Retailers are investing more than ever before in technology, with 55% of senior retail executives from the UK focusing on bringing technology instore this year.
There’s no denying that there is a growing importance placed on keeping up with technology trends, but which forms of technology are actually beneficial for brick-and-mortar stores, and how can they be implemented?
One of the most common mistakes is introducing technology for the sake of it, without any strategy or planned benefit for customers. Decide on your aims first, then look to achieve these creatively. Here are some of the ways you can install cutting-edge technology, bound to impress.
An enormous 75% of Senior Retail Executives in the UK are looking to invest heavily in mobile throughout 2019, with QR codes proving a popular method of improving customer experience.
When scanned on a phone, a QR code can take customers to a review page of each product, helping them to make more informed decisions, or even access specific information.
Not only do QR codes work to bridge the gap between mobile and instore shoppers, but they also provide an area where large amounts of information can be shared and interaction can be incentivised.
- Run competitions where those using QR codes can win prizes
- Enable customers to check stock from their phone
Mobile POS systems
Introducing a mobile POS system can increase footfall, capturing the attention of shoppers who may be deterred by a queue.
By taking cashiers out from behind the till and having them take payment from anywhere within the shop, customers can be confident that they can quickly come instore and make a purchase conveniently.
- Cashiers can guide customers through payment
- Encourage interaction throughout the store
- Eliminate queues and provide a personal touch
Augmented reality and virtual reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have both been proven as valuable pieces of technology, working to enhance a customer’s decision to purchase. While it can be reasonably costly to install, the potential benefits or AR and VR are significant.
Linked to a screen, tablet or headset, consumers are able to visualise products which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to, speeding up the decision-making process.
- Create a VR showroom where customers can view products in situ
- Enable customers to view items in detail without taking up valuable space
- Use VR headsets to tie into a widespread campaign and increase publicity
- Use a front-facing camera and AR to show different glasses on customers
The use of tablets can bring numerous benefits to retailers. Make data capture simple by encouraging customers to sign up to rewards and loyalty programs instore. These screens can also be used to retain business when products are out of stock, making it easy for customers to order unavailable items and pick up without even having to queue.
- Sign up to loyalty programs for discounts
- Order for click and collect on a chosen date
Integrating with social media
Tie in customers’ online and offline journeys by integrating social media into your store. Encourage interaction on social media by promoting positive news instore, and make customers feel their opinions are valued by including their preferences in displays.
- Create a ‘tweet of the day’ screen where you share positive reviews
- Promote your number of followers and competition winners
- Dedicate a section instore to selling the ‘most liked’ products on Facebook
- Have customers write feedback instore and post pictures on social media
Nothing engages consumers more than an interactive display, especially when it’s on brand. Get customers competing, whether it’s through digital leaderboards or on-screen challenges which are linked to what you sell.
- Create a leaderboard for a brand-specific challenge
- Use screens and interactive floors to excite customers
Without doubt, the main focus when introducing technology should be on the benefits it brings, as well as how it fits into the customer journey and improves their overall experience.
For more pieces on shopfitting and visual merchandising, read Modern Retail’s Guide to Shopfitting.