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Mobile Trading

Mobile sales, mobile commerce is an approach to organizing the business process of working with retail outlets, which implies a high degree of automation and active use of smartphones, tablets, and similar mobile devices. In practice, the same is often called the very software and hardware solution for organizing mobile commerce.

Mobile sales as part of mobile commerce

There are some differences to keep in mind that separate IT solutions for mobile commerce into a separate class. Mobile sales solutions are designed primarily to automate the work of merchandisers, etc., that is, they are mainly used in the B2B segment. When it comes to, for example, providing an opportunity for a B2C consumer to place an order through a mobile device, then we are no longer talking about mobile sales, but, rather, about mobile purchases, that is, about m-commerce.

Although, in a broader sense, mobile sales can sometimes be understood as mobile commerce in general (including the B2C segment) – since the sales process in one way or another involves cellular communications and mobile devices (for example, selling content, mobile sites of online stores, settlements via SMS ).

Story

The term mobile selling (mobile commerce) is well-established and includes the word “mobile” for historical reasons since when the concept of mobile selling was widespread and it was mobile cell phones, no PDAs, that were used. Therefore, the term “mobile sales” sometimes causes erroneous associations with the sale of mobile phones or even with the efficiency and “mobility” of the sellers themselves (salespeople, van-selling, etc.).

Devices

Currently, mobile sales systems mainly use standard commercial smartphones and tablet computers with installed additional software that allows you to receive data on product balances in the seller's warehouse, current prices, discounts, a list of customers, receivables and send generated orders via mobile communication (via WiFi or USB interface – when visiting the office) directly into the accounting or management accounting program.

Developers and prevalence

Software solutions of the class “mobile sales” and “mobile trade” for automating the work of sales representatives, merchandisers, forwarders, and other categories of “traveling” employees are widespread. This direction is actively developing and is associated with other similar widely known solutions for trade automation, for example, CRM. Leading vendor companies such as Microsoft (based on Microsoft Dynamics platform) and many others are engaged in development.

A number of leading domestic and foreign companies on the market are actively developing software solutions for mobile sales. The functionality of the available platforms for mobile sales is rapidly expanding due to new opportunities available to users (statistics, the transmission of visual information, questionnaires, monitoring, collection of marketing information, navigation, etc.).

In modern business (distribution of goods), the presence of data from the central accounting system in a mobile device is no longer enough to have additional advantages over competitors and to qualitatively increase the level of distribution. Now more and more distributors impose additional requirements on specialized software for mobile employees: calculating the recommended order, informing the sales agent about the status of the sales plan, offering to select recommended items of goods depending on the status of the outlet, calculating the number of orders of the outlet and issuing the result for providing an additional discount, providing the mobile agent with a sequence of actions required to be performed at the point of sale, etc. All this additional functionality allows you to minimize the time spent by a mobile employee at the client by 30-50%, compared to the time when working with paper media, as well as to work without difficulty with a huge amount of information necessary for successful sales. Additional capabilities of the software allow you to transfer quantitative distribution to the plane of quality distribution, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the distributor company and linking the end client (point of sale) not to the mobile employee, but to the company he represents. This allows the company to the distributor not to disrupt the work between it and the outlet when a mobile employee is fired. and also work without difficulty with a huge array of information necessary for successful sales. Additional capabilities of the software allow you to transfer quantitative distribution to the plane of quality distribution, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the distributor company and linking the end client (point of sale) not to the mobile employee, but to the company he represents. This allows the company to the distributor not to disrupt the work between it and the outlet when a mobile employee is fired. and also work without difficulty with a huge array of information necessary for successful sales. Additional capabilities of the software allow you to transfer quantitative distribution to the plane of quality distribution, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the distributor company and linking the end client (point of sale) not to the mobile employee, but to the company he represents. This allows the company to the distributor not to disrupt the work between it and the outlet when a mobile employee is fired. but to the company he represents. This allows the company to the distributor not to disrupt the work between it and the outlet when a mobile employee is fired. but to the company he represents. This allows the company to the distributor not to disrupt the work between it and the outlet when a mobile employee is fired.

The main advantages of mobile trading

  • Efficiency, the ability to work in real-time, reducing the number of visits to the central office
  • Reducing the time for creating orders (25-50%) at the point of sale, due to convenient work with a large number of goods
  • Increase in the number of points visited per day (by saving time for accepting an application and completely freeing from the dictation of the order by phone)
  • Obtaining all data from the central office for conducting successful sales (balances, prices, sales history for a point of sale, accounts receivable, recommended order, sales plan, customer information, customer discounts, etc.)
  • Elimination of empty items of goods in the order (that is, items of goods that are currently not in stock), and replacing them with similar ones are available.
  • Increasing the personal responsibility of sales representatives and merchandisers, operational control over their work, reducing errors, and increasing labor productivity.
  • The ability to track the movement of employees on the map (if there is a GPS sensor in the mobile device and this function is supported by the program).
  • The ability to use standard inexpensive smartphones or tablets based on the Android OS (up to RUB 10,000).
  • Minimizing paperwork and reducing the cost of operators for receiving orders by phone
  • Optimization of warehouse balances of distribution companies
  • A certain increase in the image of the distributor company in the eyes of customers

Development and prospects

The issue of the prospects of integrating the functionality of text recognition by mobile devices with mobile commerce and electronic document management systems is discussed.

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