Is Technology Improving Retail Sales?

otterology1For most people looking to buy goods, their shopping mall is as close as their laptop, tablet or smartphone. Each year, it seems that fewer goods are being purchased at brick and mortar stores and more people are opting to buy online. When asked, many people will tell you that the online shopping environment is better in a number of ways including less travel, sales pressure, and typically lower prices. Since there isn’t a need for stock boys or register clerks in an online store, one could make the case that technology is destroying the economy and devastating working-class families. However, a younger generation of people with a different set of skills would argue that technology is improving retail sales by hiring entire staffs of programmers and marketers that are giving birth to a modern day version of the entrepreneur.

All things considered, there are still a wide variety of items that people prefer to buy in a physical store environment such. Many people like to try on their clothes before they buy or play the actual guitar they intend to purchase before forking over money. So what can a brick and mortar store do in the 21st century to stay competitive against the growing e-commerce market? The answer is simple: embrace technology and improve your customer’s buying experience.

One of the biggest benefits that online retailing has over physical stores is that the checkout process is much quicker and easier. There’s no need to wait in line or stand there as your sales clerk fiddles around with pennies and nickels; just a few clicks and your items are on their way to your doorstep. However, there are ways to improve your customer’s purchasing process and remove the friction between wanting to buy something and taking it home.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to utilize the new mobile point-of-sale technology that has emerged in recent years. Companies such as Square and PayPal have created digital cash registers that you can run right from any tablet PC. There are many benefits of using a mobile point-of-sale system including faster transaction times and more intelligent ways to track sales, but another added perk is that your customers can pay right from their smartphone. Not only will you ring up the goods faster, but your customer will pay and leave in as little as 1/3 of the time using traditional cash register methods.

Using a mobile cash register can also lower your overall costs so that you can compete with the online stores that are likely taking at least a small chunk of your business. Since your clerks can ring up more customers, you can staff less people per shift and still increase the speed of conducting sales. Also, since the equipment required for a mobile point-of-sale system is only a tablet PC, you will save money compared to buying expensive hardware components and merchant accounts that used to be required if you wanted to accept credit cards. Regardless of what type of retail business you are in, technology can improve your retail sales and make your business more profitable.

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