In-Store Technologies to Provide Better Customer Service
Owners of businesses with physical locations face new challenges in this digital era. As more consumers find convenience in being able to shop from virtually anywhere (with an internet-capable device)for the products and services they need, small establishments have seen a decline in in-store sales. The good news, however, is that there are still a large demographic of customers that prefer the traditional means of shopping retail.
To keep such customers interested in your retail store, it is essential that business owners continue to come up with innovative ways to make their experience positive and convenient. Fortunately, technology is on your side as well. By investing in retail business technology such as those to be discussed you can improve customer service, thereby making it easier for you to generate revenue.
Though you own a physical store, having a strong web presence is essential to drawing attention to your brand and providing quality customer service to your target audience. Having an eCommerce website gives your customers the option to shop online if they so choose. Even for those who prefer the in-store experience, having access to a retail website means that they can learn more about your products and services, search inventory to see what’s available, and stay connected to your brand, promotions, and other digital incentives.
In order for your eCommerce website to be effective, it must be aesthetically appealing, easy to navigate, and have mobile capabilities for consumers shopping on the go.
Ship to Store Options
If you want to encourage your online customers to visit a physical store near them having a ship to store feature available on your eCommerce website is also advised. This way, customers can shop for and pay for products and services they need and visit your store for a faster checkout experience. This feature is also convenient in that customers won’t ever have to worry about showing up and finding that you don’t have what they need in stock.
POS Systems for Easier Checkouts
Speaking of easier business transactions, single-store businesses should definitely adopt a POS or point-of-sale system for improved customer service. These are systems in which customers can pay for products or services in your store. More efficient than a cash register, POS systems can help you and your staff to manage transactions, inventory, and accounting tasks. Efficient POS systems require both software and hardware. Such hardware might include a monitor or tablet, a cash drawer, a credit card machine, a barcode scanner, and a receipt printer. As for software, quality systems include a means for recording sales, manage inventory, manage customer relations and employee activities (time logs, payroll, etc).
Beacons are electronic devices that send signals to nearby smartphones and devices. Used with a mobile application, customers who have their bluetooth enabled can receive instant information about in-store offers they can take advantage of. From coupons and discounts on products and services they most often use to rewards and valuable recommendations, retail beacon technology can be used to capture the attention of a very digital-dependent age of consumers.
Virtual Shopping Kiosks
From restaurants to department stores virtual shopping kiosks are becoming an increasingly popular in-store technology to streamline processes, keep down operating costs, and provide quality customer service. Virtual shopping kiosks are essentially stand-alone devices that customers in the store can use for faster shopping and checkout. They can browse your inventory of products both on and off display, get information on new products or complimentary products, and even checkout without the need for assistance from staff (though having staff available is still necessary).
Smart Mirrors and Augmented Reality Apps
Whether you sell clothes and shoes or furniture and appliances, having technologies such as augmented reality applications and smart mirrors available for your customers helps to make their experience even better. With smart mirrors, customers are able to try on merchandise and get a 360 recording of what the outfit looks like on them. As for augmented reality features, customers can download an app that allows them to see how a product might look in their home or office.
Technology may have afforded consumers with the option to be able to shop from the convenience of their own homes whenever they’d like, but that’s not all it has done. With the right technologies implemented through your retail store, you can save money, streamline company processes, and provide an overall more positive in-store customer experience.