E-commerce has brought customers more information, insight and freedom than ever before. With a few taps of a smart device, shoppers can access detailed product information, view thousands of reviews, and customize their online orders. In light of these innovations, brick-and-mortar retailers are adopting mobile computer vision solutions to create digital in-store experiences that rival the convenience of e-commerce stores.
Scandit has spent the last decade redefining the retail landscape with mobile computer vision technology. Our proprietary data capture solutions transform inexpensive smart devices into enterprise-grade data capture tools, powerful mobile scanners that improve back-of-house and in-store retail operations and in-store shopping experiences for customers. Today, we’ll explore how you can bring some of the key perks of e-commerce to brick-and-mortar shopping.
Delivering digital in-store experiences is not as complex as you may imagine
When retailers think of digitized in-store experiences, most turn to Amazon Go as a shining example. These concept stores enable customers to simply walk into the space, take whichever items they want, and leave without ever touching a checkout kiosk. And while Amazon Go brings exciting retail opportunities to the table, it’s not a solution within the grasp of many retailers. The concept is created with hundreds of cameras and weight sensors and the infrastructure investment is huge. This is one of the reasons why many retailers are turning to mobile computer vision solutions instead.
Most of the tools you need to create a great digital in-store shopping experience already exist in your stores. The price tags, barcodes, and other unique identifiers are already in place; all that’s left is to deploy a solution that enables customers to interact with your in-store products digitally. Computer vision-equipped smart devices are just such a solution and with them, your retail enterprise can win the hearts and minds of customers through Amazon Go-type shopping experiences that streamline, engage and inspire.
Mobile computer vision technology enables consumers to capture digital information using a variety of smart devices, including any camera-equipped smartphone. Shopping applications augmented with affordable mobile computer vision software are capable of scanning in-store barcodes instantly, enabling customers to find and add products to their cart, pay for items, and checkout in seconds.
Put digital information into customers’ hands while they’re in the aisle
While in the store, customers can also use smartphones to scan items to get information such as stock availability or product ratings or perhaps an allergy checker. The retailer chooses what data source to link their customer app to and Scandit software makes it happen. These are great examples of how retailers can bring some of the best features of online shopping right onto the shop floor – and it’s already been done:
- See how the Guitar Centre makes reviews, videos and ratings available to shoppers.
- And Yuka uses scanning to drive a ‘healthy ingredients checker’.
Clearly, online shopping gives customers instant access to product information. So if retailers give shoppers in physical stores the same instant, easy access to detailed information about cost, availability, customization options, and reviews, for example, it’s easy to see how this blending of the physical and digital worlds will help customers to make better-informed purchasing decisions in-store. And it’s all done with a barcode and a smartphone – thanks to some sophisticated computer vision software.
Mobile computer vision can also be used to provide personalized information to shoppers in-store, such as individually targeted discounts. When a customer scans a product through your retail app, they can receive information on relevant promotions. You can also send coupons and other discounts via in-app displays through augmented reality (AR) overlays – creating a more personalized interaction and driving sales.
- See how Metro provide personalized pricing to in-store shoppers.
Another perk of e-commerce is obviously skipping long checkout lines – we’re all used to simply adding items, choosing a payment method and waiting for the goods to arrive. The same option is available to brick-and-mortar stores. With a barcode scanning-enabled mobile app, shoppers can scan and buy items with a touch of their smartphone, saving time and avoiding traditional checkout lines altogether.
Mobile self-checkout is fast and straightforward. Using a mobile shopping app on a smartphone, customers scan product barcodes as they shop, and then pay either at self-checkout stations or through the app.
- See how Coop have slashed check-out lines with their self-checkout scanning app.
Mobile Point of Sale
Many retailers also invest in mPOS (mobile point of sale) software for smart devices to complete customer payment from anywhere in the store as opposed to at payment stations. These simple, affordable solutions alleviate waiting and crowding, save customers time and slash equipment expenses normally sunk into dedicated scanning and payment hardware. Anyone who’s been to an Apple Store will recognise this approach.
Here’s the greatest advantage of incorporating mobile computer vision into brick-and-mortar stores, a strength no e-commerce shop can match: a convenient and highly interactive shopping experience.
We talk a lot about the advantages of experiential retail—selling shoppers an experience rather than simple products or services. It’s always been an attractive concept, but tough to execute practically. At least until now. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into experiential store concepts to create a unique and rewarding shopping journey for customers—especially if you keep the focus on speed and convenience. Mobile computer vision pushes both of those concepts to the next level, delivering fast, intuitive in-store shopping experiences that give shoppers more freedom and interactivity than e-commerce ever could.
Going digital in-store with Scandit
Our industry-leading technology turns any camera-enabled smart device into a powerful scanner and adds information for the user with augmented reality (AR) overlays. All for a fraction of the price of dedicated scanning devices.
The scanning performance is unrivalled – from damaged labels to awkward scanning angles and unusual barcodes. This is absolutely crucial because whether your app is used by customers or employees, you want to be absolutely confident it’s going to work first time, every time. To maximize adoption, the user experience needs to be fantastic, with ‘first-time friction’ minimized. We regularly have customers that test Scandit software against other commercial or open source solutions and come to us.
Advanced features such as the augmented reality (AR) overlays and scanning multiple codes at once via MatrixScan, make a difference to retail operational efficiency and shopping experiences.
If you’re ready to find out more, then be sure to explore Think Like Amazon which spells out how to create the digital in-store retail experience your customers want within existing retail environments, without major infrastructure investments or complex integrations. And we’d love to talk, so do connect with us for more information.