The potential of mobile technologies to transform the transaction experience has been discussed regularly over the past decade. The transformation first promised a decade ago always depended on significant advancements in both consumer and business transaction technologies. The consumerization of smartphones, which began in 2007, introduced what would become the key enabling technology on the consumer side. This marked the beginning of robust growth and continuous advancements in consumer mobile technologies.
However, a variety of factors delayed businesses’ plans and investments in mobile transaction technology. This created a gap between consumer technology maturity and deployments of the transaction technologies required to fully support this new kind of workflow. As consumer technologies have matured and become more feature rich, customer expectations of the shopping experience have increased. Driven now by elevated customer expectations and competitive pressures, industry studies suggest businesses are making investments and taking steps to realize the promise of a transformed shopping and dining experience.
Central to transaction modernization initiatives is mobile retail, which entails diverse services such as customer loyalty programs, personalized recommendations, and proximity (i.e., geolocation). The goal of mobile transaction technology is to reach customers wherever they are – whether online, in the store, or online in the store. Line busting (completing sales transactions without the need to stand in line) has emerged as a trend among business operators seeking to improve the in-store customer experience to satisfy heightened expectations and fully leverage investments in mobile technology. To date, several innovators, including Apple, the Home Depot, and Nordstrom, have deployed line busting. Although in relative infancy, line busting has been shown to offer businesses strategic, financial, operational, and technological benefit . Line busting’s key enabling technology is mobile point of sale (mPOS).