Despite the huge shift towards online shopping and home delivery, customers still value the personal touch of in-store shopping. But in recent years, customer behaviors and expectations have changed markedly. Factor in the intensely competitive marketplace, and the takeaway is clear for retailers: you must deliver as consummate as convenient customer experiences in order to survive.
This can be easier said than done – especially when you look at the evolution the industry has undergone over the past year. Take curbside pickup and buy-online-pickup-in-store (“BOPIS”), for example. While introducing or expanding these services has allowed retail stores to continue to operate during the shut-downs, these changes also put new demands on store associates. Through these changes, at least one thing remains the same: success still depends on the ability to deliver high-quality customer experiences.
The good news? There are some things your retail store can do to meet consumer demands without sacrificing customer service. Read on for a roundup of three core strategies that keep the customer at the center of your retail operations in the brave, new, post-pandemic retail world.
#1. Optimize Your Inventory Management
Inventory management in retail can be time-consuming with significant potential for error. With approximately 48,000 products for sale across its 12 locations, wholesaler METRO was well acquainted with this problem. Inefficiencies with both scanning and integration highlighted a critical need for reliable and consistent data.
While the retail giant initially planned to build its own barcode scanning solution, the logistics of doing so proved to be too complex. After partnering with a company to build a barcode scanning solution, METRO still needed a barcode SDK to achieve the scanning functionality it needed.
We worked with METRO to integrate our innovative Anyline SDK into METRO’s inventory management system and mobile applications. With this agile and scalable barcode scanning system in place, METRO can now quickly and reliably scan both incoming and outgoing products for easier and faster shelf stocking, fewer mistakes and delays and a more streamlined customer experience.
#2. Introduce Scan and Go
While retail has been moving in the direction of lower-touch operations for some time, COVID-19 accelerated the transition. Contactless shopping options such as Scan and Go increase convenience and comfort levels among consumers.
In a well-executed store with the right barcode scanning and integration infrastructure in place, this has the potential to decrease unnecessary contacts, shorten queues and increase customer engagement and loyalty.
Additionally, self-shopping frees up your sales associates from working checkout so they can focus on more meaningful and valuable customer interactions, such as being available to answer questions as they arise on the sales floor.
#3. Empower Your Associates to Complete Any Task on Their Mobile Devices
What if your retail sales team had the ability to verify prices, expiration dates, product information and other key data on the go and from the device of their choice? This is exactly what integrating Anyline’s enterprise-grade mobile data capture and barcode scanning solutions accomplish.
When customers have questions, our data digitization tools allows sales team members to respond with increased speed and accuracy. In addition to enhancing the customer experience, employee morale also gets a boost – which can help prevent costly turnover and better retention rates.
People will always want to see, touch and feel products – and they’ll be more eager to do so than ever after spending the past year in lockdown. Will your retail operation be ready to welcome them back in the way that optimizes the customer experience – and your bottom line?
To learn more about how our fast and secure solutions for mobile barcode scanning empower store associates and enhance the functionality of your retail operations, try our demo app and get in contact:
Making Inventory Management and Enhanced Customer Engagement Easy with METRO
Find out how METRO is increasing workforce efficiencies while also engaging customers in their self-scanning mobile application.See how we did it