Retail stores for outdoors equipment present an interesting contradiction. While targeting people who love being active and exploring the world, the actual stores are often crowded indoor spaces, trying their best to look bigger with large windows, aspirational posters and bright lights.
Unfortunately, not all sports stores can be located in a beautiful mountain valley or on the beach. So how can you deliver that outdoorsy, active feeling your customers love? Technology can help.
With mobile Point of Sale (mPOS), you can completely change the game for your outdoor store, delivering on-the-move service and quick payments on the spot.
Here are four ways mPOS can help your store deliver a modern, dynamic experience that fits with your branding and breaks away with traditional shopping.
1. Provide better service – anytime, anywhere
The biggest advantage of mobile Point of Sale is, as the name suggests, its mobility. In a traditional store setup, employees are often stuck behind the cash register in their respective departments, waiting for customers to come to them.
With a mobile Point of Sale device in their hands, your salespeople are free to roam around the shop floor and give immediate, to-the-point service wherever your customers are. “What colors does this come in?” No need to remember it – and no need to go all the way to the cash register to check the inventory. All product information, including variants and availability across locations, is just a click away on the mobile or tablet the staff member is carrying. But that’s not all. The best mobile POS systems also enable your employees to view more products than just what is available in store, show their picks to customers, and start a conversation. A customer is looking for a new snowboard, but can’t find the perfect one among those on display? Use the tablet to show the products available in your other locations, compare your customer’s favorite items side by side, and with the help of pictures and product details, you could even close the sale on the spot. Yes – the best mPOS take payments, too.
2. Set up the perfect outdoors sales area
An outdoors sales area is the perfect addition to any sports store. You can showcase bigger products such as tents, mountain bikes or kayaks, and customers can be more encouraged to buy by visualizing the products where they belong. Despite the benefits, many retailers with the capability still shy away from an outdoor sales area. After all, it’s an extra space that needs to be staffed and monitored; it can be expensive to set up an extra register, especially if the lot is only meant to be used seasonally; and without a register, customers will have to be funneled through inside to complete their purchases.
When you are using mobile POS devices in your store, customers service and sales in your outdoors area – or any area – become easy as pie. As your customers try the comforts of a tent you have for sale, use your mPOS to look up answers to all their inquiries about product size and materials, and then finalize the purchase without literally having to take an extra step.
3. Pave the way for events
Outdoor spaces are the ideal location for your sports equipment. So why not take the idea above one step further, and bring your business to fairs? Outdoors events have exploded over the last decades, with many of them being valuable venues to meet prospective customers who are passionate about your wares. Set up a booth with your products in a fitness and yoga event in the park, or at a family festival – and with your trusted mobile POS system, you can easily sell your products on the spot, no extra setup necessary.
You don’t want to pack up your products and set up a booth? Then have the event come to your store. In-store events are an increasingly popular strategy retailers use to drive foot traffic and engage their customers. What about an educational course on how to choose the best equipment for wild camping? Perhaps a talk with a local mountaineer who climbed K2? Or would your customers prefer a free basketball training session with a pro? There is an endless variety of events you can organize to draw through your doors the right crowd – one passionate about sports, and interested in getting to know more about your products. And when the customers are there, enjoying your event, a mobile POS device can become a handy accessory, as your staff can use it to showcase other products, compare items, look up information on the spot, and of course, close sales.
4. Be ready for both fast-paced and slow times
One of the biggest challenges in outdoors retail is high seasonality. You may encounter huge sales peaks before ski season, or have large crowds visiting when summer comes – and then see business slow down in other periods. Mobile Point of Sale enables you to scale your software capability up and down as needed – all without having to buy and set up expensive registers that will be left unused (and take up space) during quiet times. All you need are a few mobile devices (tablets or even smartphones) which you can swipe out when the crowds get large, and use to cut the waiting times. After all, it’s well-known that shorter lines at the checkout mean happier customers – and lower risk that impatient people will leave the line, and your store, without completing their purchase!
And when the final sale or peak season is over? Just put the devices back in the drawer – no space taken, no hassle.
A modern, active shopping experience
The time of old-style, static stores is over. With mobile Point of Sale you can finally offer your customers the dynamic, on-the-go experience they are looking for, opening the doors for new ways to promote, connect and sell your products, inside and outside of the four walls of your store.
Interested in discovering more ways mobile POS can benefit your retail business? Download our whitepaper now.