All over the shop….but in a connected way!
Retail continues to be hit by a tsunami of challenges, from soaring rents and other price hikes to labour shortages. Oh, and did we mention that, in amongst all this, you should be embracing such things as social commerce, personalisation, sustainability, cybersecurity, self-service, the Metaverse and immersive experiences?
Frankly, if you attempted to achieve just a small percentage of some of the 2023 retail trends posed in the trade media you would be ‘all over the shop!’ Far better to focus on doing a handful of projects well, like empowering your retail workforce and streamlining and capitalising on processes like click and collect.
The customer is still king. But the king has changed and the balance of power has shifted from retailers to consumers. They’re far more demanding, better informed, less forgiving of bad customer experiences. Many just want to get in and out of shops as quickly and effortlessly as possible and, if you can’t meet their wants or needs, they’ll find a retailer who can.
Two things to prioritise as a retailer; take a unified commerce approach and create as friction-free shopper experiences as possible.
Unified commerce approach
Omnichannel retail has been with us some time, customers want a seamless journey with retailers whether the interaction is in-store, on social media channels or websites. They want a positive buying experience when searching, paying, collecting/getting delivered and returning goods.
Click & Collect has become increasingly popular since Covid-19, indeed over half of shoppers (54%*) who have tried it claim it improved their experience. They like the convenience and instant gratification of collecting purchases from physical stores rather than waiting for delivery or having to pay shipping costs.
And there are many things retailers could do to streamline their click and collect service. Honeywell’s Guided Work with voice direction provides inventory insight to enable retail associates to fulfil orders more efficiently and accurately. Once the order is picked, the associate is reminded to restock the shelf for other in-store shoppers; devices like Honeywell’s RP series mobile printers are great for rapid repositioning of stock.
When the customer calls to collect their purchase, scanners like Honeywell’s GenesisÔ XP 7680g are optimised to read both retailers’ barcodes and consumers smartphones thus easing the checkout process. If a customer adds an in-store item to their order, Honeywell’s rugged CT40 XP mobile computer will enable the retail associate to take payment quickly and easily. Just making incremental changes like this improve shopper experience as well as drive revenue.
Retailers claim the top thing (48%†) they ask of their employees is to help customers find products they’re looking for but research suggests shoppers no longer see associates as helpful in that regard. Some 45%† of retailers admit that consumers want more access to informed staff than they can provide.
Clearly more information needs to be available to both associates and shoppers to minimise this friction. Kiosk solutions located throughout stores could help customers through a contactless, self-service experience. Such touchless technologies are certainly on the rise in retail, especially at checkouts, indeed, MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis recently tweeted a poll claiming supermarket shoppers prefer self-service checkouts to staffed ones!
As to how to empower retail associates to reduce friction and better address customer’s questions or concerns on the sales floor, then equipping them with voice-directed technology or connected devices like Honeywell’s CT30 XP mobile computer gives them instant access to intel and helps restore the convenience and magic of in-store shopping. Specifically, the CT30 XP:
Is supported by SmartTalk, which unifies communications among store associates enabling them to work more as a team.
Enables contactless or card payments to be made via Honeywell Smart Pay
Is backed by Honeywell’s stable, secure and durable Mobility EdgeÔ platform
All models come equipped for fast Wi-Fi connectivity, while support for Wi-Fi 6 in selected SKUs increases connection reliability, range and throughput in crowded conditions and provides a better experience in voice and video communications. Our 25 years’ retail expertise can help you harness the latest wireless network and mobile computing technologies to maximise your business growth and get you connected you all over the shop!
†Source: ‘Has the era of the empowered workforce finally arrived?’ Retail Systems Research (RSR), 2022