It’s obvious that online shopping has transformed buying behaviour and customer expectations. Amazon in particular has been more influential than any other, serving up an ecosystem of unbiased product reviews and revolutionising delivery.
With this retailer you can see instantly if an item is in stock, and get an accurate view of how long it will take to get to you. Data collected also allows the retailer to personalise the experience and empower the customer through helpful sections such as ‘you may also like’, ‘frequently bought together’ and ‘customers who bought this item also bought’. These create cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for retailers, whilst giving customers information that helps them to feel more informed.
Many multi-channel retailers have successfully introduced much of this functionality into their own websites, creating powerful online experiences to go with their bricks-and-mortar stores. However, the online and in-store experience of the brand are often very different. You might get fantastic customer service in the shop, and experience the absolute opposite when you buy online.
When either shopping experience fails to match up to the expectations of that brand it affects the other, creating a lack of harmony in the consumer’s mind that weakens their perception of the organisation. Customers don’t see channels; they see One Store. That’s why connecting the in-store experience with the online experience is an important goal for retailers right now.
In doing this, one particular challenge is that customers are accustomed to more detailed descriptions, peer reviews and useful recommendations. They can get this information on a retailer’s website, but it’s not available in the store – making it harder for them to make a purchase decision.
In this regard, more technology in bricks-and-mortar stores can help retailers to provide the extra information customers now expect, improving customer satisfaction, while enabling a more consistent experience of the brand.
There are three important areas to consider:
- The Connected Shopper: What can be done to make connections with customers using the devices that they already bring to the store? How can retailers help them to shop, point them towards products and offer personalised discounts?
- The In-Store Experience: How can retailers re-invent the in-store experience and use technology to provide a more informative and interactive shopping experience? How can retailers do this in a way that also speaks to the values of the brand?
- The Staff: How can staff be empowered with devices and information that allow them to add more value to a customer’s shopping experience? How can staff get constant store stock visibility and help customers to find relevant accessories for a particular product?
The technology exists to provide answers to all of these questions. This technology enables retailers to bridge the gaps in the brand experience, replicating the strengths of online shopping in-store to better serve the customer.
Zebra offers the complete range of end-to-end solutions, specifically designed to meet the needs of retailers; from mobile computers and scanners, to speciality label & receipt printers, RFID, wireless infrastructure, kiosks, card, mobile and desktop printers, software and services.
Find out more about the Zebra solutions available to help you meet the expectations of the modern customer.