It’s been over half a year since the world first learned of a novel coronavirus sweeping the globe. Though the retail industry was poorly-equipped to handle it in the beginning, it has since learned how to adapt. Now that retailers have had some time to observe how the pandemic has impacted the industry, it’s becoming clear that a technology upgrade is in order.
There are several key technologies that will become crucial in retail stores for them to achieve success in the pandemic landscape. Here are the top solutions:
Rugged Mobile Point of Sale Tablet Technology
Because of social distancing efforts, mobile tablet technology will only grow more prevalent. Curbside service will be necessary in many places, if not everywhere, and mobile point of sale will play a large part in that. With tablet POS technology, you can use the tablet to ring customers up and process transactions curbside, so they never need to enter in the store.
Tablet technology in retail environments is also perfect for busting long lines at the checkout counter. This can prevent customers from congregating at the checkout, reducing the amount of in-person contact between customers. Employees can leverage mobile tablets to assist customers and practice transactions right from the sales floor.
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Kiosks will be another solution that retailers will likely adopt on a large scale. Customers are demanding self-service checkout options long before the start of the coronavirus. Kiosks can be used for more than just self-checkout, however.
Customers can utilize self-service kiosk technology to look up information on inventory, and place an order for any items that may not be in stock. They can also add items to any registries, look up their loyalty rewards membership information, and browse items based on categories. Kiosks give customers the same endless aisle capabilities they enjoy online, but with the personalization of in-store experiences.
Contactless Payment Technology
You want your customers to feel as safe as possible, which is why it’s important to introduce safety measures that help aid in that goal. Contactless payment technology in retail environments allows cashiers and sales staff to accept payments for purchases without requiring customers to come into direct contact with the card reader.
This is achieved through near-field communication (NFC). When you have NFC-capable hardware installed, you can accept payments from a safe distance. Not only is this great for social distancing, but it gives customers the convenience and flexibility of mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Along with electronic technology solutions, retailers will need to adopt additional hardware to keep their employees safe and protected. Consumers can’t always be six feet away from your counter staff. Because of this, it’s important to put necessary precautions like plastic shields in place.
These act as a makeshift sneeze guard. They do a great job at keeping staff and customers safe and healthy. Should a customer forget to wear their mask, or accidentally cough while at checkout, a plastic shield can catch any droplets and prevent them from reaching your staff. They can also be easily wiped down and disinfected without being damaged, so keeping them sanitized isn’t a major hassle.
Shop by Appointment
Some retailers are starting to adopt services and solutions traditionally used in other industries. Salons and spas often use scheduling software to manage their appointments. Retailers are now leveraging this same software to set up appointments where a set number of customers can shop in stores at a given time.
By limiting the number of people allowed in store at any given time, retailers can cut down on face-to-face interactions and reduce the risk of virus spread. Not only does this help customers feel safer, it adds to the customer experience by making it more personal.
Navigating the New Retail Landscape
Retail has changed drastically, and will continue to change drastically for a long time. Though it was difficult for the industry to get its bearings at first, retailers have slowly learned how to adapt. The right technology will be instrumental in helping retailers survive the effects of the pandemic and come out on top once the virus has been stopped.
Touch Dynamic offers a number of critical solutions to help retailers survive. For more information on the technology that Touch Dynamic offers, contact one of our experts today!