Without a great customer experience, your retail business will collapse. Blunt? Yes. But true? Also yes. And when I say ‘great’, I don’t mean ‘okay-ish.’ I am talking about a level of customer experience that is second to none; the kind that makes your customers swipe their credit card every time they walk through your doors.
But how do you elevate your customer experience to that level? In today’s world, you have to take into consideration things like ‘showrooming’, which is when your customers window shop at your store and then purchase for (often) cheaper online. While some retailers may shake off their online competitors, the smarter among us will look for opportunities to leverage that ‘digital interface’ to create an in-store advantage.
And to this end, we’ve decided to compile a handy list of digital technologies that every retailer with a brick-and-mortar store should have in their back pocket.
1. Location Based Technologies: Creating Serendipity
Everyone’s got a WiFi or bluetooth-enabled smartphone glued to their hip. You can use location-based technologies like beacons, WiFi and geofencing to send push notifications, emails and text messages to potential customers as soon as they pass a specific virtual boundary.
Say you have a customer who purchased a pack of diapers from you last month. If they happen to pass your store, they will immediately receive an alert informing them about the offers you have on diapers. Busy moms have a lot going on; chances are she’ll be happy with the reminder and may also end up buying some cute onesies from your store while she’s at it. Ka-ching!
Location-based services can do even more than that. If you have an app for your store, your customers can also create a wishlist on it and when they’re within your geofence they’ll get a reminder to pick up said items so they don’t have to make another trip. Pretty cool, eh? It’s like a having a personal shopping assistant. And this holiday season is the perfect time to get started. Make use of location-based technologies and have your customers start ticking items off their wishlist. Send them push notifications about that Honest Company gift set they’ve been looking for, just one aisle over.
2. Digital Signs: Your New Window Displays
Imagine what would it be like for a customer to walk into your store and the first thing they see is a digital sign that flashes a deal. And what if that sign was interactive? Your customer could get started right away. There would be no need to wait for a sales staff to give a rundown of the deals; the signage does that part of the job for them.
Now, imagine for just a moment that your customer scrolls through some slides on a digital sign and selects the model that works for them. Voila! You’d have made a sale without actually having to sell them on anything.
Such digital strategies empower customers to make informed choices without any added pressure from a sales representative to buy something. Your customers can have all the information they need right at their fingertips! Pressured customers don’t buy as often as customers who feel both comfortable and well informed, so you’ll win on both fronts with digital signs and kiosks. Sounds like a win, doesn’t it?
What If I told you that your customers could also buy from these digital kiosks? You’d be able to cut down on man hours, have a happy customer and be ahead of the technology curve. Technology is pretty amazing right about now and it’s getting better and better by the year – especially for retailers.
Digital signs and kiosks are not gadgets of the future; they’re happening right now and you should make use of them to wow your customers before your competitors do.
Image Source: www.pinterest.com
Image Source: www.pinterest.com
3. NFC tags: Preferred Over QR codes
If you have a cell phone, you’ve heard of NFC technology. You’ve probably even used it yourself, right? Just in case you’re unfamiliar with NFC, they’re tiny little tags that consist of a chip and an antenna. These tags store information about products and promotions and can transmit them to a customer’s smartphone if is in close proximity to the retail outlet. NFC tags can be placed anywhere — on stickers, posters or products. If you can think of it, then an NFC tag can be put there!
The uses of these nifty little things range from providing coupon codes to letting customers have video demonstrations of products. NFC tags have a particularly interesting use case for retailers with a chain of outlets. Say, a customer can’t find a particular item in one of your stores, the NFC tag can immediately show him a list of your other stores where that item is in stock. Now, instead of spending time trying to locate that particular item, your customer can straight away go to another of your stores and pick it up.
If you want to pique the curiosity of your customers, it’s about time you considered using NFC tags.
Image Source. www.nfcworld.com
4. Mobile Payment Options: Increasing Convenience
Your clients have their phones, they like those phones and many see them as extensions of themselves. A third hand, even. They store their data, their schedules, balance their budgets, share pictures with their friends, and even buy products all from their cellphones.
When everything is happening on mobile, why isn’t payment at retail stores happening there too? Implement mobile payment options in your app and save your customers what they value most – time. Your customers won’t have to wait at the checkout counter. They can make instantaneous payments through their phones and be on their way. Even being the first in queue would take them longer than that.
It’s a matter of convenience, and the more convenient you make shopping, the more customers you’ll have. The math is there. Mobile shopping is on the rise and almost all major retailers have a way to pay with mobile devices. You should, too. It just makes sense.
Image Source: www.iphoneincanada.ca
5. Buy Online, Redeem In-Store
Pretty much everyone loves a good deal, right? There are endless apps and browser extensions to help you find the best deals online, but how do you get your customers to redeem those coupons at your retail store? Enter social media. You have fans and followers on various social media sites; time to mobilize them and lure them to your store through a social coupon.
Have your mobile app developers create a database of active coupons featuring the most attractive discounts and make them available on your social media sites. The catch? If you want to redeem them, print them and bring them to the store. Nobody, almost nobody, can resist a 50% discount. Your customers will thank you for a pleasurable shopping experience. They’ll probably even come back because they know that they know they’ll have the latest technology at their fingertips and they’ll be able to get stellar deals without having to jump through hoops.
Perspective Matters: Look at ‘Mobile’ Differently
You may have the savviest staff, the brightest window display, and your store maybe located in the city center, but unfortunately those don’t do much to improve your conversion rates. The only way to achieve a stellar footfall at your retail store is by going ‘digital.’
Amazon announced that nearly 70% of their holiday customers used mobile technology to shop. That alone should tell you what a pivotal role digital technology plays in the spending habits of consumers. Customers use their smartphones to locate the nearest stores, to contact customer support, to research products, and then to purchase them. Almost every aspect of a customer’s ‘path to purchase’ is experienced through a digital interface – computers, smartphones, tablets and wearable devices.
In this digital age there is nothing more important for a retailer than to stay competitive. To stay in the game you’ll need at least a few of these technologies.
Since there are countless digital options, if you’re ever confused about which one is the right fit for your retail store, an experienced mobile app development company like ours can get you up to speed.
Looking for a technology partner to build an engaging mobile experience for your customers?