The relevance of in-store innovation for high street retail.
From a technology perspective, the profile of the high street store has probably been a little in the shadows, compared to dedicated focus on ecommerce growth in recent years. But brick and mortar stores still process the vast majority of transactions for most omni-commerce retailers, albeit at considerable operating cost. Now more and more retailers are realising that investment in in-store technology can make them more relevant, profitable and improve the customer experience in this omnicommerce world.
Driving change and innovation in-store is an important piece of the jigsaw for high street retailers in their fight to retain market share. The online giants have also recognised the importance of a physical store, and how they can provide a competitive advantage in an omnicommerce world. Two of the biggest examples are Amazon and cosmetics company Birchbox who have both made the transition from online only, to open physical stores, I guess the worry is will they do it better….
Launching New Digital In-Store Channels
Although many vendors are talking about next generation digital solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) which is amazing technology, many retailers are still realising that there is still some more obvious improvements that can be made i.e. not losing simple sales due to lack of stock and improving the instore customer experience to mirror the personalisation, choices and offers available online. An investment in in-store technology can do this and makes a lot of sense to do this before introducing the more advanced technology mentioned above.
Most retailers have an EPoS system that can handle most of this functionality but how many use it to its full capacity or get the opportunity before someone leaves the store. Many platforms are now being designed whereby they tie all the transactional, digital and hardware technology together. Using devices such as EPoS, kiosks, handheld terminals and digital/interactive signage, customers and store staff can check stock, promotions, order and pay, all of which could be controlled via a single Retail Management Solution (RMS).
In-store kiosks are great for amplifying the shopping experience and can be used as feature kiosks to provide details on the latest products and promotions, display media content such as videos, or simple shopping kiosks so customers can search or scan an item, order and pay. You can even get mirrored kiosks where the transition between a mirror and kiosk takes place with a simple press of a button.
Assisted Sale Tablets
In-store tablets, such as assisted sale tablets, encourage the capability to ‘shop everything in-store’ allowing retailers to provide the best possible service so that a customer never leaves their store unsatisfied.
Staff on the fitting room or walking the floor are able to queue bust, taking card payment to help reduce queues at the cash desk
Using a tablet in-store means the customer can get what they want, when they want it so if they don’t have the desired item in a certain size or colour in-store, they are able to order it there or recommend an alternative. This technology helps ensure you never miss a sale, while providing staff with an aid to help customers quickly and easily.
Interactive Digital Signage
Interactive digital signage is a great way to attract and hold your shopper’s attention in-store, while modernising the way you centrally, manage and customise in-store campaigns for shoppers across your estate.
The Typical Customer Journey No Longer Exists
Many retailers today make the mistake of focusing too much on individual channels, when really, it’s the developing a sense of purpose that runs through all activities and channels that’s required, including your physical store.
By connecting your channels via an integral one-stop solution, you can align your end-to-end customer retail experience with better visibility in order to create an enjoyable shopping experience that your customers can use when, where and how it suits them.
At Vardells, we offer a modular and configurable Retail Connect and Warehouse Connect Solutions. We are continuously developing our solutions, so if you have any challenges, visions or aspirations you would like to achieve, it would be great to hear from you.
Contact us today on 01298 767 600 to find out more.