Bealls uses mobility to drive in-store customer engagement

A 103-year-old department store retailer is banking on a new mobility system to better serve in-store shoppers.

Bealls has armed associates across all Bealls Stores, Bealls Outlets and Burkes Outlet with new mobile devices designed to improve productivity, enrich omnichannel fulfillment and enhance the customer experience. While this is not Bealls first try at mobile technology, the new system modernizes processes that were typically stymied by its previous legacy devices that featured poor visual display screens and unreliable functionality. The outdated devices also hurt both worker productivity and the overall shopper experience.

Through a partnership with Zebra Technologies, Bealls added the Zebra's TC51 touch computer and mobile printer, a system that runs on an Android operating system. The devices enable users to fulfill online orders with store inventory, conduct more accurate and speedy price markdowns, and assist shoppers on the sales floor.

Since adding the system, Bealls now makes markdowns 25% to 35% faster, and it has freed up associates to spend more time with customers on the sales floor. In addition, the devices are boosting the productivity and accuracy of order picking by shortening the time it takes for shoppers to retrieve their online order, whether they pick it up in store, or have it delivered to their home, the company added.

“Zebra's TC51 touch computer plays an important role in our stores, both for our associates and for our customers,” said John Greene, director of solution delivery for store systems at Bealls.

“As customer expectations change, we have to adapt and exceed their demands for a great experience online and in the store,” Greene said. “The TC51 helped us do that by arming our associates with leading technology to interact more efficiently and effectively with customers in the store while enabling our omnichannel strategy."

Bealls operates more than 530 stores in 16 states.