It’s not you, it’s them – your customers have changed.
After embracing online shopping in record numbers in 2020, consumers’ expectations of the in-store fashion experience have been reframed.
E-commerce brings choice, convenience and a wealth of information at their fingertips. Fashion retailers need to up their game to avoid underwhelming shoppers and keep them coming back.
But your brick-and-mortar stores can provide something that e-commerce can’t offer: a blended experience that combines the traditional benefits of physical retail, with the human touch of your retail associates, plus digital technology which brings the best of online in-store.
It’s the future of assisted selling. And it can be achieved with one device: the smartphone.
In this guide, we’ll examine how equipping your associates with modern smartphones and advanced data capture software helps – and highlight the key factors for success.
You will discover how to:
- Provide tailored recommendations and expert advice
- Answer customer questions on the spot with complete confidence
- Speed up or modernize check out
Scandit will help you create the future of customer assistance today – making employees more effective and creating more personal (not to mention profitable) shopping journeys.
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Smartphones: Essential tools for assisted selling
The key to creating these enhanced in-store experiences that delight demanding shoppers? Empowered associates with the right digital tools and data in their hands.
A smartphone enabled with advanced data capture and augmented reality software provides a connection point between the consumer, employee and retailer.
With a smartphone in hand, associates can perform any in-store operational or customer assistance task, able to capture and access data from essential retail systems (e-commerce, inventory systems, CRM platforms) anywhere in-store by scanning barcodes on labels and shelves.
Here we’ll look at specific customer scenarios, how the technology helps and key considerations to drive successful interactions.
Make any employee into an instant expert
When people are browsing in stores, the ability to touch, feel and try on clothes differentiates from the online experience.
But equally you can’t use a filter to exclude the types of items you aren’t interested in. You also can’t instantly check if it’s available in your size or read detailed information on the sustainability or materials.
Clienteling: On the spot answers leave no potential sale unmade
So when a customer has a question, you need to empower your employees to help. Sometimes the answer comes through training or experience to acquire knowledge. But often the associate needs to look it up by checking stock data on a fixed terminal or in the back room.
But with a connected smartphone in hand, there’s no delay or need to leave the customer waiting for an answer and potentially walking away and losing the sale. They become instant experts who can:
- Scan the product barcode to look up real-time product information (sustainability, size availability, colour options) from your systems
- Scan multiple items to help customer compare products (prices, features, materials)
- Scan loyalty cards to access CRM data for truly personalized experiences
- Make expert recommendations via clienteling apps to upsell and boost basket size
- Use augmented reality to present information visually on screen (reviews, prices, matching items) for a ‘wow’ experience to seal the sale
- Support omnichannel services, such as arranging for home delivery or reserving at another store if an item is not in stock
Five considerations for clienteling
One: Enterprise grade scanning performance is a must
The barcode is the link between the employees and the information they need, so top scan performance is essential. You need fast, robust scanning in real-store conditions on any barcode – even damaged or difficult codes, in low or bright light etc.
Two: Ergonomics and experience matter
With the customer on the spot, employees should be thinking about eye contact and engagement, not aiming at barcodes. Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK makes it simple.
Scan at a distance, at angles, at speed – with no mis-scans or false positives which would create a poor customer experience.
Three: Go beyond barcode scanning to stand out
Displaying information with AR overlays on the device screen creates a more compelling experience for the customer. Or scanning their ID to streamline loyalty program signup removes hassle and potential for human error. All on the same smart device.
Four: Seamless integration is essential
Retail ecosystems can be complicated at the best of times. Scandit makes it easy to seamlessly add barcode scanning and AR capabilities into any retail ecosystem.
Whether it’s integration with major clienteling apps, like New Black, Mercaux, Mad Mobile and Keytree, your own employee native or web apps – or even an existing third-party employee app where you can’t change or integrate with via our Enterprise Browser.
Five: Aesthetics that suit your brand
When you spend millions outfitting your stores to appeal to shoppers, why use a bulky scanning sled when with Scandit the camera on sleek, modern smart devices can match or outperform the scanning and fit in your employees pockets?
Make checkout future-proof and frictionless
Having a great interaction with an associate is one thing, but it still needs to lead to a positive outcome – aka a sale.
People have always hated queuing and walkouts are a major issue.
Shopping online, people can click a button to checkout in a second or even add to a basket where you may have more chances to convert the sale with reminders and offers.
But in-store, shoppers may be in a hurry, might reconsider an impulse purchase or just can’t be bothered to find and walk to the counter (in a different section or floor perhaps).
mPOS: More flexible, less friction, no waiting in line
Using the same smart device with mobile POS and data capture software the associate can complete the interaction and process the sales anywhere in store. No need for a bulky sled either.
Move seamlessly from assisting to selling in the same interaction.
Associates can use a smartphone or a tablet device to enable customers to checkout.
It’s a friction free, personalized process that busts queues and once finished, the associates and device are free to head off to the next task or customer. Associates can:
- Scan multiple barcodes swiftly and smoothly to add products into the mPOS system from anywhere in-store – cut down queues and eliminate walkouts
- Scan loyalty cards to access points and discounts
- Scan customer identity documents (drivers licenses, ID cards or passports) to streamline loyalty signup or capture data for tax refunds for tourists
- Process the transaction using a simple card reader, which can be paired via bluetooth and fits in a pocket. No need for a bulky sled for scanning and payment
- Go mobile and scan from hand or take the customer to a designated area, to process the transaction, bag and de-tag the product
Six considerations for mPOS
One: Great scan performance doesn’t need a sled
mPOS is supposed to reduce friction for customers, if an item can’t be scanned due to a curved, torn or faded barcode the time saved by not queuing is effectively lost. Traditionally this would require a dedicated scanning sled to achieve, but not anymore.
Scandit delivers enterprise-grade data capture performance to over 20,000 smart device models that is fast and intuitive for employees. Watch how effectively an iOS smartphone with Scandit can scan in direct comparison to a typical scanning sled:
Two: No more lines, no more lost sales
When queues are building up in stores during busy periods or sales, any associate equipped with a Scandit-enabled smartphone and simple card reader smartphone can shift their focus onto handling transactions until the peak is passed.
Reduce wait times, walkouts and optimize employees time to meet pressing customer requirements.
Three: Future-proof mPOS with hardware and usage flexibility
Need one multi-functional smart device to handle all operational tasks, assist customers and process mPOS? No problem with a smartphone in your pocket. Prefer to use a kiosk or dedicated area off the central shop floor – mount a tablet on a port and use the front facing-camera for hands free scanning and selling.
Scandit’s data capture software works on any smart device form factor with a simple payment reader. This eliminates the need for sleds and offers flexibility to fit any store setup to ensure you can deliver the right customer checkout experience.
It’s also future-proof, as you aren’t tied into a specific form factor for future technology refreshes.
Four: Think about TCO and scalability
Scanning-enabled smart devices with a simple payment device are a more cost effective alternative, without compromising performance.
It’s much quicker and simpler to scale up the number of bluetooth payment devices, rather than expensive sleds which are only interoperable with certain smart devices.
Even when factoring in device costs, maintenance, peripherals and software licenses, Scandit fashion retail customers have calculated significant savings in the total cost of ownership across their fleets.
Five: Integration into mPOS and payment software
mPOS setups have lots of moving parts, so Scandit makes your life simple.
We offer easy integration with retail software like Mad Mobile, Oracle Xstore, Xenia and payment providers including Adyen – either through native apps or browser-based apps.
Six: ID scanning adds value for customers and retailers
With Scandit, you can add advanced ID scanning into your mPOS processes to add additional value to the customers who are spoilt by autofill when shopping online. This can be before the transaction, capturing details from the ID when signing up for loyalty schemes, eliminating manual form fills and the potential for human error.
Or what about processing tax free items for tourists? Typically, the employee needs to input all of the customer data in the database manually. This is prone to mistakes and creates friction or long queues at checkout. But with Scandit the employee can scan the passport or ID of the customer error free and in seconds:
Deliver the future of customer assistance today with Scandit
With Scandit, you can empower associates to deliver customer assistance that blend the best of online and in-store experiences on sleek smart devices that fit your aesthetic.
Assist people or checkout anywhere in the store, with no waiting or lines with a future-proof solution that is accessible today.
Talk to us about how we can help you.