In 2013, following intensive market research, Al Mana Lifestyle General Manager John McEvoy decided the time was right to enter the Irish retail landscape and open a number of iConnect Apple Premium Retail stores. As part of an ambitious European expansion strategy starting in Ireland, McEvoy wanted to present a new shopping experience to customers while utilising the latest innovations in retail technology.
McEvoy’s vision for the ‘Customer Experience’ involved the customer benefitting from a whole new style of interaction with iConnect’ s team of Experience Consultants; the POS technology needed to support a strong one-2-one relationship between the customer and iConnect staff.
In line with McEvoys vision, a mobile POS solution was required. An innovative and functionally sound mobile POS would mean the end of queuing at a fixed point of sale. With the proper technology, the complete retail transaction could be completed anywhere in-store thanks to an Apple™ mobile point of sale solution, all the while ensuring that best practice retail policies and procedures continued to be supported.
His search for an Irish technology partner led him to eirpoint™ who have been innovators in mobile retail solutions since 2000. The company researches, designs and implements mobile retail solutions for Windows™, Apple™ and Android™ smart mobile devices. eirpoint™ , founded by Niall Cannon, list Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Heineken, Bristol Airport, Dubarry Of Ireland & Cliffs Of Moher as end users of a suite of over 3000 mobile retail devices in Ireland and the UK.
If you have visited one of iConnect’s stores in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre or Whitewater Shopping Cenre in Newbridge, then you will have experienced the mobile POS checkout that is unique in Ireland today. The solution developed by eirpoint™ successfully supports the new customer check-out experience envisaged by McEvoy. The customer has their goods scanned by an iConnect sales member who carries the POS system on them at all times, pays and walks out of the store without ever having to stand in line at a traditional POS counter.
The mobile POS solution supports bar code scanning, emailed or printed receipts and is fully integrated with a mobile Chip & Pin device. Cannon explains, “Mobile POS will never completely replace traditional counter based point of sale systems; however, for retailers who want to support a deeper more customer focused type of service then mobile POS is a perfect fit.”
Cannon continues “Our next step must be to gain momentum and scale in the rollout of mobile POS, and, with that in mind, we are looking towards the UK market. Our solution is currently being used by Dubarry of Ireland in their pop-up shops on the busy UK country event circuit. With its integrated mobile chip and pin device, mobile POS makes secure transactions possible in the most challenging of environments. There is no need for complicated infrastructure, heavy hardware or long set up times. We believe that our mobile POS is the future of retail for retailers and shoppers alike.”
In order to compliment the download of their mobile POS solution from iTunes™ (iOS) and Google™ Play (Android™) eirpoint™ have also migrated their Microsoft Windows client retail ERP solution to the cloud. When the full solution is released later this year the POS “app” will be free to download. Connections of the mobile POS to the cloud ERP will be on the basis of a SaaS (Software As A Service) offering. The retailer will pay a monthly subscription to access the cloud ERP solution.
The integrated credit card processing device they are using is a Bluetooth™ Chip & Pin device that connects with Apple™ and Android™ smartphones. The device will cost a retailer €100 with a monthly subscription cost of €10 per month. The processing fees are competitive and as Cannon explains, “The fees for processing cards are priced very competitively based on a transparent margin charged above the Interchange+ wholesale rates. We can offer Visa credit card processing beginning at a rate of 1.15%.”