Running a brick-and-mortar store nowadays can be very stressful. With the strong competition of online stores, you need to give your customers something special. The best way to match the competition is to use the latest technologies and upgrade your store. This is more than just adding a slatwall for fancier displays. You will be making tech upgrades that will change how your customers buy. Here is a list of some of these potential changes.
Have An Augmented Reality App
People bring along their smartphones everywhere. You can use that to your advantage. Seriously consider using augmented reality apps for your stores so that customers can get a taste of what they are buying. For example, the furniture giant IKEA has an excellent app that allows potential buyers to see how their potential purchase would look like in their home. This solves the problem of buyer’s remorse so that they can be more confident about the purchase. It is not only for furniture. If you sell clothes, AR apps can take pictures of customers and then superimpose images of clothes they want to try on. Instead of a physical fitting room, you have a digital one that can be anywhere.
Add BOPIS To Your Store
Another way that you can match online stores is by using Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) to your store’s services. This is not exactly new, but retailers developed it over the years to become more efficient. The great thing about BOPIS is how it combined convenience and PR for your store. Shoppers who know what they want can buy something, and they pick it up. This helps them avoid long lines and the danger of running out of stock. This is when they become open to impulse purchases as they walk through your store. Nowadays, BOPIS can be as efficient as normal online purchases and can beat some of the prices.
Customers like convenience, and there is nothing more convenient than a self-checkout. You don’t need to wait, line up or anything more complex. All you have to do is to input your purchase and then you can move on. Several food chains use it now so that they can be more efficient when it comes to servicing orders. But other stores can use it, too. Some stores have this self-checkout app available on smartphones. Customers only need to scan in their purchases, and the payments are made automatically. You can walk out in minutes without even needing to line up.
Besides being convenient, it also makes it easier for your staff. Instead of people being stuck behind the counter, they can work the various areas of your store so that they provide a better customer experience.
Take Personalization To Another Level
If your retail store sells clothing and other items that need tailoring to a person’s measurements, then personalizing what you sell should be a familiar process. But this time, you will be using technology to facilitate it. Body-mapping technology is becoming more and more mainstream. This allows for stores to accurately measure their customers down to the last centimeter. With this in your store, you can be sure that the dress or shoe that you sell will fit like a glove.
But it is not all clothes either. You can also personalize products with some of the latest technologies. For example, your customer might want to have a cup or a memento engraved with a name or a design. Commercial laser-cutters are available that can do that, while 3D printers can do something similar for figures and other items. This can help attract customers to visit your store so that they can get the ideal product for their needs.
You already have CCTV cameras installed in your store, and you can use that to your advantage. Many retail stores are now using facial-recognition software to help keep track of their customers. But this is not for security purposes. This is to trace their walking routes through the store. With analysis, certain demographics may frequent particular areas or avoid others. This data will allow you to plan a layout that presents your entire set of products to everyone.
Additionally, facial recognition can help identify loyal customers. Your system can then flag these customers for your staff so that they get preferential treatment and loyalty rewards.
Online stores provide maximum convenience for many buyers. To compete with this, you need to present your store as a better experience in other fields. This competitive edge should allow your store to prosper in this digital age.