By Michael Benedict on June 24, 2015
If you own or operate a retail store, you know that today’s shoppers love technology. They are looking for the best shopping experiences and prices, and are using technology to their advantage. With just a smartphone and a few minutes, they can find the best prices, the best products, and the best services. To succeed now, retailers need to change strategies and “fight fire with fire.” That is, you need to use technology to meet your customers’ demands. Customer service and the “customer experience” are no longer enough.
In today’s retail world, customer engagement is king. According to a 2014 poll by Gallup, in consumer electronics retail, “fully engaged shoppers make 44 percent more visits per year to their preferred retailer than do actively disengaged shoppers.” While discounts and deals might entice them, most customers really want innovations that make their retail sales experience more convenient, efficient, and engaging. Here are a few ways to use technology to get and keep your customers engaged while in your store.
In-store app: In a recent Cisco survey, up to 73 percent of correspondents said they would use a retailer app while shopping. An app can guide customers to your merchandise, alert shoppers to deals, and help them locate items and pass along reviews.
QR Codes: Get customers to scan these codes with smartphones and send them a product video, image gallery, or special offer.
Mobile payments: Sixty percent of today’s customers are interested in mobile payments, the Cisco survey found. And you’re already federally mandated to update your point-of-sale (POS) systems to handle pin-and-chip-based credit cards by October 2015. Get ahead of the curve by taking steps to also equip your POS systems with a mobile payment solution.
Digital receipts: Digital receipts allow you to cut your paper bill while giving customers a better way to track purchases. Digital receipts also let you send discounts or rewards right to your customers’ smartphones.
Beacons: Located around your store, these transmitters can interact with your customers’ smartphones if they’ve installed your in-store app. They alert customers to discounts and awards.
In-store digital signs: Using beacons and in-store apps, these signs can alert customers to deals tailored to their interests. They can also show estimated wait times at “smart” checkout lines. It’s expensive to install, but 77 percent of shoppers would like to see this in your store.
The right retail technology solutions will bring customers in and then keep them in your store. Want more detail about engaging your customers with technology? Download the free eBook, 4 Ways Technology Helps Retailers Thrive in the Modern Marketplace. Or search from our collection of Retail mobile form/app templates to get ideas on processes you can digitize and automate to improve the customer experience.
What else is in the eBook? Insights and practical advice on how to: