The Key Advantage Department Stores Have Over Amazon

In today’s age of e-commerce titans, many big box and department stores are struggling to keep pace. Thankfully, recent consumer insights have revealed a powerful advantage brick-and-mortar stores can use to gain a competitive edge over e-commerce brands and encourage superior business outcomes—in-person engagement. When harnessed correctly, in-person engagement can help your enterprise develop stronger, more profitable relationships with shoppers by driving customer loyalty and satisfaction.

At Scandit, we produce innovative mobile data capture solutions that incorporate the best features of online retailing into in-store shopping. Our advanced computer vision technology transforms modern smart devices into enterprise-grade barcode scanning machines, empowering brick-and-mortar stores with a more flexible, cost-effective alternative to dedicated barcode scanners. If you’re looking to brush shoulders with e-commerce giants like Amazon, you’ll need unique in-store shopping experiences that engage and inspire. So today, we’ll be shedding some light on how you can leverage mobile computer vision technology to improve in-person interactions and create those experiences.

How Today’s Consumers Feel About Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Did you know that 74% of consumers have positive or very positive feelings about traditional physical retailers? Despite the fact that physical store sales and foot traffic have decreased in recent years, modern consumers still value the experience of in-store shopping. In fact, many studies suggest that customers can shop more efficiently at brick-and-mortar stores than online retail channels because they’re so familiar with physical store layouts and signage. So if shoppers are still receptive to physical shopping, why are online retail sales growing at a higher rate than in-store sales? Experts believe it’s because online retailers offer a greater level of convenience than physical ones.

The Power of In-Person Retail Interactions

While online retailers are almost unrivaled in terms of convenience and variety, there are a few key drawbacks to a digital-only approach. Most notably, online stores offer no form of human interaction. From a service standpoint, this makes it challenging for customers to ask questions about specific product attributes and promotions. And while online FAQs, comments and reviews offer some reprieve, these resources pale in comparison to asking a knowledgeable employee face-to-face. Finding the right products (or comparable alternatives) is another significant service concern for e-commerce shoppers. Unlike brick-and-mortar customers, online shoppers can’t rely on a retail staff member to help them locate or choose between appropriate items, which can quickly lead to frustration and sales abandonment.

Superior customer service is just one of the many advantages in-person engagement can bring to retail enterprises. Interacting with real people and products can breed more satisfying and rewarding shopping experiences, too. When customers have the freedom to physically interact with the items they’re considering, they can make more informed and confident purchasing decisions—mitigating returns and encouraging future sales. Many shoppers also see huge appeal in being able to select an item and take it home the same day—an opportunity that’s currently impossible for online stores. Believe it or not, 60.8% of shoppers list this advantage as one of the main reasons why buying something in-store is more satisfying than purchasing online.

Merging Online & Physical Retail Channels

Today’s shoppers demand flexibility from the retail brands they engage with, which is why a multichannel sales approach is often the most effective approach. This gives customers the freedom to interact with your enterprise via physical stores, online stores, social media platforms and more—fostering deeper engagement and additional sales opportunities.

With recent innovations in mobile data capture, it’s possible to combine your physical and online channels to provide the best of both worlds for shoppers. For example, department and big box stores can develop mobile shopping applications to streamline online shopping and facilitate smartphone use for in-store shopping. These retail solutions accommodate current shopping trends (63% of consumers do some, most or all of their shopping with their smartphones) without cutting shoppers off from the advantages of brick-and-mortar shopping.

With the award-winning Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK, you can empower customers and employees alike by integrating robust smart device-based barcode scanning solutions into mobile apps—bringing increased efficiency and value to your clienteling, self-scanning, mobile PoS and mShopping initiatives. From a clienteling perspective, computer vision-powered smartphones empower sales associates to quickly and accurately address consumer questions and make personalized purchase recommendations—delivering a level of in-person engagement and customer service that no e-commerce enterprise can match.

Integrating Mobile Shopping Apps Into Your Retail Enterprise

Historically, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to integrate mobile shopping apps into their existing infrastructure. But thanks to Scandit’s retail solutions, it’s never been easier to create and implement shopping apps without needing to change your existing enterprise software—effectively eliminating any upfront risk. With the Barcode Scanner SDK for the Web, your team can even integrate barcode scanning via camera-equipped smart devices directly into web pages, creating new engagement opportunities previously only available with mobile shopping apps. Whether you need to create an advanced clienteling app that identifies key product information or a simple self-scanning app, Scandit offers all the tools and support your team needs to drive better business results.

Lead the Way in Retail Technology With Scandit

Interested in learning more about how your enterprise can use Scandit’s retail solutions to drive productivity and boost customer satisfaction? Call or message us today. You can also connect with us for more insights into how brick-and-mortar stores can use computer vision technology to compete with Amazon and other leading e-commerce stores. We’re always here to help.

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