Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed a variety of usage scenarios in the retail industry where smartphone-based barcode scanning is being leveraged through mobile apps. Today we’ll continue this discussion by looking at a new type of employee-facing mobile app that’s e been emerging, sales force empowerment apps.
The Life of a Retail Sales Person: Past and Present
Sales people at brick and mortar retail locations field a large variety of product questions on a daily basis. Do you have this in my size? Is this product gluten free? What sort of warranty comes with this? Where was this made? The list goes on. Traditionally, sales people had to rely on expertise they gathered over time or that of their coworkers. In today’s retail environment, the ubiquity of smartphones has changed the game, paving the way for a new class of mobile apps that can deliver product information on the fly. Here’s the typical usage scenario:
- Customer asks retail floor staff a question about a product
- Employee accesses a mobile app through a company-issued or a personal smartphone
- Using a barcode scanner or search functionality, employee accesses information about a specific product
This process applies to a variety of different use cases. Here are some examples of situations where a sales empowerment app might be used:
– Checking inventory levels to find a certain size or item
– Finding Warranty information
– Finding a products origin
– Checking food-related information including allergen and diet information
– Accessing a product’s story and company culture information
Leveraging the Bring-Your-Own-Device Trend
Recent trends in enterprise mobility include what is known as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), a movement that provides the opportunity for companies to develop mobile apps that employees can use on their own personal smartphones. The sales force empowerment usage scenario is perfect for a BYOD environment, wherein employees access a company provided app through the Apple iTunes app store or the Google Play store. Imagine this—a customer walks up to a clothing salesperson and asks, “Do you have this in my size?” The salesperson responds, “Just one moment.” He then pulls out a phone, opens an app, scans the product tag and provides a response in that moment. An interaction like this can greatly improve a customer’s shopping experience.
Adding Product Data and Barcode Scanning to a Sales Force Empowerment App
Sales force empowerment apps can be greatly enhanced through addition of a barcode scanner and a product database. Scandit’s Product API provides access to a product database featuring product information related over 25 million UPC codes. Combined with a reliable product database, Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK provides the cross-platform reliability necessary for mobile enterprise-grade barcode scanning. Watch the video to get a sense of the user experience.
Building a Mobile Sales Empowerment App
So you’re convinced, it’s time to build a sales force empowerment app what needs to happen next?
1) Decide if you want to build the app in house or hire a solution provider to build one.
2) Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on.
3) Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use an integrated retail system? What kind of database does the app need to connect with?
5) Build and test your app (or watch it being built).
6) Deploy and Enjoy.
Need help making a decision? Our sales staff is here to help. Contact us for more information.
Stay tuned for more usage scenarios including package pickup and delivery coming soon!