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Moosejaw sees up to 70pc of in-store transactions completed via mobile POS

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May 15, 2013

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Moosejaw Mountaineering is seeing up to 70 percent of in-store transactions taking place via iPod touch devices used by store associates to interact with customers in the aisle.

In addition to leveraging iPod touches for mobile POS, Moosejaw also has iPads in stores to support its endless aisle strategy. Going forward, the retailer is looking to replace both types of devices with iPad minis that can function as both a POS and online showcase tool.

“Our whole in-store experience is really focused on engaging with the customer and having real interactions,” said Eoin Comerford, CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering, Madison Heights, MI.  “It is a very consultative selling process to begin with.

“If someone says, this is for me, it is great, the store associate can just say, OK, let me swipe your credit card and we’ll take care of you right here,” he said. “They do the transaction, the person signs with their finger and we can email them their receipt.

“There isn’t the whole process of having a sales associate stuck behind the cash wrap. They are really out on the floor interacting with customers and taking care of that whole transaction right there.”

The endless aisle
The outdoor retailer has 11 retail stores throughout the United States, with 80 percent of sales coming from online and mobile commerce.

Moosejaw uses IBM’s Smarter Commerce software for its mobile commerce, mobile POS and social business strategy.

Mobile is playing a key role in enabling the retailer’s endless aisle approach, which means that if a store does not carry what a shopper is looking for, store associates are trained to bring up Moosejaw’s Web site, order the item online if it is in the warehouse and ship it to the customer for free.

Recognizing that consumers want more product information than they might normally find on store shelves or displays, store associates use mobile devices to access a wider selection of merchandise than is available in stores, which stock 4,000 to 5,000 product SKUs, while the warehouse used for fulfilling online orders holds about 80,000 products.

Store associates can also use the devices to check competitive prices and extend a price match to ensure that the customer receives the best price.

Newer store models have only two traditional payment terminals and up to four iPads in addition to the iPod touches that store associate have.

An early adopter
A store in downtown Detroit that was originally opened as a pop-up location but has become a permanent location features only mobile POS and no traditional payment terminals.

Moosejaw was an early adopter of mobile to enhance the customer experience. In 2006, it launched its first mobile WAP site and in 2009, its first iPhone site.

Then in 2011, the retailer introduced a responsive Web design version of its main site, which has helped drive significant increases in the amount of traffic and sales coming from mobile.

More than 30 percent of Moosejaw customers are shopping on the company’s mobile site, up from 25 percent a year ago, with about 16 percent of sales coming from mobile devices and tablets.

Going forward, the retailer will focus on driving more traffic via mobile advertising and figuring out how to drive conversions for smartphone and tablet users.

The retailer also has a strong social presence, with close to 100,000 fans.

“We are looking to make it a much more seamless experience for making that endless aisle transaction,” Mr. Comerford said.

“As the gear business gets more specialized, we do see the endless aisle approach becoming more and more important,” he said.

“Mobile plays a key part in that. You are right there on the floor and to walk someone back to the cash wrap and flip around the screen on the existing terminals to try to walk them through that, it is clunky.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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