Considering mobile devices for retail and hospitality?
January 4, 2019
Optimising mobile devices in retail and hospitality.
Tablets and mobile devices are changing the world of retail.
Restaurants, hotels and the retail sector and hotels need to employ the latest technology solutions to keep up with changing consumer preferences and increasing demands.
Shops, bars, gyms and other retail outlets are starting to use these devices and cater to consumer choice, replacing POS hardware with mobile devices in retail.
Mobile devices also can help increase customer engagement and loyalty and companies are starting to scale up their operation and using mobile devices in hospitality and retail for more tasks. With this comes a number of factors to consider when choosing mobile device solutions to implement.
Here are our five key areas to consider when making those choices:
1. WHAT IS THE DEVICE BEING USED FOR
Think about both your customer as well as staff. What are you trying to achieve with mobile devices in the retail or hospitality environment?
This will help you determine the physical size of device required. Can you achieve this with a smart watch, phone or tablet? Who will be using the mobile device and will it be in a static/fixed position or roaming within the store for members of staff to engage with consumers. Do you need a solution that offers both?
Are you looking to replace your existing POS with new In-store payment processing? Are these devices for customer self-service, product displays, signage and in-store advertising or video promotions to give customers a real feel for a wider range of products?
2. DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT
All mobile devices in retail and hospitality environments need to be managed and secured as they are valuable items that are not cheap to replace. You need to consider power to these devices and how they are going to be charged? A dead device in any situation is detrimental to your business.
Accountability…. Who is responsibility in-store for these mobile devices? If the device is a fixed installation who checks the devices each day to make sure they are functioning correctly?
With roaming devices who is responsible for issuing and collecting these devices? What happens to devices that show signs of battery degradation, screen latency or other issues? It will happen, these devices will not run 100% effectively for ever.
3. DATA MANAGEMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Naturally communication and central intelligence are vital to your business. You need to consider how communication with the mobile devices in the business are managed. Are the devices accessibly remotely? Do you need to monitor and manage mobile devices in a remote situation.
How do you get new information both onto the device and from the device. A big part of this is security, so weigh up the pro’s and con’s of WiFi compared to a physical data connection is important. Part of the equation is the number of devices that need managing and the throughput of data required.
Do you want to fork out on thousands of pounds on a wireless network when you only have two POS terminals? At the other end of the scale, in a large arena or stadium how secure and functional is an enterprise solution, and is it cost effective? What software do I need?
Many businesses benefit from the easy-to-upgrade software and the data-collecting abilities of mobile apps. Look at each option to see what suits your business best. There are many providers fighting for your business.
4. PHYSICAL SECURITY
The security of your devices is also another factor to consider. You need to protect your mobile devices in retail environments from the few members of the general public who think they can take the device home with them, from people disfiguring the device or trying to reset or turn the device off! You must consider how the devices will be interacted with and limit any tampering.
Look at the solutions available in this area to see what works for you. If roaming devices are stored in a back office environment are they locked away in a secure environment and charging. Do they need to be connected to the network, or managed from a remote location?
5. SUPPORT… WHAT HAPPENS IF IT ALL GOES WRONG?
Probably the most important consideration with any solution is the support when it all goes wrong, down time is money! Consider the important elements of a potential company you are looking to work with and the terms of that business. What level of support would you receive when it’s most important to you, and in what form does that support come?
How adaptable is that software to your requirements and what does the future road map look like for your future needs. Over the past 3 years Cambrionix and our partners have helped a number of key retailers with their requirements. Using existing products or creating bespoke solutions to meet our customers needs.
Explore our solutions for implementing mobile devices in hospitality and retail
A wide range of USB hubs to consider.