The key to unified commerce is a digital system, and it offers retailers and customers the best of both worlds: an exceptional shopping experience that drives increased revenue and productivity.
Research continues to maintain that store interactions drive up to 90% of retail sales, so in-store personal interactions have the power to influence and increase sales and drive loyalty. Therefore, the store’s point-of-sale (POS) system is truly the sun around which a digitally empowered omnichannel “solar system” revolves. Yet without access to customer data from all channels, store associates are not equipped to optimize engagements.
Legacy systems are simply unable to share mobile, web, and store data across the entire enterprise, having evolved largely channel-by-channel. As a result, these siloes preclude delivery of a unified commerce experience, rendering them as obsolete as single-engine planes for navigating today’s omnichannel retail landscape. In order to keep the store channel relevant, improve in-store customer service, increase productivity and compete with online shopping, retailers need to empower employees with a digital system and digital tools.
“If stores are to become more interesting, if new customers are to be won and the customer experience is to improve, it can only happen with investments in both new technology and better store associates,” according to a recent RSR report, “The Retail Store in 2016: Poised for Transformation.” A technologically advanced POS system that puts cross-channel data in the hands of associates can drive increased sales, improved productivity, and cost reductions—all of which positively impact the bottom line.
Shoppers should have it their way
“Have it Your Way”, a former Burger King slogan, rings true for personalizing the shopping experience in every channel. A high priority for shoppers. Familiarity with a customer’s history across all channels, preferences, engagement habits, and recent activity enables associates to recommend complementary products that would likely be of interest to the customer. In essence, this 360-degree view dramatically increases the odds of a positive experience, and customers who have the best experiences spend 140% more.1
Conversely, unsatisfactory service is a brand breaker and sale saboteur:
- 60% abandon purchases due to poor service experience. 2
- Shoppers are 4 times more likely to switch brands after poor service.3
In addition to personalizing service, giving shoppers choices empowers them to plot the details of their unique shopping experience. However, these choices require retailers to have a digital system capable of sharing information across their entire omnichannel enterprise to accommodate:
- Buy online, pick up/return in store
- Select online, make an appointment in the store
- Buy in store, deliver home
Carpe customer with data, service
Extending the digital system to mobile POS devices for store associates gives them access to inventory and customer data that can turbo charge engagement. With a single platform to push and pull information across all customer channels in real time, sales associates can determine product availability, from anywhere in the store, as well as estimated delivery dates if the product has to be shipped. Also, mobile POS devices can push information to sales associates (such as KPIs and alerts) to keep them ahead of sales trends and allow them to offer alternative products.
What’s more, associates can keep customers from abandoning purchases due to long wait times and lines. They scan products and share the screen with the customer to complete the sale. Quick, personalized service saves the sale and prevents the shopper from later buying online at a lower price from a competitor.
With a complete customer profile, associates are equipped to recognize and take advantage of upsell opportunities. They can access a customer’s ecommerce shopping cart and wish lists and suggest those items in addition to in-store purchases. Staff can also add items to an ecommerce wish list that a customer considered but didn’t buy. The results are extensive customer profiles that can continue to be used across all channels.
Transform point of sale to point of engagement
While technology alone can’t close a sale or boost brand loyalty, people using technology most certainly can. With a 360-degree view of the customer and real-time inventory information, associates can deliver an A-plus customer experience worthy of brand loyalty.
Attending NRF? Meet us there and we can show you how we are helping our customers deliver a unified commerce experience.
1 Kriss, Peter. “The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified,” Harvard Business Review. August 1, 2015.
2 Meola, Andrew. “Online shoppers are returning products in droves because of this one reason,” Business Insider. June 1, 2016. http://www.businessinsider.com/online-shoppers-are-returning-products-in-droves-because-of-this-one-reason-2016-6
3 Jarski, Veronica. “Why Bad Customer Service Is Burning Your Bottom Line,” MarketingProfs. May 28, 2016. http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2016/30011/why-bad-customer-service-is-burning-your-bottom-line-infographic