates access to detailed product information, cross-channel inventory and customer profiles — all via mobile devices," according to a company press release.
Associates can also perform transactions that include both in-person and online orders in a single credit card swipe from anywhere in the store. In addition to the enhancements to customer service, the solution will also free up selling space for merchandise within the store and eliminate ongoing POS operational costs, Luis Paez, CIO, Perry Ellis, said in a company press release.
Z Gallerie, a home decor retailer, has also embraced mobile with its recent deployment of Aruba Networks technology to support in-store sales and enhance customer engagement. Based on the Aruba Mobile Virtual Enterprise architecture, the network features the AP-93H, a recently introduced wall-mountable access point in each of Z Gallerie's 55 locations throughout the U.S., according to a company press release.
The new network supports a system-wide rollout of Apple iPads that Z Gallerie salespeople use when interacting with customers, for competitive shopping and accessing additional information about products online, while on the showroom floor, according to a company press release. Targeted future uses for the network include guest access and mobile point of sale.
"We really liked the idea of one central controller that would have visibility to every access point in the company. We've rolled out an access point to every store and multiple access points in our corporate locations," Howard Kolodny, VP of IT for Z Gallerie, said in the release. "So far, the experience has been extremely positive. The wireless component has been quite reliable, and the iPads have been very beneficial to our business. We look forward to expanding our wireless network use in the near future."
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