Retailers rush to adopt mobile checkout

We've all been there — zipping through aisles, gathering items into our carts, only to get stymied waiting in a long checkout line. (Why is it that we're always behind the lady who pays exclusively in coins?) Those days may soon be over though, as more brick-and-mortar retailers start to adopt mobile tech to speed the checkout process.

Remind you of Apple stores and how its employees handle customer payments with iOS devices? If so, then you hit the nail on the head.

J.C. Penney's POS (point-of-sale) plans include equipping salespeople with iPod Touches or installing self-checkout terminals. Its new Levi's stores don't even have cash registers — this weekend, employees will only check out customers via iPads. By the end of 2012, the retailer hopes to have mobile devices integrated into each of its 1,100 locations.

The department store isn't the only one. Nordstrom, as well as Costco and Sam's Club, already have or are planning their own "line busting" initiatives — which can vary from mobile checkout to using the devices as mobile "scanners," to shorten the cashwrap process. And in Boston, servers at restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods have long used handhelds to place orders and accept payments.

While any business that deals with the public should always work on improving their customer experience, physical retail stores have a unique challenge, considering how huge e-commerce and online shopping has become. To stay competitive, these shops need to make sure their in-store experiences are as attractive and efficient as possible, and they're flocking to mobile technology to help in that mission.

So, R.I.P. counters and cash registers. Your days are numbered.

[via USA Today]