Today, consumers demand a seamless shopping experience at their own convenience. From curated discounts to automated checkout processes, convenience and customization have become key differentiators between success and failure in a fiercely competitive retail environment.
Last year, ‘summer holidays/vacations’ ranked in the top four seasonal events for increased consumer shopping, according to YouGov. Busy shopping periods provide retailers with enormous growth opportunities, such as increased in-store footfall and website traffic. Retailers must cater to both: existing customers who return to purchase following a great previous experience as well as shoppers who sneak in to find great deals, a variety of choices and, of course, better customer service. However, it can also negatively impact retailers who fail to live up to the expectations of today’s consumers.
Avoiding Costly Mistakes: The Need for Accurate Stock Control
Out-of-stock items can be highly frustrating for customers, who could ultimately turn to another retailer to make purchases instead. To earn and retain their loyalty, retailers must be able to offer the right product, through the right sales channel, at an appropriate time and price for their customers. As omnichannel capabilities evolve, it is becoming increasingly crucial for retailers to deploy advanced inventory solutions that can easily integrate with their wider retail tech stack, and communicate in real time to deliver fulfillment options that provide customers with a range of purchasing options.
Today, state-of-the-art solutions can provide accurate inventory-related information in real time, helping retailers make smarter decisions. Retailers can customize where inventory is assigned and how it will be fulfilled, in seconds. In fact, the latest inventory solutions can even alert retailers of when to order more, providing customized recommendations based on trends and historical performance data. What’s more, retailers can also assign a status for damaged or defective items and remove them from the on-hand inventory, synchronizing directly to the cloud.
Alternatively, retailers can leverage these disruptive solutions to deliver and improve omnichannel offerings such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in-store (BORIS). This can further enable them to provide customers with clear and accurate inventory information in real time, creating a seamless experience and reducing the amount of time spent waiting around in-store, further helping retailers meet those challenging customer expectations.
Maximizing Loyalty Through Convenience
According to PWC, 73% of consumers globally agree that a positive experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties. Long queues and delays can be a nuisance for customers, compromising their overall experience with retail brands. To avoid this, retailers must find effective ways to bust queues to keep up during busy periods while ensuring a top-tier and convenient shopping experience for their customers.
A seamless and efficient checkout experience is crucial for boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, 37.1% of retailers in the U.S. and the UK claimed that their customers would opt for other merchants if they did not offer consumers the ability to scan products and pay without waiting in a queue. To optimize their checkout process, retailers can lean on innovative solutions including advanced POS systems, mobile payment solutions and even self-checkout terminals.
The latest mobile POS systems can prove to be a game-changer, enabling staff to serve customers from any part of the store. This can significantly help retailers reduce checkout queues and serve their customers more quickly and seamlessly. Alternatively, retailers can utilize RFID-powered self-checkout solutions that optimize the checkout process by automatically scanning all of a shopper’s items at once. This can be significantly useful during busy shopping periods, with more customers completing their transactions in a much shorter amount of time.
With either of these solutions deployed, in-store associates can better devote their time to helping and interacting with customers, providing value to their shopping experience and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction levels.
Driving Retail Success with Tailored Interactions
One of the best ways to add value to the shopping experience of customers is to personalize their interactions at every retail touch point throughout their shopping journey. Retailers have already started to leverage data to curate customer experiences. However, to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape, they must be able to identify change, new trends, and habits as soon as they occur, This is only possible through harnessing data in real time.
With the right mobile POS solutions integrated with wider retail technologies such as inventory management solutions, data and analytics or even customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, in-store associates can access crucial data about customers’ preferences at the tap of a button. This helps them to better assist customers and deliver a highly personalized experience for shoppers.
As customers flock to stores and websites to purchase their summer essentials, retailers must be prepared to earn and boost their loyalty. Deploying cutting-edge solutions can enable retailers to capitalize on opportunities around these busy shopping periods.
Amber Hovious is the VP of Marketing and Partnerships at Teamwork Commerce. She has been part of the Teamwork Commerce family for seven years, building out the marketing strategy, business growth and approach as well as cultivating a wide array of partnership relationships to drive long-term success.