Racking Up Mobile Success In Retail
By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine
Smaller merchants and boutiques are generating mobile POS demand for this New York VAR.
As mobile POS solutions become more common, retailers (and the VARs and integrators who work with them) are still working out what kind of role technology will play in their operations and to what extent they may either augment or replace traditional POS solutions. For smaller retailers, though, mobile POS systems are quickly becoming a must as more companies discover the value in creating sales opportunities in nontraditional settings.
AMP is a New York-based reseller for LightSpeed, a Mac-based POS solution that also includes a mobile POS component. AMP works with a lot of smaller retail clients, and many of them have begun using mobile POS solutions for outdoor events and other pop-up shopping locations. One client in particular, a New York-based men’s heritage fashion retailer, is among those who have embraced the technology. In addition to its brick-and-mortar location, the company sells at pop-up stores at events around the country such as music festivals or special holiday events.
AMP installed LightSpeed at the store and also provided a mobile solution for the field-based retail events. “The client now has a completely portable POS system that allows them to go anywhere there’s an Internet connection,” says Joel Johnson, senior sales and support specialist and certified LightSpeed expert at AMP. “And they can sell their products with the same preloaded pricing and all the information they have at the home location.”
From Brick-And-Mortar To Mobile
AMP has been working with the retailer for more than two years. The client was a new house-brand retail boutique, and LightSpeed is a well-known solution for that particular market. “They reached out to us looking for a Mac-based solution, so having LightSpeed as a solution we sell made their POS decision an easy one,” Johnson says.
At the brick-and-mortar location, the retailer uses LightSpeed on an iMac along with a Honeywell bar code scanner, a receipt printer, USB credit card swipe device, and a printer-driven cash drawer. Once the POS system was in place for a year, the retailer expressed interest in a mobile solution to help it branch out and take advantage of other sales opportunities that didn’t have the requirements of a full-scale retail store.
The store uses an iPad running the LightSpeed mobile client at remote locations. All receipts are issued via email. The retailer accepts credit card payments via an Infinea Tab card reader from Infinite Peripherals and scans merchandise bar codes using a Socket Mobile Bluetooth scanner. “LightSpeed allows them to create a separate warehouse for the mobile inventory, which they designate as the travel inventory,” Johnson says. “Sales are deducted against that warehouse, and all sales are demarcated by the location so they can see what is sold remotely versus what is sold in the store.”
The PCI-compliant software passes credit card data through the solution. “All it does is take a confirmation from the credit card processor that the transaction was approved or declined,” Johnson says. “The information travels straight from the swipe to the processor.”
A Solution That Leads To Additional Business
The solution cost less than $1,000 for the retailer to implement. “The main costs for them are related to staffing the remote stores and the rental fees for each location/event,” Johnson explains. “So with this new POS solution, they can get in touch with a much larger client base and do so profitably.”
The retailer has increased sales since the installation, and the mobile pop-up stores allow it to offload dead stock from the New York market into other regions. AMP also has an ongoing maintenance contract with the retailer to provide troubleshooting, training, and support.
The client was one of AMP’s first to adopt the thennew LightSpeed mobile solution. The VAR now has approximately 20 clients using the mobile system.