Magazine Article | June 24, 2013

Mobile Retailing And The Point Of (No) Return

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

July 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers

By Peter Bradshaw (left), CTO, and Bob Walters, vice president of sales & marketing, The Retail Equation

Dealing with returns management on mobile devices is a brand-new challenge for retailers.

Consumer technology companies like Apple no longer have the market cornered for mobile technology at the point of sale. Recently, several major retailers have publicly announced the adoption of mobile retail practices to enhance the customer experience … and increase the bottom line. Retailers understand the longer a consumer waits in the store for service or in a checkout line, the more likely they are to postpone or walk away from the purchase. Mobile technology nearly eradicates this hassle by offering the customer the opportunity to check stock or check out from anywhere in the store. However, in doing so, it can present challenges when trying to merge this sought-after mobility with the concepts of best-in-class merchandise return capabilities, while keeping retail fraud under control.

As retailers rush to adopt mobile practices to maintain a competitive edge, they need to consider all transactional angles before jumping into the mobile environment. There are many details to be deliberated, but we suggest focusing on these four questions as the main decision drivers.