How to improve the in-store customer experience through technology?

Despite the rise of e-commerce, the French still favor physical purchases in stores. This is what a study carried out by Klarna tells us at the end of 2021, 52% of French people buy at least once in a store per week, compared to 19% through the web. But until when? Almost one-third of them admit that they will favor e-commerce in the future, to achieve more savings and save time.

Therefore, physical stores must compete intelligently to maintain the good relationship they have today with consumers. And this includes improving the customer journey at all levels. Technological tools help employees accomplish their daily tasks, perceived time savings allow them to advise customers more easily. Many technologies are now available, and this comes from a tool that everyone is familiar with: the smartphone.

Tip 1: Streamline inventory management and optimize shelving

A great customer experience starts even before the shopper enters the store. Sellers must ensure that products are in their location and prices are displayed correctly. This task, which may seem simple, is actually a real challenge, especially during promotions, when prices change significantly every day.

This is a time-consuming task, which sometimes interferes with the customer relationship, but which technology can make easier. Thanks to the introduction of smart data acquisition solutions, employees are able to manage the shelves faster. These solutions, true bridges between the physical and digital worlds, take data from barcodes, text, identifiers or even objects to automate and provide insights. Employees can, for example, scan several shelves at once and see all inconsistencies appear on the screen to optimize shelving.

Tip 2: Improve the customer experience by having all the information at hand

The smartphone is also a key tool to help salespeople in customer relations. It is impossible for a person to maintain all the references and know at any time the exact composition of a product, the colors in which it exists or the sizes available. But all this information is at your fingertips, or rather within reach of your smartphone, thanks to smart data capture.

For customers, it’s frustrating not being able to find what they’re looking for after making the effort to go to the store. But with a few clicks on the smartphone, it becomes possible for the seller to direct them to similar products, to inform them of online availability, or simply to order the product immediately in the store.

The goal is to give every customer an answer to secure both sales and customer loyalty.

Tip 3: Meet the requirements of hybrid purchasing methods

Click-And-Collect format attracts more consumers. With the promise of collecting their products from the store within an hour on average, customers will find this way of buying a good compromise between the online and physical experience.

But to meet their expectations, retailers must be able to prepare orders on time while still managing the influx of customers into the store.

Smart data acquisition solutions on smartphones once again make it possible to find ordered products within seconds, and they have the advantage of being both cheaper to buy than old hardware scanners for retailers and of being easier to use for employees.

Tip 4: Speed ​​up checkout

Often, this is the payment phase that is the most time-consuming for customers. Long queues or technical problems at the checkout, this passage can leave a bitter taste. Again, the smartphone gives it an important advantage: it makes it possible to collect customers in a more mobile way to unblock checkouts. It also offers the possibility of completing additional forms more quickly, as in the case of tax-free sales, to speed up procedures and reduce waiting times.

Often checkouts are also a collection point for Click-And-Collect orders, so you also need to provide the necessary technology tools to sellers so they can find the order very quickly and deliver it to customers. This will both unclog checkouts and improve customer satisfaction, who will have access to their orders without waiting times.

These four steps, made possible thanks to smart data capture technologies integrated into smartphones, allow retailers to improve the customer experience and limit in-store irritants. By using these tools, stores can ensure customer loyalty and maintain strong relationships, which is why many French people prefer to shop in person.

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