This article outlines 6 retail technology solutions helping retailers reach more customers.
No matter what your store sells, there’s probably an ongoing goal to reach more customers. After all, keeping current customers happy so that they continue to purchase is only half the aim. Here are six retail technology solutions that can help you connect with customers and boost engagement.
Chatbots let customers continually engage with your brand, even outside business hours. They can ask simple questions, such as to find out your opening times or locations.
One instance involved Spanish clothing retailer Mango offering a chatbot to support its recent online growth. The company reported an increase of nearly 900,000 new customers during the first half of 2020. People using the chatbot can find out their order status or determine whether store or online inventories contain specific items they want to buy.
This kind of technology outreach removes barriers that may otherwise discourage people from making purchases. It also ensures retailers can distribute accurate, up-to-date information.
2. Online Consultation Platforms
Some people may feel eager to try new brands or products but simultaneously experience hesitation that may cause delayed purchases. Take beauty brands, for example. Many consumers don’t want to splurge on a new foundation or lipstick without having a strong indication it’ll look great on them.
Brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Benefit Cosmetics, and NARS Cosmetics use online consultation platforms to connect with potential customers in their homes. That option became vital during the COVID-19 pandemic but remains appealing now, as things begin to return to relative normalcy.
Retailers that sell indoor and outdoor biking equipment also cater to potential buyers with virtual consultations. That’s another sensible move, especially if people intend to purchase a bicycle online. It’s cumbersome to return a bike through the mail. Virtual consultations could increase the chances that people feel delighted with their purchases.
3. Bulk Text Message Distribution Tools
Text messaging is an extraordinarily popular way for people to stay in touch. Some demographic groups prefer sending a text to making a phone call.
Sending texts in bulk with a manual process can be prohibitively time-consuming. That’s why many retailers use dedicated tools that let them send hundreds of messages at once using their computers.
Some tools work with your existing customer lists and rely on templates that let you personalize the content for each recipient, despite sending in bulk. That approach increases the chances that people will pay attention and respond favorably to your outreach efforts. You can also schedule messages to go out even if your computer is off.
4. Digital Fitting Room Solutions
Shopping for clothes is not always a streamlined experience. It typically involves picking out clothes, then trying them on for size. However, going to the fitting room isn’t always an option, particularly for e-commerce retailers.
Walmart recently announced a digital fitting room solution. Its technology maps a person’s uploaded image into thousands of segments and takes a similar approach when processing the pictures of each garment. People can also share the results with friends, making the online shopping experience more collaborative.
You may view virtual fitting room technology as currently out of reach for your business. After all, many retailers don’t have Walmart’s budget. However, as more companies offer these retail technology solutions, prices should become more affordable.
5. App Push Notifications
Apps are fantastic for helping you stay in a top-of-mind position with customers. Consider how tailored push notifications could help you stay relevant.
For example, if a user has location services activated, a push notification might tell them about a sale in a nearby store. Push notifications can also get people interested in new products and consumer perks.
It’s unwise to assume people will automatically think of your retail brand as their first choice. However, that’s more likely to happen if they receive ongoing, targeted app notifications.
6. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) can get people engrossed in your brand and excited to make purchases. It also appeals to people making purchases of products they may use for years.
Macy’s relied on VR to sell furniture. The retailer installed in-store displays to catch interest and encourage people to check the technology out. Statistics indicated it increased furniture sales by more than 60% and cut return rates to less than 2%.
Volvo also deployed VR to mimic test drives for people who couldn’t get to dealerships. Think about how VR could help you reach customers who may engage in a prolonged decision-making process and welcome the additional resources VR provides.
Retail Technology Solutions Can Bring Outreach Success
It’s not always easy to figure out the best ways to attract more customers. However, as these examples show, retail technology solutions can play a significant role in your store’s future success.
Credit: Devin Partida is a retail writer and blogger. You can read more posts from Devin at ReHack.com, where she is the Editor-in-Chief.