The retail store is fighting a losing battle. The age of e-commerce and online shopping has taken over the world, and it’s hardly unexpected. Shopping from home is far easier than venturing into a physical store. But, if you are starting a retail store, or you know of retailers who are struggling to retain customers, what tech does every store need for the benefit of its customers?
Every person has a smartphone now, and because you can buy items online through your phone with a couple of swipes, this means that the very first thing a retail store has to do is to make them level pegging with these online stores. Smartphone capabilities are an invaluable way to get customer insight, but it’s also a perfect way for customers to pay for their items quickly and without fuss. Nobody has cash on them anymore, and while credit and debit cards are still used in abundance, adding smartphone readers to your POS hardware is required. Put yourself in the mind of the customer, they want to get in and out of the store without any fuss, and this is why they go online in the first place called that because it bypasses the queues.
Artificial intelligence has been in the ascendance for quite some time now, as it has been helping the behind-the-scenes processes. From the back office functions, to productivity, artificial intelligence is growing across every single industry right now. But when it comes to helping your customers, artificial intelligence has some way to go, but the idea of interacting with your customers through AI means that your staff aren’t needed to focus on the customer, but can do the job. Customers nowadays want a healthy combination of human help and computerized support, and there are items of tech now which blur the boundaries. For example, if a customer wanted to buy a specific item, but there is no tag on it or no pricing information, they can put it under a scanner, and all of the information will show up. This gives the customer the essential information, but also they have the tangible feel of the products, giving them an overall impression of the item from every angle.
Now, voice search is an essential part of every consumer’s mobile device. Voice search has become invaluable with regards to search engines, but when it comes to a retailer, having voice search capabilities in store reduces the need for human help. While the Amazon Echo has gone to considerable lengths to make people’s homes “smart”, maybe it’s time for this to be implemented in a retail environment?
The overarching factor in retail is engaging with the customer. Now, many customers want a hands-off approach to they’re shopping. So, this is a perfect opportunity to implement this in a retail setting. These items of tech are in their infancy in the retail environment, but if you are looking to raise the profile of your business, and make the physical store an essential part of industry, it’s high time that the technological aspect is engaged wholeheartedly.