Any successful retailer will tell you that connecting with consumers is one of the most essential requirements of the job. It involves a concentrated effort towards recognizing your customers’ general behaviors, attitudes and motivations. Stores have begun to incorporate innovative retail technology to appeal and relate to customers on a whole new level.
Retail Technology that’s Changing how Stores Operate
Since most people bring their smartphone everywhere, savvy retailers have turned to proximity marketing as a way to appeal to consumers. Beacons run off of mobile applications and use Bluetooth technology to provide relevant content to users based on location.
For instance, say you download the app for your favorite grocery store and opt into beacons (which can be turned on or off seamlessly). When you enter that store, you may receive coupons, nutritional facts and recipes tailored to where you are in the store or your preferences as a shopper, which were learned from previous purchases.
According to Business Insider, there will be over 4.5 million active beacons by 2018. Just imagine how many sales that will translate into. For the first time ever, retailers can appeal to shoppers using their specific, individual preferences, which will hopefully assist in increasing general customer loyalty.
Scan as You Shop
Tesco’s ‘Scan as you shop’ retail technology has made shopping a whole lot easier. This device, which looks like a typical scanner you’d find at a register, allows you to scan every item you load into your cart and pack it as you go.
All you have to do is scan the barcode of the item you wish to purchase, add it to your cart, and, when it’s time to check-out, scan the barcode on the self-check-out register. You’ll be presented with the total amount owed. Since your items are already packed, all you need to do is pay. This ingenious, easy-to-use technology also allows you to add and remove items as you shop.
‘Scan as you shop’, which has recently been adopted by stores like Stop & Shop and Walmart, has expedited the shopping experience and cut down on long check-out lines. Shoppers tend to value conveniences like these, so expect this technology to grow exponentially in the near future.
A growing trend among retailers these days is the increased presence of interactive kiosks in stores to strengthen customer service. These kiosks allow shoppers to engage with a brand and gain more insights on products and services. For example, interactive kiosks let customers take actions like:
- Browse products or services
- Learn more about select products or services
- Schedule appointments
- Customize purchases
- Find out about discounts and deals
Some people aren’t as comfortable inquiring with sales associates, so these kiosks can assist consumers with learning more about a store and its merchandise. It can also help fulfill any customer service needs you may have with an easy-to-use, self-service station.
Rapidly evolving retail technology is one of the primary ways that stores are improving their customer service and appealing to a wider base of shoppers. If your retail store shares this goal, consider implementing some of these new innovative trends.