Mobile Point-of-Sale Systems to Triple Among Retailers by 2018 Credit: Shutterstock

If your business isn't ready to adopt mobile point-of-sale technology, it may be falling behind.

A new report from marketing research firm Infogroup found that the number of retailers deploying mobile checkout systems will triple in the next five years.

According to the report, about 26 percent of retailers already use mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems, which allow businesses to complete transactions from anywhere in their store, track inventory on the fly and accept payments directly from mobile devices.

The technology comes in many different forms, from credit-card reader add-ons for tablets to near-field communication devices that allow businesses to accept mobile payments from a customer's smartphone.

Of the 100 retail executives surveyed, more than half said they plan to adopt the technology by 2018. Just 23 respondents said they're not at all interested in mobile POS tech.

In addition to making checkouts easier, the technology has the potential to reveal a trove of information about inventory flow and customer spending habits — but many retailers fail to capitalize on those opportunities, the report found.

"The adoption of mobile POS is a great way to capture valuable customer information, but our survey revealed that retailers struggle with using the data that they already have," Don Patrick, Infogroup's targeting solutions president, said in a statement. "Retailers must also invest in analytics to maximize ROI [return on investment] and improve the customer experience."

Meanwhile, the prospect of using mobile POS tech to accept mobile payments from a customer's smartphone may become more enticing as consumers grow more accustomed to the idea. However, for the most part, the technology has failed to catch on so far.