A checklist for retailers who are considering offering mobile point-of-service

No one likes standing in line at a store register, and that’s part of the reason phones and tablets are being used by more companies as point-of-service devices to ring up sales.

Gary Price, director of sales for Retail Solutions at NEC Corporation of America, one of Microsoft’s intelligent systems partners, talked with Kristin Flandreau, business group lead for Windows Embedded in the Americas, about how mobile POS is changing retail. It’s one of the topics on tap at next week’s National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) Annual Convention & EXPO in New York City.

NEC implements end-to-end intelligent systems solutions for retailers using Microsoft and Windows Embedded technologies. Price says that tablet-based POS makes sense for many retailers, as it gives employees the option of standing next to the customer as they’re making a decision, to answer any question, then closing the sale by processing the purchase on the tablet. Still, he says, there is no one mobile POS solution that is right for every retailer.

Flandreau said these are the issues retailers should think through when considering mobile POS:

User scenarios. What types of networking connectivity need to be supported (wireless, USB, etc.) in the retail environment? What peripherals need to be supported? What types of security and lock-down features are needed?

Commercial grade versus consumer grade. Durable commercial-grade tablets may have lower overall total cost of ownership than consumer-grade tablets. Compare the time and cost needed to purchase consumer-grade tablets and then potentially replace them multiple times when they break or walk out the door with employees to the time and cost needed to purchase higher-priced but longer-lasting commercial tablets, which are designed for use in a rugged retail environment.

Upcoming EMV deadline.October 2015 is the proposed deadline for POS terminals to meet new Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) standards in the U.S. Retailers need to understand the compliance issues associated with their mobile POS strategy.

To read Flandreau’s entire post, head over to the Windows Embedded blog.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff