Maximise in-store experiences; now you’re talking!

While in-store shopping hasn’t yet returned to pre-Covid levels, it has recovered significantly. People like the sensory-rich, social experience of bricks and mortar shops, indeed half (49%) of consumers prefer physical stores, especially where technology is used to improve customer experience.

One thing they don’t like for example is friction in their in-store experience, like finding it difficult to return goods or not getting quick answers from retail associates. Indeed, over half (55%*) of shoppers abandoned a brand because of a single poor shopping experience.

In order to differentiate themselves from online-only retailers, bricks and mortar stores are having to embrace omnichannel business models, offering services like buy-online-pickup-in-store (click and collect). But offering such features can be time-consuming, inconsistent, inefficient and unprofitable, especially if more staff have to be taken on to meet demand. What many omnichannel retailers are fast realising is that they need to run their fulfilment side and in-store processes more like mini distribution centres (DC).

Voice and wearables

Voice technology has long been used in DCs to improve workflows but, in a retail environment, it can not only drive greater efficiency, accuracy and productivity but also improve customer experience. Honeywell’s SRX-SL slimline Bluetooth wireless handset, for example, is ideal for customer-facing associates in-store, its lightweight design can comfortably be worn all day.

It allows associates to work eyes-free and hands-free on the sales floor to accomplish a variety of tasks such as finding items, marking down prices and replenishing stock. If customers approach them, they simply raise the mic boom to pause voice direction, engage with the customer, resolve their issue and get back to work, which sends a clear visual signal of attentiveness to the customer.

Additionally, equipping associates with wearable scanners or computers, enables them to resolve issues quicker and more accurately as they’re not wasting valuable seconds picking up and setting down devices. Voice only solutions will deliver productivity increases of 15-30% but multi modal speech directed solutions can boost that by an incremental 15.4%.

Honeywell’s CW45 wearable mobile computer is built on the newest generation of Mobility Edge platform and uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology to provide access to essential information, even in densely connected environments. This enables store associates to get the latest product information quickly and securely, reduces any fulfilment errors and boosts their efficiency. Of course, it’s no good having the latest Wi-Fi connectivity if your legacy infrastructure will struggle to deliver it. Demands on wireless networks continue to increase but we have years of experience delivering LAN or WAN solutions to meet your burgeoning needs.

Labour shortages

Retail vacancies remain high and automating more tasks seems an obvious way to manage labour shortages. Voice-directed technology enables retailers to:

  • Fulfil twice as many orders with the same amount of staff
  • improve fulfilment accuracy by up to 99.7%
  • boost overall productivity by up to 35%
  • reduce out-of-stock on shelves by 25% and boost in-store sales by 1%
  • halve training time for new or temporary associates, train staff in as little as 20-30 minutes.

While improving order fulfilment may prove the catalyst to adopting voice- directed workflows, retailers shouldn’t discount its impact in two other key areas; store operation and compliance. For example, stock counting can be done more accurately through a secure managed process, and managers can better track and determine associate responsibilities.

Give them the tools

Shoppers today are the most informed they’ve ever been. When they arrive in-store they’ve usually done a lot of research beforehand so equipping frontline retail associates with voice and wearables technology will enable them to quickly and accurately answer enquiries, manage returns, fulfil orders and provide high levels of customer service. Voice technology is the key to enabling you to gain a competitive edge in this omnichannel landscape.

We can offer the latest, most innovative technology and don’t let capital outlay be a barrier to entry. Our flexible pay monthly hardware rental contracts give you immediate access to the best tools to improve productivity and enhance your brand reputation. Why not come and talk to us on stand 6H10 at the Retail Technology show to see just how Honeywell’s voice technology could improve your in-store experiences.

*Source: Raydiant

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