The e-retailer heads into the holiday shopping season behind a 30% increase in fulfillment spending and a widening net loss. North American sales increased ...
Alex and Ani arms associates with mobile devices and realizes big gains.
Alex and Ani LLC decided before the 2012 holidays to as far as possible eliminate checkout lines in its stores. To accomplish that, the jewelry and accessories chain retailer co-developed with mobile technology provider Mobiquity Inc. a mobile checkout system that combines an app on an iPod Touch with a cradle that enables payment card swiping, bar code scanning and receipt printing. It outfitted each of its 24 stores with several of these mobile checkout systems.
Ensuring customers did not have to wait in long holiday lines proved a very beneficial strategy for the merchant. Alex and Ani says the mobile checkout system was in part responsible for a 318% increase in store sales year over year during the 2012 holiday season. Alex and Ani executives say it is difficult to narrow down exactly what percentage of the sales boost the mobile checkout system is responsible for, but say the system enabled staff to assist many more customers in the same amount of time, increasing sales in the process.
“Mobile checkouts have given the store environment a more intimate feel, and improved the flow of customer traffic while almost eliminating lines,” says Alex and Ani chief technology officer Joseph Lezon. “By integrating mobile into our point-of-sale system, we were able to positively impact the in-store shopping experience during the busy shopping season, which is exactly the kind of positive energy we want customers to associate with the Alex and Ani brand.”
With the mobile checkout system, Alex and Ani increased points of checkout from four to 10 in most of its 28 stores across the U.S., and in one store from five to 25. Alex and Ani says the resulting increase in sales opportunities enabled the retailer to hire more staff to personally assist customers.
“Mobility is already transforming the payments space, and retailers are adapting quickly to reap the benefits and enhance the customer experience, whether it’s in-store, on a device or online,” says Lori Cohen, Mobiquity chief marketing officer. “Alex and Ani is a perfect example of a retailer not only realizing immediate and significant return on their investment, but also creating a more fulfilling shopping experience for their customers.”