SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

January 11, 2011 11:00 ET

Retailers Embrace Mobile Point of Sale Systems for Consumer Engagement, Interactivity, and Revenue

65% of Retailers Have Identified POS Mobility as a Top Initiative to Deliver a Personalized and Interactive In-Store Experience for Consumers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 11, 2011) - In the face of slow consumer spend and the rise of competitive cross-channel shopping alternatives, retailers are under pressure to not only process payments quickly, accurately, and safely, but also to strengthen their overall long-term revenue-generating customer relationships as well. In response, 42% of retailers are prioritizing POS integration with enterprise systems such as CRM, marketing, and inventory management. At the same time, nearly two-thirds (65%) of retailers have identified the mobile POS device as central to this initiative, extending this integrated experience outside of the traditional shopping lane, and onto the selling floor, decreasing wait time, and increasing employee/consumer interactivity. The impetus for this integration comes directly from the desire to manage a rapid evolution of consumer preferences (43%), and the growing consumer dependence on the mobile device (40%), according to the Aberdeen Group report, Retailers Target POS Mobility for Engagement, Interactivity, and Revenue. The research from Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), details the business benefits derived from upgraded point of sale-based internal process optimization.

According to Aberdeen data, mobility is gaining attention and momentum among retailers from both an employee-facing or consumer-facing perspective. For example, 38% of retailers are currently at some stage of mobile retail technology or mobile channel adoption, compared to 18% at the end of 2008. At the same time, the consumer's mobile phone has emerged as a POS and channel growth opportunity that presents both increased customer transaction processing speed potential and incremental revenue options for retailers within stores.

"Consumer smart phones and their use in-store are hardly pervasive," commented Greg Belkin, chief author and retail point of sale analyst, Aberdeen. "However, their increased use has caused top retailers to stop and pause. The need for a more interactive in-store experience is becoming more defined, and retailers are looking toward mobility to deliver this experience."

Aberdeen data also shows that retailers are giving equal strategic weight to both consumer-operated and retailer-operated mobile devices. For example, seventy-six percent (76%) of retailers are embracing employee-operated handheld mobile POS devices, whereas 74% of these organizations are investing in mobile applications on smart phones, and an additional 63% are looking at the consumer-operated handheld device.

"The fact that a mere 2% delta exists between the two most popular enablers, and an 11% delta between the second and third, speaks to the fact that retailers are embracing all three mediums together as they build out their mobile POS infrastructure," commented Belkin. "Although consumer adoption of smart phones still has different issues to work out (such as lack of industry-accepted or applied standards, or pricing) before it becomes pervasive, retailers know that growing interest in the iPhone, Android OS, Windows, BlackBerry, and other smart phone platforms is likely to accelerate adoption in short order."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Alpha Bay, Direct Source, Epicor, and Honeywell. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6694&camp=2.

Visit Aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Retail and Banking Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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