In today’s retail environment, with increasing percentages of sales online, brick-and-mortar stores need to improve their in-store customer experiences in order to stay competitive. It may be time for you to evaluate how retail technology can provide you with new ways to engage customers and accomplish your business goals. Here are the top three retail technology solutions you should consider integrating into your operations, expanding to provide new functionality, or upgrading to provide your business with state-of-the-art features.
Going mobile with your retail technology solutions opens up a world of possibilities. Customers are already using their smartphones to make purchases or look up product information. If you utilize a mobile point of sale (POS) system, your sales associates can be out on the floor with their own devices to access the same information and more. They can check inventory across multiple store locations, use customer histories to make suggestions and upsell, and process payments on the spot to reduce checkout wait times.
Handheld mobile devices improve productivity on the warehouse floor as well as the sales floor. As consumer demands rise, warehouses are increasingly using vertical space to accommodate more inventory. Long-range barcode scanners improve workplace safety by eliminating the need to use ladders or lifts to scan items on upper tiers. They also greatly increase the speed and accuracy of data collection.
Don’t forget to put a plan in place to manage your fleet of mobile devices. When your retail technology solutions break down (and at some point, they will), productivity plummets. A good mobile device management (MDM) plan, preferably one handled by a trusted partner, will get backup or replacement devices into your employees’ hands as quickly as possible.
- Interactive Displays
Digital signage and self-service kiosks can engage customers and improve their experiences in a variety of ways. Digital signage can be used to give customers access to the store’s website, for example (on a much bigger screen than their smartphone), to get additional product information or to have an out-of-stock item shopped from another location. These displays can also create destination experiences that draw customers into the store, such as a virtual-reality fitting room that lets them try products and take pictures to share on social media. Self-service kiosks streamline the checkout process, and shoppers appreciate the efficiency, contributing to their positive impressions of the store.
- Reliable Network
You’ll need to ensure that you have a solid, dependable Wi-Fi network — not only to power your mobile devices and interactive displays, but also to benefit your customers. The words “free Wi-Fi” are a big attraction for shoppers, and they are more likely to go into a store that has it than a competing store that doesn’t. Once there, they often stay longer — and the more they linger, the more likely they are to make purchases. Wi-Fi also enables customers to use your store-branded apps to do things such as locate items in the store, pay for purchases, and activate discount codes and loyalty rewards. And while they’re on your network, they’re providing you with data about their shopping behaviors. So, it’s worth investing in the retail technology solutions that will ensure your infrastructure can handle the increased traffic.
Mainstreet has two decades of experience helping businesses to choose and maintain the right retail technology solutions to suit their needs. For more information, contact us through our website, or call 866-767-6472.