In today's fierce competition in the retail industry, retailers need to take advantage of every opportunity from technology more than ever to be able to dominate and stand out among thousands of businesses and retail outlets.
No matter how good the product, its affordable price, and good customer service, the above factors are not enough to attract today's modern customers. It is equally important to create good in-store experience and enhance customer expectations.
We live in a world of rapid digital transformation, with customers becoming less hands-on and more reliant on technology. Investing in retail technology helps retailers boost customer satisfaction and avoid falling behind major brick and mortar retail stores in the market.
Below are five ways to apply technology in retail stores that business owners can refer to apply to their own store operations.
60% of customers say long checkout lines are an annoyance when going offline shopping in store or any retail space, and nearly a third of shoppers admit to abandoning a purchase because they can't use their preferred payment method.
Imagine if your customer walked into the store and finished choosing their favorite item, but when they went to the checkout counter, they asked if you allowed card payments or QR codes because they forgot to bring cash.
Surely if your store does not offer alternative payment methods such as swiping a bank card, paying via e-wallet with digital receipts or even self checkout, the customer will return the item and not buy it again. Thus, you have missed an opportunity to make a sale.
Not only that, many retailers do not implement POS (point-of-sale) transaction systems, which makes invoice processing and billing take longer, leading to shoppers having to wait in long queues during peak hours.
Let's check out some smart and convenient payment methods that can help your business serve customers better while preventing their complaints and increasing the likelihood of their purchase:
Lighting is one of the important factors that most retailers often overlook when planning a sales strategy. Using light for the right purpose will bring more benefits than you think.
For example, when a customer is looking at a piece of clothing in your store and wants to try on the clothes, but the fitting room is dimly lit, the customer will not feel the clothes are beautiful and want to buy them.
However, with the same clothes but under full and clear lighting conditions, shoppers will be more convinced and ready to buy them.
Therefore, keep the following in mind to bring a good customer experience and help increase sales for your store:
- Choose the right colors for the store's brand to increase brand recognition.
- Highlight the hot selling items, new products.
- Make sure the aisles are well lit
Music can be considered one of the good sales associates to boost sales. When utilized correctly, music can increase the likelihood of customers, making in store purchases by 44%.
Additionally, music can increase customer retention by 33%. However, when choosing the theme for your store layout, you need to apply the following three principles:
The music played in the store can represent the "voice" of the entire store; similarly, visual merchandising or visual merchandising is the "face" of the brand. The messages and images representing your brand can be communicated through your chosen music.
For example, if you own a trendy fashion store with a target audience of 20 years old, you will need a piece with a fresh and energetic tone. In this case, classical jazz would not be the ideal choice.
The factor that affects the customer behavior and shopping experience that you may not expect is volume. For example, when selling high-end products to the elderly customer segment, the music volume should not be turned on too loud.
Customers will, accordingly, feel light and formal when shopping directly at the store. On the contrary, for a sports shoe store for young customers, it would be better to turn the music a little louder to spread energy and fun.
As stated earlier, the right music will keep customers in your store for longer. It is advisable to play slower if you want customers to spend more time in your brick and mortar stores. This pacing encourages longer visiting experience time.
Choosing the right music for the store and setting the music tempo can also help keep customers in the store. If slow music keeps customers in the store longer, fast music will encourage visitors to pass through the store quickly.
High-speed music can spread high energy and create a fun atmosphere, contributing to an enjoyable shopping experience. Customers will then remember the previous positive shopping experience and return to the store.
Although this approach may not bring the expected increase in sales, it can make customers have a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Using digital signage enhances your brand's message and story. Besides being provided with full information at the store, customers also want to feel entertained when making purchases in store.
Digital signs can improve eye-catching and attract customers' attention to the information displayed on the signs, especially promotions or offers. In addition, digital signage can increase product promotion by 34%.
In addition, this method can also provide more in-depth information for customers. For example, provided adequate product manufacturing process information, customers will feel more satisfied to come to a purchase decision.
In-store video slideshows will help give customers more insight into your store. Plus, showing product manufacturing can improve customer engagement with your brand and storefront.
Depending on your budget and type of store, you can use a TV, laptop, or tablet to show your videos. The key issue is whether your customers can easily view and interact with the video content.
Here are some examples of video content that might show up in your store:
- Important events
- Interviews with key brand personnel
- Behind the scenes of any of the above events
- Enhance your overall visual theme/presentation
- Information about sales/promotions with live-action scenes
In a nutshell, it is best to combine all 5 factors in stores' daily operations. The final goal of using technology in retail stores is to improve the customer shopping experience and raise sales.
But to ensure all brick and mortar stores adhere to your guidance, you can use checklists for auditing the stores' compliance. Paper-based formats cause issues like human errors, time-consuming data input, and no insights provided.
Thanks to the retail technology trends, many SaaS providers have released their digital solutions like mobile apps with computer vision to help both offline and online retailers check their stores more conveniently and effectively.
FieldCheck is a cloud-based solution we developed to help field force and store owners work and manage better. You can apply it in your store management procedure to synchronize all activities.
It is easy to check stores, visual merchandising, and manage attendance, to name a few, right on your mobile devices and PCs or laptops. Should you be interested in our solution, please contact us.
Learn how FieldCheck can assist your business today