Everyone is talking about mobile. Mobile coupons, mobile marketing, mobile wallets. And that list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning mobile checkout, the technology that let’s sales associates ring up your purchase with a handheld device from anywhere in the store.
Nordstrom is one retailer that started rolling out mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices throughout their full-line stores, as well as in some of their Nordstrom Rack stores. These mobile POS devices consist of a modified iPod Touch with a merchandise scanner and credit card slider. Sales staff can also access the company’s entire inventory to check available sizes and colors elsewhere.
On a recent shopping trip, I got to experience the technology first-hand at the newly opened Nordstrom Rack store in Alpharetta, Ga. I can now say that I’m officially obsessed! Why are more retailers not doing this?
I hit up the Rack the first Saturday of the week it opened—so naturally the place was a zoo. Women were combing through the merchandise like ravenous beasts in search of a kill, desperately clutching their finds and hauling bags of clothing to the fitting rooms in a state of controlled chaos. (Don’t even get me started on the mouth-foaming action going on in the shoe department.) The selection was top-notch, and if you were willing to dig (three-hour time warp), there were some real gems to be had.
Sure enough, I found plenty of items worthy of joining the insanity that is my overstuffed closet at home. The only buzz kill about the experience COULD have been waiting in a crazy long line to pay for my goodies. But, just as I approached the line for the registers, a sales associate standing nearby asked if I was paying with a credit card (duh! who carries cash anymore?), and then ushered me off to the side to one of her fellow associates.
Off to the side, the associate rang up my items with her handy-dandy phone scanner and placed them in a shopping bag, then swiped my credit card, printed a receipt and e-mailed me a copy. I was done. No waiting in line! I felt like a VIP! (Nevermind that plenty of other people were doing mobile checkout, but I still felt special!).
I’ve got to hand it to Nordstrom. They didn’t embrace this technology just for technology’s sake. They implemented it to enhance the shopping experience and kick that superior customer service they’re known for to a whole new level. Props!
Now, when’s a retailer going to offer heated golf-cart service back to my car parked in Siberia at the mall during the holidays? Maybe add a cup of hot cocoa with a candy cane in it? Just sayin’, I’d shop there, wouldn’t you?
Photo: From GeekWire (Courtesy of Nordstrom)