Home Depot approaches 100,000 mobile POS transactions per week: Javelin exec
LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ – A Javelin Strategy and Research executive at the Mobile Shopping Fall Summit said that Home Depot is on track to process 100,000 mobile POS transactions per week by the first-quarter of 2014.
During the “Cash, Check or Mobile POS?” keynote, the executive pointed to Apple, Home Depot and Nordstrom as examples of brands that are getting mobile POS right. While Home Depot and Apple are using mobile POS for transactions, Nordstrom’s is also heavily playing up the clienteling aspect of mobile POS for in-store shoppers.
“You can look at Home Depot – they came out with mobile POS. It was called FIRST program – Find, Inquire, Respect, Solve and Thank,” said Mary Monahan, executive vice president of mobile at Javelin, San Francisco.
“Their first version of that terminal had POS and then they decided it wasn’t as important and they came out with a version that didn’t include the selling, just looking up inventory,” she said.
“Within the first quarter, they had done one hundred million transactions in mobile, and now they’re doing about 100,000 a week – within a year they will do 100,000 a week.”
The Javelin executive spoke about the differences between mobile and traditional point-of-sale, how consumers view mobile POS and how satisfied merchants are with their mobile POS systems.
Ms. Monahan’s presentation defined mobile POS as the process of accepting a payment via a mobile device, whether that is through a tablet or phone.
For merchants, mobile POS has a few different unique characteristics that make it appealing for marketers.
Most importantly, the cost is low as the technology moves from being hardware-based to software-based.
Additionally, easier integration, application processes and the ability to cut lines in-stores are increasingly becoming more important factors into why merchants roll out mobile POS.
Compared to other forms of innovation, what makes mobile unique is that the technology has been deployed by more tier-four and tier-five businesses before hitting the bigger tier-one retailers.
Particularly for merchants that do not accept card payments, mobile POS is a competitive advantage for smaller businesses and can also increase average order values because consumers spend more when paying with a credit card.
However, mobile POS is moving upstream for bigger retailers.
Javelin surveyed companies with revenue from $100,000 – $500 million.
Fifteen percent of these microbusinesses with revenue less than $100,000 have adopted mobile POS.
The mid-market that represents revenue up to $500 million in revenue, 10 percent of businesses have rolled out mobile POS.
Interestingly, there is a reverse affect when it comes to how satisfied merchants are with their mobile POS systems.
The bigger companies are more dissatisfied with mobile than the smaller merchants, likely indicating the challenges in getting standardized mobile payments rolled out at a bigger level.
“The easiest fish to catch are those that are hungry, so it’s very easy to catch the tier-five to four merchants because they’ve never been able to accept card payments,” Ms. Monahan said.
“But now, you can’t make a living there – you’ve got to go upstream,” she said.
“So we see mobile POS coming up and going to the tier-threes, tier-twos and tier-ones because there’s more margin, but there’s also much greater need for advanced services.”
According to findings from Javelin, nine of out ten consumers find mobile POS to be convenient, and consumers with higher incomes are more likely to find the technology useful.
Despite the convenience factor, only 28 percent of consumers believe that mobile POS is secure, pointing towards the strong privacy concerns that still exist.
This is where brands have a big play in building consumer trust.
According to Ms. Monahan, Square was the catalyst for mobile payments because there are not account fees with a straight-forward transaction fee.
“What’s interesting about this market is that it’s becoming commoditized, and it’s headed towards free ware,” Ms. Monahan said.
“More and more companies are coming out with it – we did an analysis of the marketplace in the U.S. just a few months ago for 90 companies who had mobile POS and more have come out every single week since then,” she said.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York