Three Tips for Spicing up the Retail Experience
Brick and mortar is far from dead. In fact, it’s alive and booming. After all, there’s something about a hands-on product experience that customers simply cannot get online. It’s one reason that keeps them coming back. The other reason? The physical store experience.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates found that nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of U.S. adults reported that any retail experience beyond the normal purchase activity is more likely to bring them to a physical store. So how can retailers attract more in-store shoppers and spice up the experience? By adding and customizing technology and digital brand experiences to excite and engage shoppers.
Connected Dressing Rooms
Smart dressing rooms are still on the “futuristic” side of retail, but more pilots are popping up. And it’s easy to see why. Connected dressing rooms enhance the not-always-glamourous experience of trying on clothes – with convenience, comfort, soft lighting and the ability to reach sales associates without having to leave the room.
RFID tags connect clothing to a dressing room display where customers can interact with outfits, accessories and even sales associates. The system also serves up details to the associate’s mobile device, so the clerk knows exactly which items are in which rooms – making it easy to ask specific questions about the fit or color, and provide suggestions for items that pair well.
The interactive touchscreens in the dressing room can also connect the shopper’s experience from the physical to the digital. The display could show size or color options only available online or in other stores, availability or “you may also like” products to be purchased via the display. Additionally, retailers can incorporate mobile checkout, allowing customers to make purchases right from the room.
Customized Mobile Assistance
Arming store associates with customized devices can make a world of difference when it comes to customer service and the shopping experience. Inventory and merchandise management apps help store associates adjust inventory to meet customer demand, avoiding stockouts and helping to ensure the accurate replenishment of inventory. Additionally, arming store associates with access to detailed, interactive data and visibility into store merchandise and inventory enables employees to provide up-to-date product information and availability to customers instantly. In turn, creating meaningful interactions between customers and the retailer.
Retailers can also connect mobile devices to CRM software, point-of-sale data and even customer loyalty programs, providing associates with real-time insights into customer analytics. With these insights, store associates can answer customer questions immediately, making on-the-spot decisions and provide personalized product suggestions to customers based on sales history.
More retailers are also turning to mobile app development to meaningfully connect with customers on personal devices. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements and promotions from multiple brands. With customized mobile applications, retailers can distinguish themselves by providing personalized and in-the-moment promotions.
For example, with the use of a mobile app and beacon technology, retailers can push targeted messages directly to a consumer’s phone as he or she walks through the store. Promotions on products they’re viewing – or even actively placing in their cart – is just one way retailers can connect with their shoppers. Through behavior data collected by beacons and smartphone apps, retailers can also point consumers to comparable recommendations or products they’d trend toward based on consumer data.
From touchscreen displays to personalized promotions to virtual reality experiences, the possibilities seem endless for today’s retailers. Retailers that customize this technology will continue to see their brick-and-mortar stores thrive.