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Retailers Slow to Adopt Mobile POS: Study

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — While the use of mobile tablets (such as the iPad) as POS devices is growing rapidly, with shipments increasing at a rate of 38% in 2013, many retailers are still slow to adopt them, according to a new study from research firm IHL Group here.

The mobile POS market will surpass $2 billion in hardware/software sales in North America in 2013, and 28% of North American retailers plan to adopt Mobile POS in some form by the end of 2013, said the study, called "Mobile POS: Hype to Reality."  An even greater number (33%), however, do not plan to adopt Mobile POS at all within the next 3 years.  The adoption rate is very dependent on the type of retailer and volume of transactions.

"Mobile POS continues to receive a lot of hype, and some specific announcements have received a lot of press,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, in a statement. "But the vast majority of retailers are taking a slow and methodical approach to the use of mobile for POS.  There are key operational issues in device and merchandise security, cash handling, payments, bags, customer service levels and traffic flow that must be worked through, or the use of the devices will be disruptive in a negative way for retailers.”

In other findings of the research:

  • Specialty retailers are deploying about 45% of all tablets shipped to retail for POS. They are most popular in small independent retailers of all types and large mall-based specialty chains.
  • Across North America, retail mobile POS devices will cannibalize 12.4% of traditional POS shipments by 2016. The highest areas of replacement will be department stores and specialty soft goods retailers.          
  • Over 85% of larger retailers suggest that for the next three years, mobile POS will serve as additional transaction points in their stores, rather than as replacements for traditional fixed POS stations. 


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