How to Empower Your Retail Store with Ecommerce Features?
There's no denying that the retail industry is in flux. Online shopping has grown tremendously, and brick-and-mortar stores are impacted too. Online shoppers are accustomed to a certain level of convenience and service, and brick-and-mortar retailers must replicate these features to stay competitive in the market.
Its most obvious benefit is that it can help boost customer footfall and in-store sales. That is because customers who are used to buying products online will feel more comfortable purchasing in a store if they can see that the store offers a similar experience to what they are used to. Here are some crucial ways to replicate some ecommerce features in your retail store.
1. Use of Digital Signage to Find Products Faster
In an ecommerce store, a customer has numerous signs pointing to different categories of products. They can easily see product logos or images of hot-selling products with clear white background, or they can even type in their query in the search box to find the product of their choice.
But how can you help a customer search for the product of their choice in a retail store?
Digital signage is here to help retail customers. It can easily attract the attention of a potential customer to offered products or services. The technology is not limited to static texts and images and effectively uses an intelligent mix of vibrant images, bright colors, and moving content to attract even more customer attention.
Its popularity can be judged from the below research:
1. 67% of consumers say they frequently buy products based on digital signage visuals.
2. Retail stores have observed a 24% increase in footfall after implementing digital signage.
3. The global digital signage market size was valued at US$ 21.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$ 42.54 billion by 2030, poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% from 2021 to 2030
Digital signage uses public digital screens like kiosks, video walls, and LED screens to distribute information to the target customer. Here is how retailers use digital signage in retail stores:
1. Retailers using digital signage screens create more engaging shop-windows compared to those who use printed signs and banners
2. Fashion retailers can install digital signage displays in their stores to help customers choose clothing according to body type and other parameters. Example: Nordstrom
3. Beauty product retailers can use digital signage displays, allowing clients to virtually try makeup. Example : Sephora
4. Sports retailers like Decathlon are using interactive digital signage and helping customers browse products, add them to cart and make payments.
2. Invest in a Mobile App
The rapid penetration of 4G/5G capable smartphones and the use of mobile apps are one of the most substantial reasons behind the growth of ecommerce, which is expected to surpass $432 billion in 2022, up from $148 billion in 2018. It's a high time to invest in a mobile app that can empower customers to shop for your retail brand anytime, anywhere.
What can a retail store achieve with a mobile app?
1. If you want a substantial market presence, you can invest in Android and iOS app development—Android has a 71.45% market share while iOS has a 27.83% market share.
2. Reach out to unlimited tribe of consumers who research, browse, and purchase products online
3. Use apps to send reminders to customers, and build efficient loyalty programs to reward the most loyal customers.
4. Apps allow retailers to collect data about customer behaviour and preferences, improving the customer experience and creating targeted marketing campaigns.
Self-checkout is a growing trend in e-commerce. 36.3% of consumers said that they were “using [self-checkout solutions] much more” in the past 12 months, while 23.5% of respondents said that they used self-checkout “a bit more” over the past year.
The global market for Self-Checkout Systems estimated at USD 3.1 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of USD 5.9 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 11.5%
Who should implement self-checkout?
Supermarkets, retail stores, grocery stores, and restaurants are perfect for deploying self-checkout systems. The adoption of self-checkout features in retail stores has worked wonders during the pandemic
1. It cuts down on physical touchpoints and ensures less personal interaction with employees and other shoppers.
2. It cuts long queues and makes physical distancing easier for customers and employees during the checkout process.
3. It gives customers the independence to checkout on their own. Some in-store solutions like Fynd Store App offer the feature of sharable checkout links/ QR codes. This feature helps the customer to safely checkout from their own devices, at their own convenience.
Different types of self-checkouts:
Self-checkout machines: The latest self-checkout technology by Mashgin does not require its customers to scan different items. Instead, its system uses AI to identify and ring up items automatically. That allows customers to finish shopping quickly and check out in as little as 10 seconds eight times faster than a regular self-checkout machine.
All the customer has to do is to: 1) Place and separate all items, 2) Insert a chip or tap to pay, and 3) Grab the receipt and complete the transaction.
App-based: A highly innovative self-checkout solution is offered by Fynd store a powerful omnichannel solution developed by Fynd to empower offline stores to fulfill online orders.
Once the customer picks up the product, the retailer or merchant sends a payment link to the customer over Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, SMS, or email. The customer clicks the link and makes the payment on their own, without any intervention from the merchant.
4. Customer analytics
Successful companies are heavily data-driven and increasingly rely on their power to make game-changing decisions. A recent survey found that companies that extensively use customer analytics report a 115% higher return on investment (ROI) and 93% higher profits.
Collecting consumer behaviour and purchase pattern insights in e-commerce stores is easy and convenient, but still lacks in many retail stores. Deploying in-store technologies enables even the retail stores to capture analytics as good as e-commerce websites.
Retail stores can also use customer analytics and reap rich rewards through increased personalization, focused marketing campaigns, optimized pricing, supply chain movement, and improved customer loyalty. Here are some excellent tools for collecting and harnessing information for your visiting retail customers.
Foot traffic analytics: Foot traffic data analyzes the movement of people from place to place. This data is derived from in-store sensors, visitor interviews, or data sent from mobile devices.
The information is used to measure visits to a retail store and understand where visitors are coming from or is paired with demographic data to better understand the details of a location's audience. Some well-known foot traffic analytic tools are Aislelabs, Blix, Axper, Mindtree and density.
Point-of-sale (POS): If retailers are using a point-of-sale system only to ring up sales, they are missing out on many features that can help them understand their business better.
Most POS solutions have reporting features that can help you track important metrics like profit margins, basket sizes, customer counts, sales trends, and more. With this information, a retail store can make better decisions to help your business grow. Some of the best POS systems for retail are Square Point of Sale, Lightspeed retail, Heartland Retail, and Clover.
5. Use Touch-free Technology
Biggest advantage e-commerce got over retail during the Covid Pandemic was the touch-free aspect, deeming it as a safer and preferable option. With some of these popular touch free technology, you can empower your retail stores with the same.
Gesture recognition: Customers can interact with devices without touching them by using simple gestures. Hand movements or head movements can control digital screens' content, which means customers still have touch points to interact with without touching them physically.
Touch-less sensing: Touch-less sensing can detect the presence or motion of a person without physical contact. This type of sensing is commonly used in automatic doors in every large retail store that detects a person's presence and automatically opens the door without needing physical contact.
Facial recognition: Numerous brands are developing AR software that allows customer interaction with their products. Macy's, Albertsons, Ace Hardware, and HEB Grocery are four retailers using facial recognition technology.
Touch-less sensing, gesture recognition, facial recognition...this is just a beginning as retail stores are increasingly going touch-free using these popular technologies. These are beneficial for both the retailers and the customers.
From limiting physical contact across retail touchpoints, increasing efficiency, and improving safety to boosting customer shopping experiences, touch-free technology can positively impact the retail experience and can ensure thrilling shopping experience to visiting customers.
With the return of in-store shopping culture and newly developed demands from the customers, it has become a necessity for retail stores to upgrade themselves with features mentioned in this blog.
While both in-store and online shopping have charm of their own, one may not suffer at the cost of others,thanks to many new-age technologies. Adding such e-commerce features in stores provides retailers seamless, convenient, and memorable shopping experience for their customers while increasing customer traffic, sales, and satisfaction.
Fynd Store is one such app that has helped several brands like AND, Raymond, Hunkemoller, Satyapaul, Vision Express, Mothercare, Turtle, Clarks, Octave, and many others in their retail transformation journey. Book a demo today with one of our experts to discuss your requirements.