Online retail has proven to be a very adept competitor to traditional retail; brick and mortar stores are going to many lengths to attract customers back to their physical premises. But it’s important to consider what makes customers enter or turn away? How can first-time visitors be persuaded to become regulars? And what will turn small purchases into significant sales? There are five key technology lessons that brick and mortar shops can learn from online successes.
1. Focus on experience. Online retailers may be fast, convenient and easy to use, but traditional retail creates an atmosphere and sells customer experience just as much as the product stocking the shelves. Online retailers can anticipate needs incredibly well, and tailor an individual service, thanks to technology and digital transformation; but what if traditional retail could do the same?
Technology doesn’t take the place of old-fashioned customer relationships, it supports them to be even stronger – making physical stores more resilient against online competitors if used properly. Online retail isn’t the only industry where technology can be used to enhance Customer Experience.
2. Timeliness. If you’ve ever needed to pick up necessities in a rush, or tried grocery shopping with an irritable toddler, you’ve probably had to walk out of a shop before even deciding on a product. Even customers with time to shop and time to be immersed in a tailored experience will lose their enthusiasm if they wait in line for too long. Online and traditional retailers can agree that if service is too slow, customers will look elsewhere. The right point of sale (POS) equipment can be the key to avoiding customer frustration. Whether self-serve or assisted, checkout must be as simple and efficient as possible. Industry leaders have invested heavily in developing their POS experience, and HP have been supporting them with beautifully designed machines, like their HP Engage One all-in-one solutions, that make point of sale a seamless part of the customer experience – speedy, without losing the personal touch that sets traditional retail apart from online competitors.
3. Go where the customers are. In-store experiences should be easy; by providing immediate support to customers and having mobile staff within a store, you can ensure that customer satisfaction will be increased, and staff efficiency will go up. HP have developed a range of very efficient mobile POS equipment to enable retailers to be more mobile in-store. Mobile POS shouldn’t be a tool to catch customers before they change their minds, but rather is a chance for associates to keep focus on the relationship they’re building without turning their back to walk behind a counter when ‘just looking’ becomes a sale.
4. Focus your resources where they count most. Using technology to save time frees associates to engage in more meaningful conversations. As customers, we don’t just want to be greeted, we want to be welcomed by someone genuinely interested in us.
5. Give your people the right tools. No one likes to be to be poorly treated and it’s never a fun experience to watch a sales associate wrangle a difficult POS system, get flustered and sometimes frustrated with customers and equipment while they try to manually input a discount or correct an error. Associates perform better and initiate more meaningful conversations when they have the best tools for the job. Modern, well-designed equipment raises morale, and that has an immediate impact on customer interactions.
Without the proper set up and design the more complex POS technology becomes, the greater the risk that staff will be distracted during the implementation process, so finding a great partner who can ensure a proper solution is key. For our customers, there is comfort in knowing that while they focus on creating outstanding customer experiences, they have access to sleek, modern POS equipment that creates the right impression and a team that can help them implement it with minimum downtime.
Time to take a fresh look at POS or want a sneak peek at the latest from HP? Contact our friendly team today.