Many brick-and-mortar retailers know that consumer behavior is changing, and more customers are no longer drawing a distinction between online and in-person shopping. Savvy retailers are embracing a hybrid technology approach by incorporating kiosks and retail tablet solutions in their stores.
You probably have a number of questions about how to implement this brick-and-mortar technology in your business. Rather than obsess about a specific technology, there are three “end states” you should be aiming to provide for your customers:
- A seamless cross-channel experience
- A range of customization possibilities
- Options for different checkout experiences
Seamless Cross-Channel Experiences
Customers want to feel like they are still buying from the same business when they go from your website to your brick-and-mortar store—industry insiders call this a cross-channel experience. For retailers, the key to doing this without giving yourself migraines is managing customers and inventory from a single retail tablet solution or operating system. It’s best to keep it simple, and working from one integrated system is easier and more streamlined than working with a different solution for each platform you wish to sell on.
- Customer Benefits: The benefits of technology to customers are easy to see. They can quickly and easily locate your products either in-store or online without noticing a difference in stock or availability. When they come into your store, they can easily check inventory on retail kiosks or tablets.
- Retailer Benefits: As a retailer, you don’t have to manage multiple retail solutions. Jumping back and forth from one system to another is a recipe for disaster. Hybrid technology allows you to save and ensure accuracy throughout your product catalog without the need to jump back and forth between systems. When you or your staff help out customers in store by looking up inventory, they know they’re seeing the complete picture. You can manage your entire system from anywhere with tablet solutions.
These days, almost all of us expect a customized experience. One of the benefits of modern retail solutions is the ability to recommend products to customers based on overstock and customer purchase history. Hybrid brick-and-mortar technology can help you learn your customers’ buying behaviors and push products that have been sitting on the shelves for too long.
- Customer Benefits: Customers can learn about products and promotions they may not have known about through retail kiosk displays customized to the items they put in their basket. They can also get individualized coupons for the items they want and use the most so they can save on their next visit to your store.
Retailer Benefits: Cutting-edge brick-and-mortar technology can take a lot of pressure off your staff. They no longer need to feel like they have to be pushing customers to buy. Your technology can plant the idea and your staff can be the helpful problem solvers who assist your customers in getting what they want. You get the sales, and your customers never feel like they are being pressured to buy.
Different Checkout Experiences
Keep in mind that you are trying to minimize the differences between your online and brick-and-mortar store experience. Anything you can do to give your customers the option to mimic their online experience in person will help you achieve that goal. Offer your customers the option to check out by themselves via a kiosk or with the help of a person.
- Customer Benefits: Many customers appreciate the independence and autonomy a self-service kiosk gives them. They are able to take their checkout experience into their own hands. They can shop at their own pace and don’t even have to take their earbuds out to interact with your staff.
- Retailer Benefits: If you choose to implement a hybrid technology like retail tablet solutions, your staff can check out customers anywhere in the store. Is a long line forming? One team member can start walking down the line checking customers out with a mobile tablet solution. Self-service kiosks strategically installed throughout your retail space allow you to utilize your staff in other areas of the store. You can ensure shelves are stocked, customer questions are answered, and you always have enough inventory on hand.
Learn More About the Benefits of Brick-and-Mortar Technology
Focusing on these three customer-oriented end states will help you to improve sales. Growing your bottom line is an important goal, however, the path to get there is through customer satisfaction which leads to increased engagement. The brick-and-mortar technology you utilize, the efficient redeployment of your staff, and the streamlined inventory management all target the goal of creating happy and profitable customers that love you, love your store, and keep coming back to buy more.