The benefits of creating an interactive in-store experience

The explosion in e-commerce has given shoppers the power to research, purchase and review products whenever and wherever they want to. With a world of information at their fingertips and more power and influence than ever before, consumer expectation has risen dramatically in recent years.

In a quest for convenience and value for money, shoppers have been migrating online in their droves. Their departure has prompted retailers to recognise the need to offer a little something extra in-store and has compelled many to harness the power of digital technology to revolutionise brick-and-mortar stores. Thanks to POS specialists such as CJ Retail Solutions, it’s now easier than ever to turn traditional retail outlets into spaces for engaging, empowering and persuading shoppers. Retail companies that resist the trend toward utilising digital means to create interaction in-store risk losing out on a host of benefits. Here we’ll look at two of the top ways focusing on the interactive experience can benefit your brand:

Reach a wider audience by becoming omnichannel

Whether you like it or not, your customers are using a variety of channels and devices to get the best deal and the best service. To ensure that your brand appeals to the connected consumer, it’s important to be able to offer a slick, flexible shopping experience across a number of platforms.

High-street retail giant Marks & Spencer is an example of a traditionally brick-and-mortar store that changed its approach in order to compete in this omnichannel age. In a bid to reach out to a wider audience and familiarise its offline shoppers with its online offering, the company introduced ‘browse and order hubs’ into a number of its UK stores. Via large, intuitive touchscreen devices, customers can browse and order products and access a range of useful resources, such as buying guides and a virtual makeup counter that uses facial recognition technology.

Encourage sales by taking advantage of showrooming

Showrooming – the act of browsing products on the shopfloor and using a smartphone or tablet device to compare prices and make purchases online – has been viewed as a major threat to retailers. However, it is possible for physical retailers to turn this trend to their advantage by using adaptive POS that offers online price matching and enables the adjustment of prices where appropriate. Digital kiosks, shop assistants armed with handheld devices and QR codes on product packaging can all be used to convince customers to buy in-store rather than go to a rival company.

Luxury clothing brand Burberry is one retailer that has managed to turn technology to its advantage by focusing on experiential shopping. In its flagship London store, the company has blurred the lines between physical and digital by effectively bringing its website to life in the real world. In an effort to replicate the experience of online shopping, the store has enabled customers to make purchases using mobile POS systems while seated on sofas. Unlike online shoppers, however, visitors to the Regent Street outlet get all the benefits of shopping in-store, such as seeing items up close and receiving a personal service. Freed up to act as brand ambassadors, sales assistants improve sales performance by using tablet devices to show customers the latest products and trends and ordering items that aren’t in stock.

Staying ahead of the curve

The retail landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and creating a seamless multichannel customer experience is no longer a luxury; if retailers are to compete in today’s market, it is a necessity. If you don’t believe us, just ask yourself what that guy glued to his phone on the shopfloor is doing when he says he’s just browsing.

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