As consumers, we have been enjoying the benefits of online shopping for years. The ease of shopping when it suits us, availability of customer reviews, personalised offerings and product suggestions based on our past purchase behaviour are only a few of the perks that can make online shopping more appealing than shopping on the high street retail store.
The question has long been whether traditional bricks-and-mortar stores will be able to keep up with the e-commerce competitor. Does this mean the time is up for physical high street stores?
What can retailers do to optimise the retail customer experience to keep stores relevant?
To compete with online shopping platforms, retailers need to focus on enhancing their retail customer experience. One way this can be achieved by supporting sales assistants in their assisted selling process by giving them access to key information, such as real-time stock inventory, Results from our 2017 Retail Vision Study also highlight the trend of empowering shop employees with new technology: According to the survey, 85% of retailers plan to invest in tablets by 2021 to engage with shoppers and provide them with more detailed product information.
Just like when online, where customers have complete visibility on how many items in any size or colour are available to buy, sales assistants should have instant access to the same information in the palm of their hand so that they can inform customers coming in store. If an item is out of stock, sales assistants should be able to quickly check whether another store has the item and arrange for the customer to collect in store or for it to be delivered to their home.
There is also a huge potential for retailers to optimise their use of analytics. While online platforms and retailers and have been utilising the extensive amount of customer data for years, ‘traditional’ retailers still have more possibilities to explore. Using hand held devices to gains direct access to customers past shopping behaviour, the right technology can enable sales assistants to support the customer’s buying decision by showing them new product suggestions, reviews from other customers, or suitable supporting items and accessories. This would not only help personalise the communication between customer and sales staff, but also provide them with valuable upselling opportunities.
Finally, there is also an opportunity for retailers to increase their operational efficiency. Smart use of modern technology can enable staff to perform multiple functions using the same device. Applications that can be enabled on modern, easy-to-use handheld devices and tablets include price mark down, inventory checking, barcode scanning, and many other essential functionalities.
To find out more about how optimise the retail customer experience, and how technology can help you compete against e-commerce businesses and boost your instore sales, click on the link below: