In retail, we have slowly witnessed a considerate shift toward newer tech; barcode scanning in the mid 70s; the first self checkout system in the early 90s; and recently there has been an explosion of mobile tech and self scanning units. With so much technology on offer, it’s important to implement it where the impact is lasting.
Two main areas where technology can drive lasting value for your business lie within sales and operations.
Operations: Empowering Staff, Stock Management & Food Waste.
Sales: Customer Experience & Targeted Promotions
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how vital frontline staff are for retailers. The frontline staff spend their time closer to customers than anyone else in the business, therefore ensuring they can do their job to the best of their ability is essential. All the technology in the world can’t replicate being served by a real human being, but additional technology can improve the customer service dramatically.
Providing staff with mobile devices can unlock unseen potential such as; Mobile ordering to optimise queue time; real time alerts advising on when to open or close tills; or personal alerts to restock shelves (utilising smart weight sensors), the possibilities are endless.
Holding too much or too little stock both come with their own unique costs and challenges. It can be a balancing act to maintain optimal levels of stock whilst also ensuring not to dissatisfy customers due to a lack of choice.
Artificial intelligence can recognise patterns and predict shopper behaviour. Automation ensures that there is a steady flow of products and shelves are never empty.
Globally, 750 billion dollars each year is lost due to waste food. Coupled with the lost revenue is the damage to the environment. Saving food from being wasted is environmentally a smarter decision than eliminating cars and flights.
One proven proposal to minimise food waste is to incentivise the customer with promotions based around the sell by date. Integrating with the stock management system can allow for products nearing this date to be sold at a discount. Food approaching the sell-by date is still good to eat and is commonly thrown out. Typically, one-third of a product’s shelf-life remains after the sell-by date for the consumer to use at home
Word of mouth is often the best marketing tool a retailer can use. Building this customer loyalty base stems from creating an overall positive customer experience. The net benefit of increasing customer experience is that not only is the customer happy but it may lead to additional revenue down the line.
Provoking an emotion from a customer is essential in creating a positive customer experience, examples could be trust or intrigue. Deploying hand held scanners in-store and allowing them to create personalized shopping lists can relax a shopper and create an overall positive experience. Another positive experience in-store are cooking demonstrations that allow for retailers to engage with their customers and offer unique insights, such as ideas for dinner, with the ingredients promoted through digital signage in the area.
In the digital world personalisation is everywhere, from Youtube’s recommended videos to the localisation of the weather app on your phone. Traditionally, in-store retail has had a one size fits all approach to promotions.
With eCommerce, the experience is tailored specifically to the consumer, and at Intouch.com we have created a platform that enables you to personalize the shopping journey based on the customers in-store. After all, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
Interested to hear how technology can help elevate your business? We can help with the first steps. Get In touch!