Increasing conversions, releasing floor space and improving customer service are key reasons why more retailers are implementing mobile solutions, including tablet-based mobile POS (mPOS). Nearly two thirds (64%) of retailers plan to implement mobile apps and tablet technology between now and April 2014, according to a recent Retail TouchPoints article and infographic.
Griffin Technology, Belkin International and Goodwill Stores are among the retailers embracing mPOS: All three implemented cloud-based iPad POS technologies from Revel Systems, a provider focused on iPad POS.
Most recently of the three, Griffin Technology connected all Griffin MicroStores via a customized mPOS approach that integrates with existing backend ERP systems and pulls current data instantly, allowing seamless, real-time reporting and inventory control. Griffin also is among the first users of the recently upgraded Revel iPad POS software. Announced November 2012, the new version “includes enhanced customization features developed specifically [for retailers],” according to a Revel Systems press release, “as well as the very first variable pricing and variable weight pricing feature on any iPad POS solution.” The features are designed to allow retailers to accommodate multiple-item purchases or multiple weighted items at a discount more easily.
A new retail inventory module, compatible with iPhone, iTouch and iPad Mini, also was added to the upgraded version. It allows users to update, change and print labels for inventory in real time. To help retailers maintain inventory, the system will send customizable alerts and allow users to place orders for new inventory directly from the iOS device. As part of the module, Revel Systems also offers mobile scanning, provided through a partnership with Honeywell that incorporates the manufacturer’s iTouch-compatible handheld Bluetooth barcode scanner into the inventory application.
In addition, as reported by Retail TouchPoints in a December 2012 Solutions Round-up article, the fully PCI-compliant Revel mPOS system can connect with peripheral tools and technologies such as scanners, scales, mag stripe readers and receipt printers, among others. The solution integrates with the LevelUp payment platform, as well as Dwolla, which charges no fees for transactions under $10, and 25 cents per transaction for any amount over $10, with no service agreement requirement or cancellation fees for stores.
Now live in all five U.S.-based Griffin MicroStores, and expanding to additional Griffin locations as they roll out during 2013, the mPOS strategy helps reflect the retailer’s high-tech image: "Griffin prides itself on being a technology innovator," said Jeff Herrick, Information Systems Manager at Griffin Technology, “so we had very high expectations for every aspect of our new MicroStores.”
Belkin Specs mPOS Customization
Another technology innovator, Belkin International, opened its flagship retail store in 2012, in California, marking a significant entrance into the retail category for the brand. Previously, the Belkin line of wireless home networking and entertainment, mobile accessories, energy management, and USB/cable products were sold wholesale-only to large retailers including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target and Walmart.
"With the Belkin store, we have created a place where people can experience the full breadth of Belkin products all in one location," said Chet Pipkin, President and CEO of Belkin, in a press release. "Opening a retail store gives us the opportunity to properly showcase our brand's commitment to creating people-inspired products and connect with our customers in a more meaningful way."
The Revel iPad-based mPOS was selected for the retail store introduction, primarily for the simplicity, customization and cloud capabilities it offers, according to Maureen Lewis, Director of Retail Operations for Belkin.
“For our first store, we required a simple, low-cost mobile POS system that delivered ease-of-use to our Brand Ambassadors; accommodated my back-end reporting and analysis needs; and allowed us to incorporate more Belkin stores as we grow across the U.S.,” noted Lewis in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. In choosing the mPOS tool, Belkin also required customizable software that could handle split transactions, paid by cash as well as credit, which many Belkin customers prefer. The tool also needed to create and print customized receipts, and process returns, credits and voids easily and accurately at POS. “For back-end operations, the mPOS had to scan and update inventory in real time and generate replenishment orders based on SKU minimums,” she stated. “Reports needed to include SKU number, category and description; cost; on-hand inventory; returns; and sales by associate, by day and specific time period.”
A cloud-based system also was essential, since “nothing is worse than having a system go down during a transaction,” said Lewis. “In the cloud, this scenario is avoided. I also love the fact that I can check transactions and sales anywhere: on my iPad, laptop and on my phone."
The variable pricing capability offered by Revel gives Belkin flexibility with promotions, “such as bundling related products at a sharper price or offering a discount on the entire order during certain times of the year,” reported Lewis. “Variable pricing allows us to be very creative in presenting offers to the consumer.”
The company plans to open additional Belkin stores during 2013.
Goodwill Industries replaced its static point-of-sale system with the Revel mPOS solution in 23 stores across Florida. The solution provides a sophisticated, iPad-based POS execution “at less than half the cost of Goodwill’s previous solution,” according to a Revel press release.