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motorola-retailers-mobile-pos-may2012.jpg2 in 3 retailers are interested in investigating a mobile point of sale (POS) or mobile point of payment (POP) solution, finds Motorola Solutions [pdf] in April 2012 survey results. Eliminating those not interested and looking purely at the subset who are, the report finds that 23% currently have a solution deployed, while a further 43.5% are currently piloting or planning to start a trial in the next 36 months. The remainder will either begin using a mobile POS solution beyond 36 months (1.3%) from now, or are interested in exploring the options (32.2%) for doing so.

Improved Customer Service the Main Goal

Data from the “Mobile POS Study” indicates that better customer service is by far the top goal for the retailers who have or are planning to use mobile POS, cited by 71.3% of the respondents. Other tactical goals include save the sale/special order for out-of-stocks (27%), customer orders or assisted shopping (26.1%), and line busting (23.5%).

This focus on customer service is well warranted: according to a separate Motorola Solutions survey released in December 2011, two-thirds of shoppers reported heightened satisfaction with retailers when in-store associates utilized the latest technologies to assist in the experience, including 43% who said that their experience improved when associates used mobile POS devices.

Mobile POS to Replace 36% of Fixed POS Transactions

On average, retailers using or interested in mobile POS say they forecast replacing roughly 36% of their fixed POS as a result of transitioning to mobile POS. When asked how they plan to handle payment with mobile POS, 53% said that payment will occur at a fixed POS or self-checkout kiosk, while 40.4% said that the transaction will be completed, including payment, with an associate using mobile POS. Less than one-quarter said payment would occur on a shopper’s cell phone.

Other Findings

  • 43.9% of the retailer subgroup (interested in or currently deploying mobile POS) said they classify their organizations as mainstream technology adopters, while 21.3% classified themselves as early adopters and 19.6% as late adopters.
  • Currently, 46.5% use smartphones for customer facing applications, compared to 26.5% who use tablets. In the future, 51.3% expect to use tablets, and 46.5% smartphones.
  • The top attributes retailers look for for when choosing a vendor are complementary product/service (45.6%) and the company’s reputation and people (41.8%).
  • Among the retailers who currently deploy a mobile POS solution, inadequate battery life (35.4%) is the most common complaint about it, followed by the cost of the solution (29.1%).
  • 16.5% of the retailers interested in or currently using a mobile POS solution are planning to offer e-wallet or digital wallet near field communications as a mobile payment option. 23% are also planning to offer direct mobile billing to an account.

About the Data: The web-based survey was fielded to Research Now Business panelists from December 2011 through February 2012. The panelists represented experienced employees working in a full-time position, were screened to fill quotas in retail and hospitality, and were from North America, the UK, France, and Germany. 884 respondents completed the survey. A total of 541 were interested in mobile POS and either in the retail, hospitality or field service segments. Of those, 230 were in the retail segment.

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