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Tablet PCs in shops make shopping, payment easy!

Last updated on: February 14, 2012 08:50 IST

Tablet PCs in shops make shopping, payment easy!

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M Saraswathy in Mumbai

Ask any buyer about the one thing that they dislike about shopping, and the majority of them will point out to the unending wait in long queues at the cash counters.

But Sarah Jones, a 23-year-old professor staying in Mumbai, was pleasantly surprised when she recently went to shop for a mobile phone.

As she visited the Croma store last weekend, at Phoenix Mill in Mumbai, instead of browsing through the entire floor to find the phone she needs, a sales representative handed her a Samsung tablet for browsing the products available at the store.

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Image: Samsung Tablet.


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"But the best part was that I did not have to stand in the long queue to make the payment. The Samsung tablet had an attached hand-held device that allowed me to swipe my card and make instant payment. I was out of the store in 30 minutes. That too on a weekend," said Jones.

Retailers in India who are fighting to get the most foot-fall at the stores are coming out with innovative solutions to create a better customer experience.

Retailers like Croma, Future Group and HyperCity have spruced up their technology to meet the customer specifications.

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Image: Croma store.


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Croma, the electronics megastore has initiated a mobile point-of-sale (POS) system across six of its stores in Mumbai.

With the help of IT services firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Croma has developed an application for Samsung tablets that allows shoppers to make instant choice and make payments as well.

The Samsung tablet can be used as a catalogue for browsing products available in the store. During weekends when rush in the store does not allow people to browse through the products, this will give the buyer an idea of the products that are available.

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Image: Tata Consultancy Services.


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The Samsung tablet has an attached POS that allows the customer to swipe their credit/debit cards or even make cash payment and get an instant bill.

"We are trying to keep the customer in the centre. With the help of TCS, the mobile POS has been developed. Since we sell so much technology in our store, we decided that this technology needed to be adopted in our processes as well," said Ajit Joshi, MD &CEO, Infiniti Retail.

The main aim of this exercise is to reduce the time of the billing procedure for the crowd. Joshi explains that this would lead to better customer satisfaction.

 

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Image: Samsung tablet.

Tags: POS , Ajit Joshi , TCS , CEO

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At present, the system is launched as a pilot project at six stores. Joshi also said that though they are using Samsung tablet for the pilot project, the application is easily adaptable to other models as well.

And in due course of time the mobile POS would be present in all the other stores as well.

Use of Mobile POS so far has been done in a limited way. Future Group, which started to experiment first in this category, makes use of mobile-POS during festive seasons or peak sales when crowds in its store are the highest.

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Image: Big Bazaar.


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"We have incorporated a lot of technology in our day-to-day transactions to create a better customer experience. The mobile POS, for instance, is used during days when we have a huge crowd, especially during the festive season," says Parakh Dave, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technical Officer of Future Group.

While Dave did not give details of the impact of using mobile-POS during festive season he did agree that the customer experience is certainly better.

Rajiv Thakkar, a 28-year-old banking professional says that other than the long queues what frustrates him is the difference in prices at the counter and the shelf.

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Image: Big Bazaar.


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"Last year, I was in New York and shopping for some wine. The best part of the experience was that I could look at any price changes or bargains right at the shelf. Since everything was automated, the latest bargains would be updated on the system or if the bargain has ended the latest price was available. It allowed me to buy things easily," he adds.

Thakkar can perhaps get the same experience in the next three months at some of the HyperCity Retail outlets. HyperCity Retail will have mobile printers for products on shelf in its stores.

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Image: HyperCity Retail.


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Veneeth Purushotaman, Business Head-Technology, HyperCity Retail, explains that updating price on real-time basis is very important.

"It becomes very important for us to make sure that the price on the shelf is the same as that in the billing system. Therefore, we have developed a system wherein each representative in the different sections at the store will have a mobile device where the product tag can be scanned and the correct price of the product in the system can be ascertained. If a difference in the prices is noticed, the correct price is entered and a ready-made printout of the new price tag is taken out through a mobile printer."

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Image: Shopping gets hi-tech.


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They intend to save time both for store assistants and customers through this exercise.

The device is compatible with any android phone that has the ability to scan the barcode. Purushotaman further says that apart from reducing legwork of employees, this system will help customers get the right price in a lesser time.

While retailers in India are focusing on getting the best technology solution to make shopping a better experience, technology firms are already working on the next retail technology.



Image: It saves time both for store assistants and customers.

Tags: India

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