3 Ways to Integrate Digital Devices to Enhance the In-Store Customer Experience
Guest blog post by Jeff Hastings
In 2019, more and more consumers are embracing the convenience and popularity of shopping online — turning to the internet to find the best brands and prices for everything from paper towels to iPhones.
Despite ecommerce growing exponentially from its humble beginnings in 1995 (the year Amazon launched as an online bookstore and changed everything; “Ecommerce: How Did It All Begin?”) and the expectation that online purchases will double between 2016 and 2020, the number of offline purchases that result from online influence are also expected to rise.
Retailers in 2019 can take advantage of the modern shopper’s comfort with the online shopping experience and their enjoyment of shopping in-store by integrating digital devices and experiences into merchandising and marketing strategies. Below are 3 ways to integrate digital devices into your brick-and-mortar store in order to achieve success in an increasingly digital marketplace:
Encourage customer loyalty and return visits with a gamification
It’s great when a customer comes to your store for the first time, but it’s even better if they return. Gamification is becoming more and more popular in the retail industry and might be just the thing your store needs to help encourage return visits.
For example, you could install a digital tablet stand at your point of purchase and, with the help of a prize wheel app, give each customer a spin for the chance to win a discount or other prize.
Another strategy to consider is offering rewards to customers for sharing pictures of their purchases on social media, using a unique hashtag to keep track of participation and generate social media brand recognition. Digitally tracked contests like this can also be a great opportunity for company team-building. Have your staff work together to choose a winner, who can be rewarded with gift cards, special discounts or select merchandise.
Build your fan following with ease
2019 is the year to ditch the clipboard on the checkout counter to capture email addresses for your newsletter or email promotions.
Instead, you can use digital devices to collect shopper information at your point of purchase. Considering the average customers comfort with digital devices, they are more apt to sign up via digital tablet than pen and paper (plus, their email address won’t be exposed to other shoppers as it would be if added to a list on a clipboard).
You can make signup easy and ensure smooth flow at checkout by positioning your device so customers don’t need to be in a checkout line to access it, or position it on the sales floor to engage them as they browse your store.
Empower your employees with technology
No shopper appreciates taking a trip to a particular store only to find out it doesn’t have what they were looking for. Solve this issue by equipping your sales team with a hand-held scanning device they can use to find product specs, check inventory and even order products online for your in-store customers.
Such devices enhance customer experience by connecting the convenience of online shopping with great in-store customer service, and by helping customers get questions answered quickly and easily.
Moving forward, brick-and-mortar retailers must remain diligent when finding convenient and innovative ways of enhancing the experience and benefits of shopping in-store. By integrating digital retail solutions to meet customer expectations, independent retailers can thrive in this increasingly digital marketplace.
About Jeff Hastings
Jeff is the Chief Marketing Officer for Visual Creations, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of creative and cost-effective POP displays and store fixtures located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. A retail merchandising and marketing veteran, Jeff has over a decade of retail design experience, knowledge and insight from serving as the Senior Director of Retail Design, Director of Visual Merchandising and Senior Marketing Director for multiple retail and graphic companies across the United States.