How Technology is Enhancing the Experience between the Four Walls of Retail

Retail customer expectations continues to rise as technology evolves. As soon as a retail customer drives into the parking lot of a store, the clock begins to tick. Who is this customer? What did they buy the last time they were in the store? What have they looked at online before entering the store? How can the retailer keep them in the store ten minutes longer than their previous visit? A variety of technologies are trying to help answer these questions and more.  Let’s take a look:

  1. A 2015 survey by Cisco, stated that up to 73% of shoppers would use a retail app while shopping. Specific retailers’ apps now allow an immersive experience in store with videos, special deals, customer reviews and virtual reality experiences (think IKEA and being able to see a piece furniture in your home). Apps can also provide valuable information for retailers pre-visit as they allow for analysis and in-app trend monitoring before the customer arrives.
  2. A rising star in the retail technology space is BLE-Beacons, otherwise known simply as “beacons”. Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware that use low-energy Bluetooth connections to trigger an action on a smartphone or tablet. They can alert brick and mortar shopper to discounts, coupons, and awards. Beacons work best retail apps.
  3. One potential pain point in many retail stores is waiting in line to check out. Effective in-store mobile payments can eliminate lines and wait times. Instead of the traditional check out registers, many stores now have small kiosks or “smart” checkout lines that accept mobile payments while still maintaining security protocols to prevent theft.
  4. Although tablets are nearing their ten-year anniversary of existence, their use is increasing throughout the retail sector. The ability to strategically place tablets in a store can enhance a customer’s experience and increase the time they spend in the store. Tablets solve two primary customer needs: discovery and information. The opportunity to experiment, research and reflect while using a tablet is inspiring to customers and builds loyalty.

What do you think about technology usage within brick and mortar retail? Did we miss any other elements of technology that are becoming more common place? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.