Digital transformation is changing the modern retail environment in a big way, but digital doesn’t just mean migrating online or setting up an Ecommerce operation on the side. Rather, digital transformation is an all-encompassing term that includes many online and offline tactics you can use to capitalize on new and tried-and-tested technologies in your business and to boost customer engagement.
From the integration of an Ecommerce component to a complete omni-channel operation, all the way to in-store digital signage and tech that keeps your employees safe and healthy during a pandemic, there are many ways you can leverage tech to take your business forward.
Ultimately, it always comes down to customer experience and engagement, and naturally, the goal is to elevate customer satisfaction as much as you can.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at how you can use tech to boost customer engagement and satisfaction in your online and offline retail operation to drive sales and customer loyalty.
Building an Omni-channel Approach to Retail
Let’s begin by stating the obvious: retail leaders can no longer rely solely on the in-store experiences to drive sales and customer retention. We live in a tech-driven, digital world, and people crave better online experiences as much as they crave an amazing in-store experience. This is why it’s so important for retail leaders to start adopting the omni-channel approach to managing their entire operation.
The modern customer is looking for a seamless offline and online experience, and the interactions in both realms need to complete each other perfectly. A customer might want to order an item online but pick it up at the store, but they might also want to buy it at the store and have it delivered to their doorstep.
They also want a seamless communication experience across all digital and traditional touchpoints. This includes everything from email and website chat to SMS messaging and traditional phone calls – whatever the channel may be, the customer expects you to be there.
Using Digital Signage to Elevate Customer Experience
Digital signage has been making a big impact in recent years, and it’s a concrete example of good digital transformation in store. There are many reasons and many ways to use digital signage in your retail business to impress your customers, including:
- To make your promotions stand out.
- To capitalize on the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect.
- To promote your brand identity and communicate your values to the customers.
- To provide an interactive map of your store and guide customers on their shopping journey.
- To use digital signs to boost your online presence.
These are just some of the ways you can use this tech to boost customer experience and engagement on site, but you can also use digital signage to run an efficient backend operation as well. Your employees can use digital kiosks to post and send notifications to staff, alert management of stock shortages quickly, share important information and check roster data, automate clocking, and much more.
Keep Employees Safe to Boost Customer Safety
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, retail businesses have suffered terrible losses across the globe. Having to shut down your store because an employee caught the virus can jeopardize your entire operation, and this will invariably have a negative effect on customer experience and satisfaction. Hence the need to always keep your employees safe, which will improve business continuity and customer safety in the process.
Manual oversight might be next to impossible, but if you use innovative tech such as Bluetooth contact tracing to gather relevant employee data on site, you can automate this process and make smarter, faster decisions. By having your employees wear contact tracing cards at work, you can see how much time people are spending in close proximity to each other, and when someone reports a symptom, you’ll be able to isolate the person or the group instead of having to put your entire workforce in quarantine and risk closure.
This is the kind of technology that can keep retail businesses open during these trying times.
In-store AI-assisted Shopping
Artificial intelligence has been revolutionizing Ecommerce in recent years, and nowadays AI-enabled devices and solutions are revolutionizing the in-store experience as well. For example, you can encourage your in-store shoppers to use visual search to find complementary items they’ll love by taking a photo of the item they’re interested in, and letting the algorithm make some smart suggestions.
This is a great way to engage your tech-savvy customers, and it will dramatically reduce the overall customer effort in your store. AI-assisted shopping might be nothing new, but it is definitely changing the way people shop and find amazing items in store.
Hyper-personalization Online and Offline
Finally, we can’t deny that personalization is becoming more and more important in every industry and every sector in the world, especially in modern retail. Companies need to personalize their experiences so that the customer feels valued and appreciated, and in the order to make the whole shopping journey relevant for the individual.
Hyper-personalization is the term that perfectly describes this new trend, and it has been around for quite some time in online retail. Nowadays, technology is taking it into the physical store as well, as you can send personalized messages to your customers when they’re in the store with beacon technology, offer personalized product testing, and much more.
Over to You
Retail is getting more competitive by the day, and leaders need to invest in the right tech to get the upper hand. Be sure to use these tech solutions to drive customer engagement and satisfaction forward, and future-proof your business no matter how the industry may shift in the years to come.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.
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