Customer service is a lynchpin for a wide variety of industries, particularly for hyper competitive retail businesses. Today’s customers expect swift, attentive, and dependable service from the brands they shop with, whether buying online or in-store. That’s why the most successful retail companies invest in powerful tools that help differentiate customer service, including smartphones with scanning and augmented reality (AR) capabilities.
By equipping your staff with smartphones and scanning-enabled apps, you can turn any associate into an expert advisor with the ability to assist, delight, and up-sell customers. And that same tool can be used for other essential workflows in the store. The result? Smoother store operations and an outstanding retail customer experience that drives profits for your business.
How customer service and expectations are changing
Across the pandemic, consumers became even more attached to the conveniences of online and mobile shopping: speed, personalization, and the flexibility to buy any item, anywhere, with just a few taps on their laptop or mobile devices. Retailers increasingly recognize demand among consumers for an in-store retail experience that emulates the highly tailored, seamless nature of online shopping—and are stepping up their game to match it.
As footfall returns and customer service faces more scrutiny, retailers turn once again to the greatest relationship-building tool in their arsenal: the human touch. The idea here is to merge the perks of online shopping with the empathy, enthusiasm, and care offered by real people i.e., your associates. To achieve that goal, retailers are deploying scanning-enabled smartphone apps to assist retail employees in service delivery and addressing shopper queries. With enterprise-grade scanning software, these devices can scan product barcodes for product information, stock availability, or even provide recommendations on the spot to help serve customers.
Of course, these scanning experiences have to be fast and accurate, so sales staff can focus on serving the customer face to face, not on aiming at the barcodes on labels or shelves. That’s why you need smartphone-based scanning software that provides exceptional ergonomics – rapid scanning speed, reliability, and the ability to scan codes from any angle, ensuring the high-quality, human interactions modern shoppers demand. And when that same device can also handle any retail ops task – such as stock taking, receiving or shelf management – it unlocks greater flexibility and cost-efficiency for retailers.
How smartphone scanning elevates customer service
With smartphone-based scanning apps for product information look up, clienteling, and more, associates can deliver on-the-spot service for customers. This solution unlocks a whole new level of convenience and flexibility for in-store shoppers, whether they have questions on stock availability, need advice on which items to pick, or simply want to browse product reviews. No need for staff to leave the customer’s side to seek answers.
Here are just a handful of ways your retail enterprise can reshape customer service—and drive more profits—with smartphone scanning:
Smartphone scanning for assisted selling
Smartphone scanning has completely changed assisted selling and clienteling in retail. It empowers sales associates with helpful information for any product by simply scanning its barcode. The barcode is the link between the physical product and the wealth of information in your systems, and the scanning-enabled smartphone app provides the key to mobilizing it!
Smartphone-based scanning creates super associates who can offer relevant info to customers (from recommendations to comparisons) on the spot. Staff can also learn about a guest’s preferences by scanning their loyalty card in-aisle, further driving sales, up-sells, and a great retail customer experience.
With innovations like AR (Augmented Reality) and MatrixScan, employees can quickly and efficiently find any item a customer needs on the shelf by scanning multiple barcodes at once – for example, associates could scan an entire shelf of shoe boxes to find the right size in seconds. MatrixScan also supports clienteling in retail by showing stock levels at a glance, so your associates can quickly determine whether items are in stock and tell shoppers, no need to check in the backroom.
The optics of barcode scanning matter, too. Who wants their retail brand to be associated with clunky hardware scanners or sleds? Smartphones are sleek, attractive devices that fit better with your brand aesthetic, promoting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Smartphone scanning for mobile point of sale (mPOS)
An outdated checkout experience at a legacy POS system is enough to spoil any in-store customer experience. Shoppers don’t have the time or patience to wait in long checkout lines. But what if you could perform checkout anywhere in-store with a simple smartphone?
Smartphone scanning for mPOS empowers customers to approach any staff member to complete their purchase in-aisle. Scan the product and take the payment in one seamless interaction. Not only does this create a more convenient, flexible in-store shopping experience, but it also cuts down on long checkout queues, preventing frustration and lost sales from walkouts.
Best of all, there’s no need for a dedicated, expensive payment sled when you add enterprise-grade software-based scanning capabilities to your smart devices, integrating with mPOS apps. With this tech, your team can turn any camera-equipped smart device into a high-performance retail barcode scanner, creating a superior mobile POS system for your stores and customers.
If you’re ready to deliver the differentiated retail experience customers demand, then check out our guide to future-proofing your mPOS. This free resource will teach you how to adapt your mobile POS system to suit shoppers’ needs, eliminate long checkout lines, and create frictionless payments anywhere in your stores.
How smartphone scanning supports store operations
Along with improving customer experience in retail, barcode scanning supports a range of store operations to help your team run more efficiently, both in front and back-of-store. Smart devices with barcode scanning help reduce costs and make your staff more productive by streamlining retail tasks like stocktaking and inventory management. In fact, smartphone-based inventory management apps powered by MatrixScan make stock taking and inventory workflows 40% faster.
In-store order picking is another process empowered by Scandit-enabled smartphones. Your employees can leverage barcode scanning-enabled smart devices to quickly and accurately scan items for efficient order picking, improving pick rates while reducing labor costs. This single lightweight device offers everything your staff need for operational tasks—as well as for workforce communication. There is no compromise on scanning performance either, smartphones can match or even exceed the performance of hardware scanners and scanning sleds:
Scanning-enabled smartphones perform the typical voice, text, and video functions, making them a familiar, all-in-one tool for store operations and communication. This advantage nurtures seamless cooperation as staff move quickly and smoothly between font and back-of-store tasks, creating a better in-store customer experience in the process.
Reimagine customer experience with the Scandit solution
The Scandit solution supports all of these essential customer service efforts we’ve touched on, giving you an all-in-one scanning solution to augment your existing retail apps. To see our enterprise-grade scanning technology in action, be sure to explore our case study with dm-drogerie markt. It’s a perfect example of how your retail enterprise can upskill in-store customer service with smartphone scanning.
Ready to get started with Scandit? Contact us today to put our barcode scanning solution to work for your retail enterprise.