In an effort to boost sales and customer satisfaction this holiday season, best-in-class retailers eagerly are testing and rolling out optimal customer-facing mobile initiatives. From apps to m-POS, there are multiple ways merchants can harness the power of mobile to better connect with customers at any time and from anywhere.
Finish Line, for example, is transitioning 638 of its sporting goods stores nationwide to m-POS by adopting iPod Touch devices wrapped in VeriFone technology. The retailer also will be implementing additional hardware from VeriFone to provide mobile checkout as well as traditional POS systems that feature interactive video displays. By doing so, the retailer seeks to create a seamless shopping experience for time-starved shoppers, especially valuable during the holiday shopping season, Terry Ledbetter, CIO of Finish Line, told Retail TouchPoints.
“Our online and hyper-mobile customers are all about speed, style, performance and technology,” Ledbetter explained. “For Finish Line, mobile checkout and point of service are obvious enhancements for satisfying those needs. This deployment is a foundational step to an ever-developing omni-channel experience, and is one of the many ways we continually innovate for our customers.”
Following a successful trial and analysis of the m-POS solution from both a financial and brand equity perspective, Finish Line determined that offering mobile checkout in stores was “a win for both our customers and the brand,” Ledbetter said. By arming store associates with iPod Touches equipped with 2-D barcode scanners and mag stripe readers, the brand can optimize line-busting, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and engagement throughout the entire brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
Finish Line is deploying 3,200 PAYware Mobile Enterprise devices for iPod Touches and 1,600 MX 915 countertop multimedia systems from VeriFone. The retailer plans to complete the implementation by mid-November 2012.
The PAYware Mobile Enterprise card encryption reader is designed to work with electronic payment options such as traditional mag stripe, chip and PIN, and contactless/NFC-enabled cards and phones. The mobile payment solution will arm Finish Line store associates with the resources to accept payments anywhere on the floor via iPod Touch devices, resulting in a large reduction in wait times at store registers.
“The most significant impact we’ll see with the new m-POS offering will be the speed of checkout and the delight our customers will feel as they make their way through the hectic holiday shopping season,” Ledbetter said. Whether shoppers are purchasing sneakers, apparel or gift cards, they’ll no longer be forced to wait in long lines to complete a transaction, he added. “The simplest moments make the biggest impression on customers, and mobility adds to the many ways we can delight our customers.”
Customer feedback regarding the mobile initiative has been positive, Ledbetter reported. “Customers love the speed, sizzle and overall experience of mobility,” he said. “Shoppers also say they enjoy the engagement and attention they get from store associates.”
The VeriFone MX 915 countertop device helps retailers deliver compelling multimedia, such as videos and dynamic images, as well as other content, offers and personalized messaging, and a variety of payment options.
Providing this solution to shoppers will allow Finish Line to create more dynamic experiences at the traditional point of sale as well as prepare the stores for the future, Ledbetter explained. The devices “will allow us to tailor relevant messages to our customers as they engage at the POS,”, he added, “and allow us to support contactless payment applications as these solutions gain broader acceptance. We constantly are evaluating our strategies both qualitatively and quantitatively to help provide a shopping and checkout experience that creates value for the customer.”