Moving Beyond mPOS: the "Uberization" of Fashion Retail

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Moving Beyond mPOS: the "Uberization" of Fashion Retail

By Brad Fick, President, Direct Source - 05/17/2016
In today's consumer-driven world, services are on demand and on any device. Take Uber, for example. In its first three years alone, the popular, self-service cab application grew to more than 160,000. Since its debut, the now multibillion-dollar company has more than 1 billion riders – and is continually expanding to hundreds of cities worldwide. What's behind its success? The company developed its product to reflect the changing consumer landscape of instant connectivity and interactivity to provide better customer experiences.

Uber's impact is spreading throughout the economy, including the fashion retail sector. With more customers utilizing mobile applications and devices to research and complete their purchases, retailers need provide a memorable shopping experience to retain and grow their customer base.

So how does Uber fit within the fashion industry? Behind the success of its service lies an app-driven, mobile-payment system that puts the transaction and device costs into the hands of the customer. By connecting with payment information, Uber invests into the customers' devices, reducing costs while providing personalized experiences. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology is a growing fixture for many retailers throughout the world. However, technology now has the power to go beyond mPOS, creating new opportunities for retailers to connect and build customer loyalty.

Building the digital in-store experience
The connected consumer expects memorable and personal shopping experiences. By breaking away from traditional checkout methods, mPOS enables sales associates to check out customers from anywhere in the store, increasing transaction speed and efficiency. But mPOS technologies shouldn't stop there.

To truly build the ideal customer experience within an mPOS system, fashion retailers should invest in app-driven technology to provide the next level of self-service. For example, through a connected, mobile-payment application, customers can pay for items immediately by simply scanning the item with their own devices. Now customers identifying their intended purchases while in the dressing room can pay for the merchandise on-the-spot without standing in long lines or looking for a store associate, further increasing loyalty.

The success of Uber stems from the use of customers' already-purchased technology. With app-driven payments, retailers are following in Uber's footsteps by investing in the customers' technology and reducing the costs of installing payment systems in their stores. Additionally, these innovations to a bring-your-own-device experience allow customers to connect loyalty applications directly to their payment option, providing a one-click payment type of feel. 

Without simple purchasing options similar to one-click payments, customers often think twice about coming into a physical store and waiting in lines – especially for just one or two items. With new payment technology, customers can simply scan the item, fill in the appropriate payment verification systems, and be on their way.

Beyond mPOS
In an effort to keep up with the customer's personalized demands, more and more stores are seeking to create the ideal digital experience within the physical space. By moving beyond mPOS, retailers can save on investment costs by working with the customer's personal device to complete a transaction and increase customer satisfaction. As Uber has transformed transportation, app-driven retail will put control into the hands of the consumer and boost loyalty programs, all while creating a memorable shopping experience. 

Brad Fick is president of Direct Source, a provider of retail store technology.