Retail TouchPoints: What’s Causing Slow Mobile POS Rollout?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
According to a new report conducted by IHL Group, while 28 percent of retailers plan to adopt mobile POS in some form by the end of 2013, a third have no plans at all to implement handheld mobile POS devices within the next three years.
Though mobile POS continues to receive "a lot of hype," said Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Group, "the vast majority of retailers are taking a slow and methodical approach to the use of mobile for POS. There are key operational issues in device and merchandise security, cash handling, payments, bags, customer service levels and traffic flow that must be worked through, or the use of the devices will be disruptive."
The report, Mobile POS: Hype To Reality, showcases the current state of mobile POS; the adoption rates of various retail verticals; and the shipment and installed base details by type of device — rugged handheld, non-rugged handheld, and consumer-level tablets.
"Overall, the data we see in this study leads us to believe that retailers have slowed their aggressive deployments planned a year ago," said Mr. Buzek, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. "For the most part, this slow-down is caused by retailers that have deployed the technology and now are focusing on the problem-solving phase of getting the devices integrated into their operational plans."
Though retailers continue to invest in mobile technology for brick-and-mortar stores, the use cases are moving beyond mobile POS: IHL Group estimates that approximately 45 percent of retailers are adopting mobile devices in stores, according to Buzek, but only half of those deployments will be leveraged for mobile POS purposes.
Mr. Buzek also shared these study conclusions:
- Mobile is part of an overall shift in software strategy aimed at establishing a single cross-channel transaction logic and platform;
- Mobile POS devices will cannibalize 12.4 percent of traditional POS shipments by 2016 across North American retail. Traditional POS shipments will not decline, but will grow less quickly; and
- Retailers spend millions of dollars annually on security systems and cameras — as well as on printers, cash drawers and security tags — that are tied to POS, but much of this investment goes out the window with mobile.
What’s causing the slow adoption of mobile POS? What are the merits of a slow versus a fast approach to the development of mobile POS?