Grow Your Business With Mobile Payments Like Nordstrom & Sephora


A few weekends ago the husband and I drove down to Seattle for a mini getaway. After a 3 hour car ride from Vancouver and two Starbucks venti lattes later, we finally arrived. Fuelled on coffee, our first stop was Nordstrom. We were ready to shop.

I’d never been before but had heard good things. The moment I stepped inside, I knew the rumours were true. I shopped like a mad woman, and was happy I had listened to my friends about checking out Nordstrom.

A few hours later, and with a pile of clothes in our hands, we were ready to pay. But, the excitement came to a screeching halt. What caused this? The extremely long line up that was standing between me and the rest of our Seattle getaway. By now I was tired, hungry and a little cranky; the last thing I wanted to do was stand in a lineup that was a mile long, and I was seriously considering walking away empty handed.

We were ready to pay. But, the excitement came to a screeching halt.

That’s when my husband noticed that we didn’t have to wait in the line to pay. Nordstrom had a sales associate in almost every department that was accepting mobile payments. Relieved, we paid quickly and left. Nordstrom made their sale.

Like myself, customers are tired of lines and that’s being made apparent in the way new technologies are being embraced. Soon, accepting mobile payments won’t be a novelty, but a part of everyday life. Big name retailers are making the jump and seeing enormous success, so here are three reasons you should go beyond your register and embrace mobile.

Preventing Lost Sales

Waiting in line gives a customer time to think. This time gives the customer a chance to re-evaluate what they’ve picked out for themselves. They start to analyze things like cost, necessity, and if what they have in their cart is really “worth it”. If you think “shopping cart abandonment” happens only online, think again. In fact, it could be happening to you right now.

Thinking back to my Nordstrom experience, if I hadn’t found their mobile associate, I would have rather abandoned those items than wait in that crazy lineup. The big (and smart) brands know this and have implemented mobile checkout in their store.

Lets face it, mobile is a part of our lives. We tweet, share and like on our phones. We Google, shop, text, track what we eat, do online banking… you get the picture. We use our phones for just about everything, so it’s only appropriate that we’re now embracing checking out with our mobile devices.

By giving people what they want–mobile checkout–you will not only be preventing lost sales but also improving upon the customer experience.

Improving Customer Experience

Sephora, a large beauty retailer, is the place I turn to for anything cosmetic related. I know that when I go there I’m going to get top notch service in every way. What really impresses me is the ability to checkout directly with the sales associate I’ve just spent the last hour getting to know and trust, and without waiting in line.

Allowing me to checkout with that same associate creates a seamless experience that has me coming back again and again. Sephora knows this and over the years has really amped up their mobile checkout experience.

Johnna Marcus, director of mobile and digital store marketing at Sephora says “Innovation and technology is really in Sephora’s DNA.” And they are really putting their money where their mouth is.

Every one of their stores now has at least a handful of mobile devices ready to accept payments, and some of their stores have gone completely mobile.  They have found that especially during busy times such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, allowing customers to checkout through mobile has made them very happy.

Unlike other companies where a shopper can checkout anywhere in the store, Sephora has mapped out a few key spots where checking out on mobile is the most convenient. Their Beauty Studio, where they provide services such as makeup application, has become one of their best spots.

If a woman likes everything she just tried, she doesn’t have to wait in line, she can pay right on the spot. Making the checkout process part of the painless and convenient shopping experience simply means happy customers… Exhibit A: me.

Sephora says they believe mobile payments is about enhancing the customer service experience and building relationships with their customers. Which is exactly what people are craving.

Consider this for a minute: Many stores in Vancouver, where I live, offer the exact same products as Sephora at about the same price, yet why do people consistently choose Sephora again and again? The answer lies in the personalized experience. Give people that, and they will choose you over the competition.

Increasing Revenue

Think about this for a moment. It’s lunch time, you’re hungry and you’ve been smelling the delicious aroma of food trucks out your office window all morning. As soon as the clock strikes 12, you’re out the door with your credit card in hand. You head to the first food truck and unfortunately they only accept cash. So, you try your luck at the second vendor and again, cash only. You try your hand a third time and finally you’re in luck, they accept cash, credit and debit.

Which food truck do you think is making the most amount of money? The third most likely! By offering your customers a more conveinent way to pay, you are giving yourself more opportunity to increase revenue. That’s what Nordstrom has done and they are seeing huge benefits from it.

According to Forbes, since implementing mobile payments, Nordstrom has seen a retail sales revenue increase of 15.3%! A spokesperson for Nordstrom, Colin Johnson, stated the company wanted to make the checkout a faster and more convenient experience for their customers.

With mobile, the store’s staff can complete a customer’s purchase anywhere on the floor. Now, with more mobile POS devices than regular registers, shoppers can bypass those potentially long checkout lines, with less time to reconsider their purchase.

When you offer mobile as a new way to pay, you are eliminating the search for a register, the walk to the lineup, and the long wait. As soon as the customer makes the decision to buy, the sales associate is right there and equipped to complete the transaction. There is no waiting, debating or reconsidering the purchase.

Start Accepting Payments

If you think mobile payments seems like this big scary project to tackle, take comfort in the fact large companies like Nordstrom and Sephora have blazed a trail that you can follow. They’ve proven that happier customers come with bigger profits.

Although there is still no magic formula on how to take payments, giving customers the power to choose when and where they complete their purchase is a delightful experience that they’ll be happy to share with their friends. Just like my recommendation for Nordstrom.

The checkout experience is rapidly changing. According to a new report from Boston Retail Partners, it is expected that the number of mobile friendly retailers will grow by roughly 300 percent in the next two years. These retailers will be utilizing mobile point-of-sales to transform and improve the experience and relationship their customers share with them.

Retailers are now down to two choices, embrace mobile payments and reap the rewards or get left behind.

Interested in taking mobile payments?

See what Payfirma mobile payments can do for you.