Why Retailers Are Introducing In-Store Mobile Checkout

by Anil Patel |

Everybody hates waiting in line. If you’re not convinced by your own personal experience, studies show that 32% of shoppers quit a long checkout line and search for a better shopping experience elsewhere. While some may order online instead, others will abandon their purchase altogether and head to a different store. This means every dollar you’ve spent on developing quality products and generating demand for those products has gone to waste. 

To avoid this tragic (and very common) scenario at your own brick-and-mortar locations, you need to seriously evaluate your omnichannel strategy. Top retail brands across the world are introducing mobile checkout in store to delight customers, empower store associates, and maximize in-store conversions. In this blog, we walk through the many benefits of mobile checkout for your organization.


Convenience & Speed

Retail giants Walmart and Target embraced in-store mobile checkout back in 2018 in preparation for the busy holiday season, allowing their many customers to seamlessly check out on the mobile app. Other industry leaders are following suit, realizing the economic impact of a sub-par checkout experience. Studies show that the average American shopper will abandon their purchase after 8 minutes of waiting in line, while British shoppers will wait only 6 minutes before jumping ship. Do you know the average wait time at your retail locations? If it’s anywhere close to the 6-minute mark, you should be re-evaluating your checkout process to keep up with modern shopping behaviors.

In-store mobile checkout allows for a quick, convenient, and seamless shopping experience. This process will look different depending on your omnichannel solution. Some will require a store associate to check customers out on a tablet or a mobile device on their way out the door (mobile point of sale), while others will allow customers to self-checkout by scanning the product barcode on the mobile website or app. 

A mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution enables clienteling by allowing store associates to access customers’ purchase and browsing history, loyalty points, online cart, and wish list within seconds. Not only that, but associates can instantly fulfill the demand by tapping into global inventory and ordering available items from any location. At its heart, mPOS empower store associates to become frontline brand ambassadors, providing the customer service that modern shoppers have come to expect.

On the other hand, mobile self-checkout offers a flexible checkout option on the shopper’s own device - reducing the staffing burden for stores and laying the foundation for in-store digitization and innovation. Customers simply navigate to a short URL on their phone, scan the product barcode, and pay through a variety of methods. The whole process takes only a minute, and who doesn’t love that?

As retail competition continues to heighten and in-store sales steadily decline, it’s time for your brand to invest in a checkout process that delights customers and saves the sale.


Employee Utilization (a.k.a Spending More Time With Customers)

The benefits of in-store mobile checkout don’t stop with the customer (though that should be enough). Store associates spend the majority of their time behind a checkout counter, scanning and bagging products on an assembly line. Mobile checkout allows your employees to roam freely through the store, helping and up-selling potential customers instead of wasting time on a mindless process. 79% of consumers say personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining where to shop (and whether to purchase). Is your staff empowered to help customers through their buying journey? In-store mobile checkout allows your associates to play an active role in the omnichannel shopping experience, spending more 1-on-1 time with potential customers to provide them with best-in-class service.


Data Visibility

When that customer left your store without purchasing because of the long checkout line, you didn’t just lose the sale. You lost the data. While your mobile commerce app will collect information about your customer’s shopping behaviors even when they fail to purchase, your brand likely has very little visibility into this journey when it occurs in-store. If your store associates fail to ask customers for their name and email address, or if the customer doesn’t have an account with your brand, the purchase price is the only data point your analytics team can refer to when analyzing in-store conversions. 

Can you imagine how much information you’re missing out on by relying on traditional checkout lines? Mobile point of sale solutions allows store associates to scan the product barcode of every item the customer tries on, which essentially collects the same information as your website would when the customer shops online. Your product teams can use this data when brainstorming new collection ideas, while your sales and marketing teams can leverage this information to optimize advertising campaigns or promote new product launches.

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With in-store mobile checkout, retailers can address one of the major challenges associated with offline shopping: insufferable checkout lines. Retail leaders have already invested in a cashless experience to meet customer expectations, boost in-store sales, and maximize employee efficiency. If you’re interested in exploring more about mobile checkout in store, request a consultation with the HotWax Commerce team.