ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

JCPenney to replace cash registers with mobile checkout devices by 2013

During the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Ron Johnson, CEO of JCPenney said that the company is planning to focus on consumers and the customer experience. By the end of 2013, the company plans to eliminate the cash route.

“We’ll have mobile checkout, you know, rolling out now and in the fall,” Mr. Johnson said during the conference. “But we’re also doing something that no retailer has done completely, is we are going 100 percent RFID with ticketing this fall.

“So February 1 next year, the entire Penney’s platform will be on RFID tickets,” he said. “Now most people use RFID for internal operations inventory management.

Checking out
With the new planned enhancements, consumers will be able to check out anywhere and anytime.

In addition to the planned mobile checkout devices, JCPenney is also implementing self checkout kiosks.

“It’s really cool and it’s really easy because it’s RFID-based,” Mr. Johnson said.

“You don’t have to scan an item,” he said. “You just throw it down and there’s the price.

“You couldn’t do that if you had coupons, and you couldn’t do that in a promotional business strategy, because the customer has to figure out that every item had this unique price and was it right for this hour, you know.”

An initiative such as this is a very smart move for JCPenney.

Firstly, a majority of marketers out there are currently looking to create a mobile-first strategy.

By ditching traditional checkouts and replacing them with mobile checkout devices, JCPenney is creating a seamless experience for customers and giving them more options.

Technology continues to grow at a rapid speed and it is important for marketers to keep up.

Marketing efforts
JCPenney has been steadily ramping up its mobile efforts over the past few years.

Earlier this year, JCPenney promoted its fair and square pricing, as well as bolstered its mobile commerce strategy via an advertising campaign (see story).

Most recently, the company used a variety of mediums including mobile, social and digital to increase awareness for its charitable giving program.

Through the program, consumers were encouraged to join the retailer’s commitment to help build stronger communities (see story).

“JCPenney is on a journey to create a new interface for retail, and providing customers with convenient payment options is just one of many ways we’re creating a unique store experience,” said Kate Coultas, a spokeswoman for JCPenney.

“By empowering team members to break away from traditional cash wraps and putting the power of check-out in their hands, they can focus on delivering exceptional service anywhere in the store,” she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York