As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, retailers continue to look for ways to increase safety in their stores and coax health-conscious shoppers back into brick-and-mortar locations. By this point, everyone has implemented enhanced cleaning measures and adjusted floorplans and footprints to allow for better distancing. Still, as a retailer, you’re likely looking for easy solutions to continue increasing customer comfort levels.
Self-shopping is a fantastic benefit to much of your customer base, including your health-conscious shoppers. That said, self-shopping itself is a pretty new concept, and some readers may not be familiar with the term.
What Is Self Shopping?
Some parts of retail have been moving in a lower-touch direction for some time now, for good or ill. Self-checkout is one of the most visible ways currently. Some customers love it and others loathe it, but it’s certainly a benefit to health-conscious customers right now.
Self-shopping is the next step in an evolving customer experience. Self-shopping is a system where customers can avoid the registers completely. Customers scan barcodes of the items they intend to purchase using their smartphones. Then they pay on their smartphones and leave the store — no cash register or cashier required.
The most well-known example of self-shopping in the US is likely Amazon’s experimental corner stores and grocery store in the Seattle market. But the tech supporting self-shopping isn’t limited to big players like Amazon. It’s available to you today!
Benefits of Self Shopping to Health-Conscious Shoppers
Self-shopping solutions are a great way to increase convenience for all customers and comfort levels for your health-conscious shoppers. Below, we’ll look at three ways this happens.
Creating a Contactless Shopping Experience
When your customers use self-shopping, they select their items themselves. When they are ready to pay, they simply scan all the items using your store’s smartphone app (with our solutions built in) on their own smartphones. Then they pay on their smartphone and walk out the door. It’s a near frictionless technology that creates a truly contactless shopping experience.
Pandemic or no, there are always some customers who are uncomfortable at the idea of someone else touching every single grocery item, much less placing them on a conveyor belt. So while this benefit will be most apparent during the pandemic, it won’t disappear when the pandemic finally does.
Self Shopping Avoids Queuing at the Registers
If you look at the CDC guidelines about pandemic air travel, you may learn something surprising. The flight itself isn’t nearly as dangerous as people assume, thanks to the air handling systems on board.
The real elevated danger is all the waiting in line at the airport. The check-in counter, security lines, and even Starbucks create bottlenecks of people waiting around, leading to increased transmission risk.
Your store is the same way. Giving health-conscious customers a way to avoid standing in line will help to increase their comfort level for coming in the doors.
Increasing Customer Engagement & Loyalty
We’ve covered the big two, but there are even more benefits to embracing new technology. Because customers are using your app to do it, you can automatically apply loyalty bonuses without the need for a card scan, raising your customer loyalty. Your app will also increase engagement, giving you an open door to freely advertise specials and promotions.