Traditional brick and mortar stores are no more and a new hybrid store is replacing them.
One where customers see products digitally and touch them. One where all store associates can see stock or perform different tasks.
It’s possible through the utilization of the right technology. Technology that brings the physical and digital worlds together to create a seamless experience for shoppers and store associates.
Yet, millions of dollars doesn’t have to be spent to keep up with all the new trends.
Make substantial enhancements at a fraction of the cost with Scandit Smart Data Capture.
Connect employees, systems and customers using smart devices. Give them real-time data and information from scanning barcodes that enables rapid decision making at point of sale and back of store.
Turn customers into advocates and store associates into high-performing sales consultants.
This guide has seven simple steps to show how it can be done.
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1. Bring an online experience into the physical store
E-commerce and brick and mortar stores are very different experiences.
This is because a physical shopping experience isn’t as personal as a digital shopping one. The e-commerce site knows the whole purchase history and more.
Retail spaces need to create the same interaction with the customer, as well as the ability to touch and feel the items for sale.
E-commerce has seen rapid growth recently, with worldwide sales expected to hit $5.5tn in 2022. But we should not forget about traditional shopping experiences.
There is still a need to meet the customer wherever they want to shop and deliver a connected, seamless experience with your brand.
The retail space is also changing, and it is important that retailers create a personal connection between customers and their business.
To make this happen, they need to embrace technology.
- Creating an emotional connection can drive sales
- Customers will learn more about the product and make a better decision
- They will also be able to touch and see products
2. Use smart data capture to retrieve product information
Customers, in today’s online-first world, expect an easy way to gather product information to make an informed purchase decision.
The ease of access to information and product comparisons online is hard to replicate when shopping in-store.
But with Scandit Smart Data Capture technology, consumers can scan product codes to blend the physical and digital worlds together with the smartphone in their hand.
A quick scan can reveal information including product description, price, offers, and the ability to add to a wishlist or shopping cart. Creating a hybrid experience that delivers real-time data to the customer.
However, the consumer’s smart device needs to scan the barcode every time regardless of the conditions or lighting in the store.
- It must scan first time, every time
- It must scan across a variety of labels, especially if they are damaged, obscured or in glare or shadow
- It must work with the widest variety of devices
A poor experience early on in the process may alienate the consumer and prevent them from returning.
3. Use augmented reality to display product reviews and offers on the customer’s smartphone
AR technology provides retailers with a fun, innovative and new way to connect with their customers.
Consumers can enjoy a unique experience when shopping in the retail environment with the help of an AR-enabled app.
For example, a shopper could use a phone to scan the barcode on some desired headphones. The app would then reveal any offers or reviews in the form of on-screen AR.
UK retailer Nisa is already doing this with an AR-powered voucher app.
“Through Scandit’s augmented reality within the Scan & Save app, Nisa shoppers can receive instant product information, including allergens and reviews, enabling informed buying decisions, uplifts in sales, shopper engagement, and retailer product ordering.” Greg Deacon, Jisp’s Chief Customer Officer
Digitally interacting with physical items by integrating AR technology into the retail environment is a key component of the omnichannel strategy.
4. Personalize the store experience
Online retailers know a lot about us. They use that information to offer unique discounts or personalize shopping experiences.
Physical retailers need to do the same thing. Personalized offers are great for encouraging spending and building loyalty.
Using a smartphone app loaded with profile data, individual offers can be communicated to consumers the moment they step in store and scan the shelf.
It’s easy to do and the element of gamification can encourage repeat visits and purchases.
German grocery retailer Metro improved shopper satisfaction with real-time access to personalized product information
Another option is to give store associates the tools to scan loyalty and ID cards to speed up the sign up process and access any rewards the customer is due. This may help increase basket size and allow them to make personalized product recommendations.
5. Deliver the omnichannel experience with assisted selling
One of the major detractors of in-store experience is having to wait for a sales associate to check stock or access product information. Consumers don’t wait online, so why should they wait in-store?
How environmentally friendly is this item? How much does this cost to run? Do you have this model or accessory? Which product option has which features?
With smart data capture powering a mobile app, a simple scan can access a wealth of information from anywhere in the store. Associates can answer any question with the most up-to-date information from back-end systems, without leaving the customer’s side.
And no need to constantly dash back and forth to the stock room or fixed terminal to check for associates either, much easier on the feet.
Item not in stock? Then using the same device, reserve it for the customer at another store or order for home delivery.
Give associates the power to answer a variety of questions on the spot and deliver a true omnichannel and hybrid experience with a device that fits in their pocket.
Delighting consumers in this way also has payoffs for the employee. Job satisfaction goes up as they deliver a high value service to those they interact with.
6. Create a seamless checkout experience
Make the checkout process easier and retailers will see several business benefits. Self checkout and mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) are two concepts transforming the experience for customers.
You can see how Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, integrated Scandit technology and addressed real estate constraints in physical stores and raised in-app self scanning purchases here.
Letting customers scan and purchase items from the store using their own phones is the easiest way to improve conversion rates, because there isn’t any friction involved. No delay in having to wait for a sales associate, no waiting in line and no chance to abandon the purchase if the customer is having second thoughts.
And to add to this, it frees up associates to handle more added value tasks and eliminates the need for bulky fixed point of sale areas.
Mobile self-scanning has many benefits:
- It’s easy to use, even for those not familiar with smartphones
- Check out is easy, limiting time spent in stores
- It takes less time than standing in line at the register
For retailers where customer service is still an important part of the buyer journey, such as cosmetics or consumer electronics, mPOS can be the answer.
Associates process transactions anywhere in the store with the smart data capture-powered mPOS app on their phone, all without leaving the customer’s side. No need for a bulky sled to handle the scanning either.
In a recent report retailers said average order size went up by 25% after deploying mPOS on smart devices.
7. Enable speedy store pick ups
The pandemic accelerated the use of the Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) retail model.
It places a lot of pressure on retailers and their store associates to have an efficient order fulfillment process.
With a single device powered by Scandit Smart Data Capture, the whole process can be streamlined.
Order pickers can:
- Find items immediately aided by visual guides of product location
- Pick and pack orders quickly with the industry’s fastest scanning engine
- Locate and destage the correct order with a simple AR overlay
- Confirm that the order has been received
Reducing human error and wait times for the customer.
And if age verification is required, employees can scan a wide variety of identification documents using the same device.
Online, in store, or even online while in store, the concept of omnichannel has no boundaries for consumers. They expect a similar branded experience wherever they are.
For retailers going forward, this means digitizing physical stores and offering a new hybrid alternative. And there are some quick and easy wins out there.
These seven tips will help combine some of the benefits of e-commerce with all the advantages of a physical store. All can be performed using one device that can perform any task, anywhere.
Scandit Smart Data Capture has the potential to save retailers time and money while boosting sales and placing physical stores at the center of the omnichannel experience.
Brick and mortar stores will always be around, and using the right technology they can deliver new experiences that can keep their customers satisfied.
If retailers want to stay competitive, they should focus on their customers by delivering an e-commerce site and hybrid brick and mortar stores that are consistent in terms of the products and the experience.