EE launches 4G connected point of sale proposition for pop-ups


Report commissioned by operator found that UK pop-up retail sector is growing by 12.3pc with turnover £2.3 billion over last 12 months

EE has launched a new 4G bundle that provides businesses in the retail sector with a connected tablet, a contactless payment device, and point of sale (POS) software that the operator claims can save retailers up to 80 per cent on costs.

The cheapest 4G Connected Retail proposition includes a connected iPad (Mini or Air 2) and a licence for POS app Shopwave and starts at £70 per month.

Other bundles can include iZettle payments solution, a printer, a Bouncepad iPad stand and a cash drawer.

The bundles rolled out today (August 13), with the first retailers using the proposition the winners of retail space marketplace Appear Here’s Space for Ideas competition. The winners were cargo bike builder Porterlight, 3D printed jewellery brand WonderLuk , ethical clothing brand Run&Fell, and The Mini Edit, a children’s online clothing brand.

Mike TomlinsonEE director of small business Mike Tomlinson (pictured, right) said: “The pop-up sector is rapidly evolving, with pop-up shops now contributing £2.3 billion to the economy every year. The sector’s growth is driven by retailers and brands of all sizes using pop-ups to create new experiences, products, and locations for their customers.

“With Connected Retail from EE, we’re providing 4G connected products designed specifically to help temporary and permanent retailers be even more flexible and productive – getting them online quickly, and helping them to engage with customers via social media, take payments, and manage inventory.”

Britain’s Pop-Up Retail Economy report

The launch comes as EE released a report in to the UK’s pop-up retail economy that found the sector grew by 12.3 per cent over the last 12 months, with turnover of £2.3 billion.

There are now more than 10,000 pop-ups retail outlets employing more than 26,000 people across the country and accounting for 0.76 per cent of all UK retail sales, up from 0.6 per cent the previous year.

02_The Mini EditThe report, carried out with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found that one of the biggest obstacles facing pop-ups is internet connection, with 40 per cent saying they struggle to process payments due to connectivity issues.

On average, small retailers lost £500 over the last year through not being able to process card payments, with 44 per cent claiming traditional POS technologies are too expensive.

Stock management is also increasingly becoming a key challenge, particularly as retailers try to manage sales and inventory across online, permanent and temporary shops. 25 per cent of retailers claim to have lost money because of a lack of stock management systems.

Cebr managing economist Rob Harbron said: “Pop-up retail is continuing to become an increasingly viable platform for both people with new business ideas and for established businesses looking to engage with customers in new and innovative ways.

“Successful retailers increasingly need to offer customers the ability to shop when and where they want. As such, the flexibility of pop-up stores makes the format increasingly attractive. However, without appropriate investment in technology, efficiently co-ordinating a range of platforms is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses.” Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.21.21