By : Ken Bundy
May 31, 2017 08:00 AM
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are facing challenging times. With online and mobile shopping penetration reaching a saturation point and Amazon becoming many peoples’ first choice for purchases, brick and mortar retailers need to offer something unique and engaging to stand out from the competition and give customers a compelling reason to visit a physical store.
Store transformation must be a central part of any retailer's strategy. Retail technology can help create the 'wow' factor that’s needed to really grab a consumers' attention.
Often, how these technologies are used in-store differentiate the leaders of the retail sector from the laggards. Research conducted by the IHL Group on behalf of NCR Retail shows that almost two-thirds of leading retailers are prioritizing the creation of a strong in-store experience.
Transforming your checkout solution
We all know customers expect great service and hate to wait. Offering different checkout options lets your customers select one that is most comfortable and convenient for them. The checkout is a fundamental part of any effective store transformation strategy. This serves as the foundation for all other key technologies, such as mobile POS, personal shopping solutions, and digital engagement technologies, as well as provides the efficiency and flexibility that consumers now demand.
In addition, retailers must empower associates with access to customer and order data, to help drive customer conversions and build customer satisfaction in-store. In other words, retailers must make the in-store checkout process as easy and flexible as what customers have come to experience online. When retailers do this, they help ensure customers complete a purchase inside the store instead of driving them to a competitor or an online alternative.
Making staff more mobile
Another essential in-store technology is mobile tools that can give associates the power to assist customers wherever they are in the store. IHL's research shows that companies with mobile point-of-sale installed see average sales increases that are 92 percent higher than those who do not.
However, POS is just the start of what can be achieved with mobile technology. Provided associates are effectively trained, mobile technologies help associates more effectively engage with customers in-store and access a range of functions such as inventory lookups or product information. The result of this is that customers feel they're being better served on a personal level, and that translates directly into higher sales.
The right connectivity
For mobile tools to be effective, retailers need a robust and reliable Wi-Fi network.
This offers benefits to customers, as it allows them to get online in the store, connect with the retailer’s mobile application, lookup up additional items, download coupons and rewards. It’s also great for associates to tap into their store’s unified commerce solutions to give customers the information they need on products and services.
IHL's research highlights just how essential this is when it comes to transforming a store for today's environment. It noted that retailers providing their associates with Wi-Fi have realized sales increases 663% higher than those that do not. This makes the technology an indispensable part of any store transformation strategy, as it is a key foundation upon which mobile tools that deliver the 'wow' factor are built.
For more information or to learn if your business is unified commerce ready, please take a brief survey to determine how green is your grass. www.ncr.com/greengrass