14/06/2018 Barry Marelli

OMNICHANNEL RETAIL INDEX 2017 REVIEW: PART 2 – MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

With so much focus on the online market, there is a strong requirement to make sure that in store experiences are optimised to deliver a heightened experience to consumers. Digital tools have developed those experiences significantly and have helped to better serve those customers who shift between shopping online and in store. There are still many missed opportunities that retailers can capitalise on to further enhance their offerings.

Access to Information
Store personnel are still a focal point and key to delivering an exceptional in store encounter. Giving store associates access to key information is one of the many ways that retailers can help them do this. By giving consumers key information about products they want and telling them where they can locate items which are out of stock provides a far better experience and it helps with the overall revenue for the business, Vs. that of the individual store.

Access to Company Tablets or Mobile Devices
Only 15% of retailers are equipping their in store personnel with mobile devices to help them better serve their customers needs. Being able to engage with the consumer when they are present in store helps to close sales more quickly and facilitates cross-store selling. Without a device to hand, the value of those engagements is diluted. Mobile POS does come at a cost; however, it is proven to deliver value to the business and the consumer.

Capturing Key Customer Information
Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power. The bare minimum of data collection should entail the ability for a store associate to collect an email address for remarketing purposes. As of 2017, there were only 31% of in-store personnel asking for this information when interacting with customers. Loyalty and reward program sign-up requests have been adopted by almost half of the retailers, and 1/3 of these sign-ups were given an incentive for in-store signup.

Buy in store – Ship Anywhere/Collect Elsewhere
Almost half of the retailers now offer the ability to consumers to make a purchase in store and to have that product shipped to a location of their choosing. A similar figure can be seen for the buy in store, collect in another store functionality.

In store Signage
Interestingly, only 40% of retailers use printed and digital media to promote a website, social, or mobile application channel. Leaving a huge number of retailers missing out on key exposure opportunities for these other sales channels. Other visual aids of a digital nature such as digital help desks and kiosks have only been adopted by 13% of retailers, despite many consumers indicating they find these tools useful and vital for adding value tot heir overall shopping experience.

Free In store Wi-Fi
Only 26% of retailers actively offer this service to their shoppers. Of course, there are concerns from retailers that shoppers might use their Wi-Fi to locate cheaper or better-reviewed products with other retailers. Consumer behaviour dictates that shoppers are always going to use their phones for reviews to help guide their purchasing, and with almost 50% of consumers recognising that Free Wi-Fi can hugely improve their in-store shopping experience, there is a huge gap between that figure and the number of retailers offering this service.

Mobile Apps
Almost 75% of retailers offer or plan to offer a mobile app. However, there are many features that can truly drive purchases in store which are yet to be utilised. Some of the key features are:

  • Push Notifications
  • In store Incentive to Download the App
  • Self-Checkout Feature
  • Apps to Scan Products

So, if you want to know how to get ahead and capitalise on this information, try introducing any of these seven points to help optimise your in-store retail experience in 2018.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

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