Tranxactor Thought Leadership: Great Instore Experiences to Learn From
Retailers must create a positive environment to offer something different to their competitors.
Whether it’s excellent customer service, an inviting shopping atmosphere, cutting-edge in-store technology or an enjoyable checkout experience, retailers must create a positive environment to offer something different to their competitors. Essentially, the goal is to make a trip to your ‘real world’ store more inviting and interesting than the online shopping experience.
The retail world has drastically changed in recent years – and continues to do so – with consumers changing their buying behaviour and flowing easily between instore and online.This is a surprising fact for many businesses as it’s considered that online buying supersedes instore purchases.
Millennials – those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s – have grown up surrounded by mobile technology, using it in almost every aspect of their lives. With around 14 million millennials in the UK, they are more likely to start and end their journey on their smartphones than any other age group. In fact, many of this group have turned their handheld device into a wallet.
With this in mind it’s pivotal for retailers to continuously review and improve the overall digital technologies they offer. The introduction of self-checkout kiosks and advanced digital payment technologies in recent years has gone a long way in keeping the millennial shopper engaged, but few retailers in 2018 can afford to be without a fully functional and integrated mobile platform, great in store experiences and exceptional ‘follow up’ marketing to close the customer engagement gap.
Savvy retailers have realised that online and in-store shopping experiences should not be exclusive to one another. Technology should be complementing and assisting instore shopping experiences as exemplified through the increased presence of instore digital advertising in almost every retail category. Simple in-store technology can range from SMS or email digital receipts directly to the buyer which avoids the unnecessary waste of paper to interactive screens that allow you to place an order and pick up in a matter minutes (think Argos and McDonalds). Changing consumer behaviour on mobile devices has brought dramatic change to marketing which means that retailers must consider mobile as a strategic and essential part of their tool kit to stay relevant. Our work with brands such as Columbus Coffee, Oporto’s and Subway have helped them deliver their digital marketing strategies.
The possibilities really are endless. Our work with clients includes delivering marketing promotions with real time location based, time-sensitive communications. There also some basic but powerful ways to offer more to customers, including asking if they want to repeat their last order; sending digital receipts with incentives; triggering reminders; running real time NPS surveys immediately after the checkout; and so much more.
In short, we believe that fully integrated mobile capability opens the window of opportunity to enhance your retail digital marketing strategy.
A great example of making tech work harder has been from Unilever, who really are ahead of the game when it comes to technology driven in-store experiences. They are currently trialling in-store facial recognition technology that measures shopper engagement. The objective is to gather detailed analytics about the physical retail environment and the process that buyers go through when in-store from perusing to purchasing.
With over 930 stores in 49 countries, beauty brand Lush were also the first major retailer to build and launch their own tablet till system. The open-source system includes an app built on Google’s Android. It allows staff to roam the store, offering mobile checkout points to customers and personalised product information. This ultimately improves the customer experience as it speeds up the checkout process and offers a more personalised face-to-face interaction.
We love these types of stories, and we think more retailers need to open their minds to what is possible with readily available technology. that all starts with the data. Sometimes we hear people say that ‘comprehensive sales and product data is readily available from my POS already!’
What is typically missing is the critical data that ‘joins the dots’ between the sale and the customer, and even deeper, the customer’s purchase history, demographics and responses to marketing communications and promotions.
Our Thor integrated solution suite was designed for retailers who want to get more learnings from their Loyalty programmes. It provides the tools to ‘join the dots’ combining real time data gathered from the POS, the Thor processing platform and other sources to deliver actionable customer insights about what makes your customers tick to help drive powerful campaigns. This valuable information can help marketers plan and execute targeted marketing campaigns for a better customer experience, based on factual evidence.
The in-store shopping experience has seen some dramatic changes in recent years and this will continue to change with new innovations and modifications being introduced every day. We would invite any retailers wanting to talk through their future proofing options using the best possible technological solutions to reach out to us – details can be found at www.tranxactor.com
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