The luxury and lifestyle retail industry has always set high standards for itself when it comes to extending outstanding customer service. It is this service and shopping experience that keeps the customers coming back for more. But what exactly goes into providing a truly superior experience?
The holiday season in particular always brings in waves of shoppers both online and offline that lead to a large number of exciting promotions, massive sales, and increased revenue often also result in long queues, longer checkout processing wait-time, stock-out situations, and lost sales. With COVID restrictions further complicating the experiences at the stores, it is important for retailers to be proactive about utilizing the right retail technology that helps to not only avoid any of the aforementioned unpleasant situations but also boost the holiday season profits.
In this write-up, which is the concluding piece of our series on how retailers can actually deliver an amazing customer experience, we throw light on how innovative retail software solutions and the associated benefits can do just that! Here are some ways in which you can “upgrade” your customers’ experience in your store:
Apart from quality products, customers usually seek a pleasant store ambiance, easy access to merchandise with correct labels be it wherever, whenever, or however they may choose to access it from, promotions and offers that are tailored to their requirements, and helpful, well-informed staff as part of the overall in-store experience.
Unfortunately, these are often independent departments, functioning in silos and the data collected from each of them cannot be analyzed together in a unified manner, thus effectively reducing its value. To work around this and make optimum use of all the data obtained from the different segments, you need to unify your retail processes. Unified commerce solutions involve unifying your omnichannel retail software solutions along with inventory management, order management and fulfilment, and product information management systems. It gives you a single view of your customers, one version of the truth of your inventory helps to secure all your payment transactions, and to gain better control over your logistics and order deliveries.
This will transcend the level of customer experience you are delivering to a truly superior one.
This holiday season, move the queues super quick so you can sell more. Implementing an mPOS system in your stores will allow your staff to help customers scan their purchases swiftly and check out faster without even having to wait in the queue. This is particularly helpful for the store staff to assist customers with smaller purchases who can be in and out of the store in a quick manner. This helps reduce the crowd in-store and maintain safe distancing, allowing you to maintain the COVID-induced restrictions and sell more while attending to more customers within the same time.
Having an mPOS system would also mean that you can register your customers into your CRM/loyalty management system right outside the store and they are able to enter the store, purchase quickly, and start earning loyalty points. This allows you to engage shoppers waiting in the queue to enter the store and potentially drive higher sales using the mPOS system.
This divide and delight strategy will help ease the in-store crowding significantly and customers will not have to wait too long to pay for their items, keeping them happy and allowing them to have a great impression of your store.
BOPIS, i.e., buy online and pick-up in-store – this strategy allows customers to make purchases online and hop over to your store to grab the items. They may even be queueing outside another store that is not BOPIS enabled while purchasing your products so that they can grab and go afterward.
With this, customers will be able to have the instant gratification of getting the items instantaneously without having to queue for them. Reserve online, pick-up in-store and click & collect are features very similar to BOPIS that can also be enabled with the help of the right omni-channel retail software solutions.
Retailers can also set up pick-up points outside the store to facilitate fast pickups and reduce the queues. In this way, customers who purchase online can pick it up faster while avoiding having to wait in line in the store.
All in all, this holiday season, it is important for stores to stand out from the crowd and offer unique ways of shopping such that shoppers will feel at ease and have a more pleasant time shopping. This will encourage them to return to your store in the future and thus build brand/store loyalty.
Limited shelf space? No problem! With technology nowadays, it is easy to list your entire inventory across stores and at warehouses online. Even with customers that are unfamiliar with your store, you are able to showcase all there is to them on a single screen.
During the holiday season especially, it is common to see empty shelves and frustrated shoppers. Store staff is unable to restock the shelves in time and that leaves the shoppers unfulfilled and unsatisfied because they made a wasted trip down to the store. With an endless aisle feature, stores are no longer limited by the shelf space. Store staff is able to approach shoppers and offer them suggestions that are not on the shelves allowing them to view the entire inventory and choose from there. Then if the inventory is not in-store, the sales associate can order the products for home delivery from the store on the same screen.
Thus having an endless aisle option allows for the in-store customers to view the entire inventory across all your stores and warehouses and pick out the item either to be shipped to their homes or reserve it for pick up another time. Buyers get more than they expected and this will increase the shoppers’ satisfaction.
With the Ship From Store (SFS) fulfilment technique, you can transform your stores into virtual distribution hubs that use stock from the physical store estate to fulfil both online & offline orders by leveraging inventory held in physical stores & making it available for sale through the eCommerce channels.
Extend an enhanced customer service to your end customers where they can buy products online and return/exchange them at the nearest store, or they can buy in-store and trigger an online return/exchange.
All the previous options are all related to the physical storefront. What if you have a fully digital option where shoppers are able to shop online and have the goods delivered right to their doorstep? In this way, you can reduce the number of customers in the stores and may even potentially have more sales online because the customers are not limited by the number of items they can carry!