The last two years have not spared the retail sector, we have been able to observe several shortages and the consumption habits of the population have evolved. Faced with the permanent challenges linked to the supply of food, but also faced with the significant growth of online purchases and home deliveries, it has become increasingly difficult for retailers to attract and retain their customers.
Retailers must ensure quality, price and ease of purchase for their customers, at a time when capturing their time and attention has become a real challenge. To remain competitive in this new competitive landscape, traditional supermarkets and grocery stores must react, in particular by stepping up their technological investments to accentuate the in-store experience.
More than ever, customers are looking for a seamless in-store experience. Merchants realize that to meet the challenges of omnichannel, it is crucial to take advantage of mobile devices, already in the hands of consumers. To do this, commerce professionals must focus their efforts on mobile technology and successfully integrate it seamlessly into the overall customer experience.
We talk a lot about improving payments, but in-store technology doesn’t just have to make payments faster. It must also make it possible to guarantee innovative and optimal shopping experiences, while offering customers a unique experience that promotes loyalty.
New concepts for retail
One of the latest innovations in this sector is the concept of the cashless store: internationally Sainsburys and Aldi have recently offered this system to their consumers. This type of concept meets consumers’ expectations of fluidity and speed. However, this innovative concept requires costly redesigns and only works for a limited product range and under predefined circumstances. So, how to rethink this model to adapt it optimally to the greatest number of supermarkets?
Today’s cutting-edge smartphone technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), 5G, and high-resolution cameras enable merchants of all sizes to deliver unique and personalized in-store experiences. By allowing customers to be more autonomous, these technologies make it possible to offer a more attractive sales experience and limit friction points at checkout. Employees spend less time at the checkout, so they can focus on customer relations and human exchange.
The pandemic has normalized the use of digital, via contactless payments for example. Smartphones have become a daily tool and it is not necessary, for customers or employees, to provide any training to adopt it.
For example, augmented reality (AR), already integrated into smartphones for more than 10 years, facilitates the possibilities for smaller retailers, such as grocery stores, to make the in-store experience more attractive. Thanks to AR applications, customers can benefit from an optimized shopping experience, by accessing the latest product information, personalized promotions or even nutritional advice by simply looking at the products on the shelves through their smartphone.
The use of such technologies makes it possible to establish solid and long-lasting relationships with customers, and allows merchants to also benefit from operational advantages, such as the reduction of the administrative burden of the points of sale, the respect of regulatory requirements or further collecting interesting customer usage data. This data can then be used to ensure good inventory management, adapt in real time to trends and demonstrate the return on investment of offers.
Intelligent data capture to prepare for the future of retail
Over the next few months, we will see a fusion of physical and online environments. Contactless technology will continue to be integrated into stores to speed up payments and checkout, but at the same time merchants will need to improve their apps and technologies to provide consumers with the ability to get more product information. Adding a real digital experience, through a personalized sales application, will increase the interest and loyalty of customers, who are now accustomed to being able to benefit from complete product information when they buy online (price , reviews, compositions, etc.).
The integration of mobile technology into workflows is a real strategic asset for merchants. Intelligent data capture enables employees to simplify and speed up daily manual tasks such as delivering inventory, preparing online orders and restocking shelves.
All food retailers, including small independents, can consider embarking on a transition to frictionless retail through intelligent data capture capabilities. Intelligent data capture, which incorporates augmented reality and other innovative technologies, can provide a comprehensive, convenient and seamless omnichannel offering without the need for store redesign, investment of time and effort. silver.