How to Transform Your Store into the Ultimate Experience Center

For brick-and-mortar stores, omnichannel is the golden ticket for achieving the ultimate retail experience. Over 90 percent of revenues come from in-store purchases – with new technology advancing daily, every store has the potential to transform itself into the ultimate experience center.

Using personalization systems and tools to tie online activity to in-store interactions, decision makers can gather data from numerous systems, rapidly analyze it, and use the results to upgrade stores and cater to every customer.

 In-store beacons

Personalization is a significant component of the omnichannel experience. Knowing who is entering your store and when is the first step. Integrated with your store app, location-based beacons let retailers send personalized greetings to customers’ smartphones upon entry and even suggest items currently on sale ¾ or not ¾ based on previous purchases.

It’s important to remember that some alerts are viewed as intrusive, so limit notifications and make sure they’re useful. Push notifications, such as a coupon for the next time the customer shops at your store, are a great way to foster loyalty and keep shoppers coming back.

Curbside notification

Retailers can create a seamless curbside pickup process for customers who order items online. If customers are provided with a text or an email when their order is complete instead of an “estimated time frame,” so they know exactly when their item is ready. When customers arrive for pickup, they can text saying, “I’m here” when arriving for pickup.

Beacons at designated parking spaces can send notification via the store app directly to the associate gathering that customer’s product. Text technology and two-way radios allow retailers to provide real-time service at the point of pickup.

Complete customer data

A complete background on a customer’s online purchases, store transactions, and how often they buy from the store is necessary to stay ahead of the curve. An IBM study found that 62 percent of retailers report that the use of data and analytics creates a competitive advantage for their organizations.

Stores can also collect employee performance data and provide coaching for problem areas. For example, when associates are assisting customers on the sales floor, they should be able to easily show customers how to use the product they’re considering. Retailers can empower associates to become credible brand messengers by giving them access to meaningful customer insights to provide a personalized experience.

 Digital shopping journey

Retailers have been slowly adopting digital tech to help assist in the customer experience. Today, the tech evolution is moving at a much faster pace. To truly digitize shoppers’ retail experience, consumers should feel like all the work is being done for them. Every area of the store can be enhanced — even areas like dressing rooms and aisles.

Technology like line management systems and motion-sensor cameras shorten time spent in dressing rooms and check out lines. Instead of waiting for an associate to notice the lines are too long and call in assistance, this technology ensures customers never have to wait long to check out — a key part to keeping them coming back. Smart cameras can also assist with loss prevention to ensure managers are on top of everything on the sales floor. Staying a step ahead of the shoppers allows retailers to orchestrate their experience for them.

 Combining each of these pieces is critical to transform a store into an experience center. By linking in-store tools with customer data, retailers can create an ideal omnichannel journey for in-store customers. With the right technology, proper associate training and employee access to customer data, that personalized, efficient shopping experience will position merchants far ahead of the competition.

Article originally posted in STORES Magazine

Mark Barnes, CEO of LNL Systems.