We talk a lot about how in-store technology can help keep the retail experience competitive in an increasingly virtualized economy. There are many examples of brands introducing leading technologies intro their retail experience - everything from Sephora and Ulta with virtual mirror technology and golf brands who have created virtual golf courses so customers can work on their swing in-store. While these programs are exciting and innovative, not every brand needs to adopt cutting edge technologies to stay competitive. Introducing retail technology for technology’s sake won’t help in creating a winning retail experience. It’s important to start with and stay focused on your shopper and their experience. Think about what could make their lives easier? Their experience more engaging and memorable?
A relatively easy win is to work on the factors that could make their instore experience more convenient. That’s where self-service retail can play a part. Self Service retail is an avenue to bringing the convenience of online shopping into your brick-and-mortar storefront.
Here are some of the benefits of introducing self service retail in your stores:
Self-service kiosks allow customers to shop their way, and at their pace. Self-service ordering at McDonald’s, for instance, gives customers the option of ordering curbside, ordering through their phones, or ordering for a traditional in-store dining experience, easing customer flow and creating more convenient options for busy customers. McDonald’s CEO Steve Esterbrook said that self-service kiosks provide more options for customers, give them more options for how to engage with their store--and easy sales means happy customers!
Kiosks let customers choose exactly what they want, exactly how they want it. Tablets and other ordering devices can let customers select for dietary restrictions and allergies more easily, and even create more flexibility in preferences. Because kiosk ordering can deliver orders straight to the kitchen without a middleman, there’s more flexibility in ordering which means more options for personalization.
To date, the biggest leg up that online merchants have over in-store sales is the ease with which they can collect consumer data. Every sale is automatically in their online system, allowing for streamlined data collection that can then inform their marketing and merchandising. Self-service technology in brick-and-mortar stores, then, is a great way for businesses to easily collect consumer data without the hassle of multi-step inventory tracking and other consumer data efforts. Kiosks automatically collect information about sales and browsing habits, making it that much easier for brick-and-mortar retailers to know how their consumers are shopping.
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