By Karen Deckard, Customer Success Manager, Retail Management Solutions

Mobile technology is changing the way we live and the way we do business in more ways than I can keep up with. As I’m typing this article on my laptop, I have a cell phone within arm’s reach and a tablet standing by for jotting down notes. And believe it or not, this is becoming the norm for many people. So it’s only logical that mobile technology is now becoming a staple in the point-of-sale vertical. But unlike many technology advancements that seem to overstimulate and distance us from the personal interactions of days gone by, a handheld register in the pharmacy actually creates a more personal and individualized customer experience.  

Of course, using a mobile device for deliveries or at a drive-up window is what most people think of when faced with the prospect of adding mobile technology to their pharmacy. In reality, the possibilities for use are endless. Here are a few of my favorite innovations for mobile point-of-sale in today’s pharmacy: 

Point of sale or point of service? The checkout counter is a barrier between the pharmacist, technician or clerk, and the customer. It creates a sense of finality before the first item is even scanned. But what if a customer needs something he or she couldn’t find, or needs advice on the best supplement to take? Mobile POS allows you to check a customer out anywhere in the store. No need to run back and forth, no sending a customer on a wild goose chase to aisle 10. Simply complete the transaction where the interaction actually happens.

Curbside delivery. Drive-thru windows are great, but not every pharmacy can have one. This doesn’t mean that the convenience offered by the drive-thru window has to be forfeited. Curbside delivery is a great alternative, but if you’ve ever done this at a restaurant, you know how irritating it can be when the server has to run back and forth to grab the order, take your credit card, print the credit-card slip, and come back to get your signature. With mobile POS, you can run the entire transaction in one continuous interaction. 

We call it line busting. Most of the time you get by just fine with whatever number of registers you have in your store, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Mobile technology can help make long lines a thing of the past. There’s no reason for a customer buying a soda and a candy bar with a credit card to wait in a line full of customers picking up prescriptions and receiving patient counseling. Simply pull quick transactions out of the register line to shorten everyone’s wait. 

Special events. Sidewalk sales, a booth at the local health fair, or a flu shot table: Being able to accept credit cards and run a transaction accurately at these events is just as important to customer service as any regular transaction within the pharmacy. 

If you don’t think you need mobile point of sale, I encourage you to take a closer look at your pharmacy. Technology can fill a gap not just in efficiencies, but in service and overall customer satisfaction, as well. CT