Four Ways Mobile Scanning Is Creating True In-Store Omnichannel

By Alex Goodwin

May 4, 2016

A recent Forbes article advises retailers to develop “every consumer interaction with mobile at its center,” specifically lauding the use of in-store mobile devices by sales associates.

Mobile devices are sleek and light, and the built-in next-gen scanners can scan any symbology, meaning the devices are future-proofed against constantly-evolving retail scan codes. These devices are the powerful, portable keys to creating a true omnichannel experience—they are a unifying force in syncing online and in-store shopping.

Here are four ways retailers are creating omnichannel shopping experiences in the aisles of their bricks-and-mortar stores:

1. A personal assistant for every shopper

Sales associates armed with handheld mobile devices become personal shopping assistants to customers, offering up-to-date inventory information and tailored product suggestions. This dynamic model, first pioneered by Apple, engages customers at the point of decision and provides them with a knowledgeable guide as they traverse their shopping journey.

Customers expect mobile shopping experiences, both on their own devices and on thoughtful and progressive in-store devices. Gift registries provide the perfect opportunity to hook shoppers with handy, fun-to-use handheld devices that scan easily and reliably, without the bulk and frustrations associated with more traditional registry scanners.

2. “Buy online, pick up in-store” wherever it’s needed

As retailers increasingly turn to “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) payment options as a way to deliver omnichannel shopping, retail mobile devices once again facilitate positive customer-associate interactions. Any sales associate equipped with a mobile device can assist BOPIS customers with purchase confirmation and product location info in the palm of their hand. Plus, an attentive sales associate is yet another effective touch-point for increasing cart size.

3. Line-busting throughout the store

Handheld devices seamlessly transition from clienteling devices to BOPIS tools to check-out tool, creating checkout opportunities wherever the sales associate needs them. They’re an excellent solution for line busting, but thanks to reliable scanning technology and the convenience of mPOS apps, sales associates can secure sales throughout the store.

4. Streamlining inventory management

Mobile devices assist sales associates with inventory workflows, too. Advanced scanners on these sleek handhelds allow associates to quickly and comfortably scan barcodes, QR and Digimarc barcodes and because they’re lightweight and slim, they’re easily pocketed while associates move boxes and stock shelves. Then, when the sales associate encounters the next customer in need of assistance, the same powerful device is in-hand to help.

Reaching beyond retail

These future-proofed mobile scanners are such a disruptive technology that they’re expanding to industries far beyond retail. Healthcare systems, logistics, and warehouse operations need light, portable devices that can seamlessly transition between scanning symbologies. They’re intuitive to use, can power any app required, regardless of industry or specific use, and don’t require extra cords and cables for charging.

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