Sales no longer need to stop when closing your store at the end of the day thanks to a new Australian-made app that gives merchants the ability to sell items from their physical store even when it's closed.

Tillless is an app that turns a smartphone into a mobile point of sale terminal. In comes in two forms, the Shopper App and the Merchant App.

Tillless Shopper Screenshot

The Shopper App provides the ability for customers to pick up an item, scan the barcode using their phone's camera and pay for it using their credit card details that have been pre-programmed into their phones. Or, if a store is closed they could scan the display from outside the store, buy it and have the product delivered to their homes or 'click and collect' from the store during opening hours.

After scanning an item customers can purchase it as they would online. 

On the other side of the virtual counter is the Merchant App which allows retailers to set up a store, add products and have them ‘ready for sale in moments.’ It is also used for simple store reporting and to validate shopper purchases so that app doesn't spark a wave of shoplifting smartphone users.

Tillless Merchant App

Tillless co-founders Jason Elston and Matthew Sinclair started “bashing around ideas” at the end of 2012 and have been working on and off on the app for a year.

Today the app is still in soft launch mode, it’s live in the app store but hasn't been rolled out to any stores yet, although they've had some promising leads for potential new clients.

The pitch for retailers is that by "putting the power of the purchase in the customer’s hands" Tillless will cut down on checkout queues, freeing staff up to do more actual selling by engaging with customers. It also provides retailers with information about what customers are interested in and, in the future could be developed further for “retail experience management,” automatically providing product recommendations based on prior purchases and rewarding loyalty.

Elston and Sinclair have focused on keeping the barriers to entry low for shoppers and retailers. People are already accustomed to using their phones while shopping (often for showrooming) and the app can scan existing 1D and 2D barcodes.

Tillless is just one of a number of ideas being floated at the moment about how online shopping concepts work in the physical retail environment. Appliance Retailer asked Tillless co-founder Matthew Sinclair how retailers can spot the difference between a good business idea and a gimmick?

“The best ideas are the ones that generate sales,” he said. "A lot of the ideas are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and even what is legal," he added. For example  during the Online Retailer Conference and Expo in Sydney last week, Tillless was on display alongside a company exploring deliveries via drone, which faces some serious hurdles before it gets off the ground, so to speak.

Sinclair said that with Tillless they hope to give retailers opportunities to sell when they normally wouldn't be able to, such as in busy periods, after hours, at pop-up stores, trade shows or conferences.

Tillless Shopper App provides shoppers with a receipt to have their purchase validated.
Tillless Merchant App shows store details