Aurora Fashions is trialling mobile payment in eight shops in a move towards potentially offering self-checkout.
The fashion group – which owns Oasis, Warehouse and Coast – has introduced the system at stores including Oasis in Covent Garden whereby staff can scan products anywhere in the store using a scanner worn around the neck. The system, provided by BT Expedite, then allows the transaction to be completed at the till point with an iPad connecting to the Chip & PIN device via a Wi-Fi network. It is designed to axe queues as staff take customers directly to pay once the product has been scanned.
Aurora group strategic development director Ish Patel said the trial is the “beginning of a journey” that could potentially lead the fashion retailer to allowing customers to serve themselves.
“We’ll be looking to start challenging how we lay stores out. That might mean truly mobile devices that take payment and send electronic receipts, and it could potentially mean self-checkout.”
Staff can also use the devices to scan products and check stock availability, and also to check the website if customers are looking for specific products.
The retailer is exploring other ways of using the iPads, including allowing customers to take pictures of themselves in clothes they are trying on, and uploading images to social networks.
Patel said the retailer would see how the devices perform over Christmas before deciding on a roll-out. He said: “There are so many things we need to get right – what’s the experience going to be, how do we charge them? We need to ensure we can support a mass roll-out and we’re working through that at the moment.”
Patel said customers’ growing use of mobile phones in store means exploring new technology is a move more retailers need to make.
Two stores in each brand – Karen Millen, Oasis, Warehouse and Coast – are trialling the system.