Retail is changing at a faster pace and with the increasing penetration of smart phones and tablets, brick-and-mortar stores are finding it difficult to compete with the online stores. Decreasing foot-fall and sales are some of the toughest challenges that brick-and-mortar stores are facing in today’s environment.
Just a decade ago, consumers loved shopping inside the four walls where they could touch, feel and explore the products of their choices in real but with the advancement in technology and availability of 24×7 internet consumers shifted to the online stores as they found it much more convenient to explore products, compare prices and order from anywhere, anytime. Brands owners and brick-and-mortar owners thought that consumers would never trust these online stores as it was all virtual shopping and they would never share their personal information or credit card details with these online stores but with time online stores built trust among consumers by providing exceptional services. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores lost the battle to the online stores as consumers had much more options available to them 24×7 compared to the traditional stores.
Since, this is the digital age and consumers are always connected to the internet the brick-and-mortar stores can increase the engagement with the consumers using smart phones and tablets. Today, consumers want convenience, value for money and delightful shopping experience and physical stores have to adopt digital technologies that takes customer experience to the next level in order to achieve customer engagement.
By investing in digital technologies such as Augmented Reality based customer engagement solutions, Analytics, connecting the offline store with the online store, offering online payments in-store enable retailers to deliver a superior shopping experience to the consumers and achieve higher level of customer engagement.
Increase in Customer Engagement means Increase in Sales
The goal is to ensure that consumers spend more time inside the stores and spending more time means better engagement and better engagement leads to increased sales. Here are few reasons why focusing on better Customer Engagement Methodologies leads to an increase in sales:
- It’s about Relationship – Consumers feel more satisfied about their purchases if they get a sense of personal touch and they like to return to the store for more. Delivering the same experience using digital technologies as they get while shopping online makes consumers feel confident about the retail store and it’s services as they can explore products using the app while in-store, scan the products using smart phones and get all the product related info, compare prices and make payments from the app while in-store. All, this contributes towards offering a better service and building a better relationship with the customers.
- Informing and Engaging – Today consumers are empowered because of the internet, smart phones and tablets, they have access to all the information related to the brands and products so, in order to engage with them it is essential to provide them with the accurate and relevant information about the brand, products and services. Informing the consumers in the right manner leads to immediate engagement and sales.
- Personalized Services – Customer feel more satisfied with the brand or store where they get personalized services and where staff attends them with a smile. Digital technologies enable your customer-facing team to stay equipped with the all the products related information, deals and discounts and help them to answer customer questions quickly and pass on all the relevant information to the customers.
- Analytics turns information into action – Engagement is all about understanding the customers such as their behaviour, buying habits and preferences. Digital technology solutions such as Augmented Reality based ‘in-store value creation’ enable brands and store owners to gather the data in real-time and make improvements to the sales channel, product arrangements etc. based on the data that contains insightful information.
We are now living in the digital age where everything is available at a click of a button whether it is about making a payment, purchasing a book or an informative article, we can do everything using our smart phone or tablet. Digital technologies enable brick-and-mortar stores to create value for their customers and delight them by delivering an engaging shopping experience similar to what consumer get while shopping online.