Heads Up on Your In-Store Mobile Retail App

There is plenty to think about while you’re planning your brands in-store mobile retail app. If you’re like most retailers you have leadership that is pushing an IT team to move quickly to keep up with the competition.

I’ll take it a step further and let you know that I have been at the table with more than 10 retailers, all of them have answered the “What is your in-store mobile strategy?” question with varying degrees of “We’re struggling with it and we know we’re behind the industry.”

The overall tone of most retailers on the topic of mobile retail app and tablet strategies is exasperation.

Good news: You’re probably exasperated because you think you’re behind the curve; but you’re not.

So we will break ranks with the dozen or so companies that are spending a lot of money to tell you you’re behind the times on all the bright and shiny objects to do what we do best – Take it step by step and keep it in focus. Or as we like to call it: Crawl, Walk, Run.Step by Step

Regardless of Use Location Keep the Mission Top of Mind

If the mission for your in-store mobile retail app is to sell more clothes, make sure that the devices speak to that in every way. Easy to hold, easy to put down. Not interfering with the person to person touch that is going on between associates and clients.

If the mission is to distribute and implement floor sets with mobile planograms, do the same kind of thinking about the way the device is going to be used in the store. I have seen these initiatives struggle for want of a good iPad case with a kickstand!

Tablet Care is a Mission All Its Own

They are going to need their batteries charged. They need to be wiped down.  Store them in the managers office or some other accountability point. Don’t use consumer products for these tasks.

Check out some of the awesome charging modules that are out there and make sure it’s capable of containing the mess that can accompany the devices in the busy and cramped back of store.

If You’re In-Store, You’re Head’s Up

If you’re the associate and you’re spending time looking at a device, there is a trade taking place. The trade is between time spent looking down and all that could be missed and what they are getting back from that screen. If the information is properly presented and very role specific, it shouldn’t take much of that head down time.

There is a tipping point, even if there is good info coming from the device, too much is too much. Don’t overthink it. If it feels wrong it is. In-store retail is about person to person interactions. If the device enhances that connection, you’re in great shape. If it diminishes it you need to rethink your strategy.

Associate Taps Count

As previously stated, there is a huge bonus for mobile retail apps that are role specific. This is going to allow your associates to “live” in the place that is most directly going to benefit them. As we created our Room Valet iOS app we made sure that the associate who was running the fitting room had what they needed in one screen. Changing screens isn’t a good game plan.

Who Goes Into the Managers Office?

The easy answer is your manager, but we’re going to hope that it’s for an ever-narrowing list of tasks. The manager is going to be the powerhouse when they can grab useful reports and YOY data on the fly and coach to the game that is unfolding in front of them.Analytics

Keep the useful information real-time and concise. Equip the manager with the proper tools for important insights so they can effectively manage their team. If it looks like it may have come off a fax machine, you’re doing it wrong.

Find Out More About Our Room Valet Fitting Room Solution and iOS app here.

 

How to Reduce Customer Waits with Properly Trained Employees

Nobody likes to stand in line, be stuck on hold, or have to sit in a waiting room, but it’s a necessary part of life in almost every business. If you own a business, you should be trying to reduce wait times at all costs, because customers that don’t have to wait are typically much more satisfied with their experience and will be more likely to come back in the future. There are a lot of ways that you can reduce wait times (or at least the perception of a long wait), but few are more important than training your employees properly.

This includes all facets of the wait- you want to train them on how to deal with an unexpectedly long wait, how to reduce the chances of a wait in the first place, how to get customers through a line quickly… the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that if you spend a lot of time training your employees, your customers will spend a lot less time waiting when they visit your business.

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Are Mobile Checkouts the Next Big Thing in Retail?

Once upon a time, retailers were terrified when a customer pulled out their smartphone in the store. The dreaded practice of “showrooming” was surely in effect from that point forward.

Yet the practice of comparing prices on the sales floor hasn’t had the detrimental impact that retailers once feared. If anything, the use of smartphones in brick and mortar stores has been a benefit to retailers.

If that phone-toting customer is inclined to spend more than one who does not, then it behooves you to do everything you can to cater to mobile users. The introduction of mobile checkouts is the next logical step in the continued evolution of the retail shopping experience.

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Queue Management Essentials for Retailers [Infographic]

People hate waiting in line! And long lines aren’t just bad for your customers, they are bad for employee morale too.

It is essential that retailers have a queue management plan that will help them balance queue length and queue wait times with other factors like staffing costs and impulse purchases made while waiting. Queue management is both an art and a science. Check out our infographic below that highlights the most important factors to consider.

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4 Ways to Distract Your Customers From Long Lines

In the apparel retail industry your customers or clients often need to wait for fitting rooms and wait for you to grab their product or complete a transaction. Did you know you could significantly improve your business by distracting them while they wait?

Modern attention spans are shorter than ever, and a wait that may seem short to you may feel excruciatingly long to your customers. If you give them something to do while they wait, though, the time will seemingly fly by, and they won’t notice that they’ve been waiting at all.

Businesses have known the importance of these distractions for a long time- that’s why waiting rooms have magazines, kids get crayons at restaurants, and music plays when you’re on the phone and get put on hold. No matter what your business is, if waiting is part of the transaction, then you need to know how to make waiting in line better for your customers. This article should help you get some ideas.

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How to Turn Customer Wait Time Into an Experience

People hate it when they have to wait in line for 45 minutes at their neighborhood grocery store, but they have no trouble at all waiting in line for three hours to get the newly released iPhone or get front row seats to the new Star Wars movie. Either way they’re standing in line, so what makes the difference?

Though your customers may expect to wait in line when trying on clothes or making a purchase at your retail store, if you really want to dazzle them you need to turn their wait into an experience they will remember forever.

Times Writer Mandy Oaklander once wrote that when a customer waits for an experience instead of an object, they get excited about the wait instead of dreading it. If you can learn how to make the wait a little more exciting, you will retain more customers and increase your in-store revenue in the long run. Instead of seeing the wait as a process they have to go through, customers will begin to feel like they are part of a unique event that caters to their needs.

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How to Study Your Customers Behavior and Change Proactively

We live in an age of impulse buys. In the retail space, it’s not at all uncommon for a customer to walk in with the intention of just browsing, but to end up making a purchase. Shoppers are always grabbing things off the shelf and head to the cash register based on little more than a whim.

An obvious enemy to these types of impulse buys are long lines. The more time that a customer has to think about an impulse decision, the less likely it becomes that they are going to go through with that decision. Furthermore, long or boring lines can make a customer question whether or not a 10 or 15-minute wait is even worth it for the purchase he or she was going to make.

As you can see, queue management is very, very important. However, managing the queues in your store is about more than shortening your lines. Cutting the line at the cash register in half, while an attractive idea, is not always possible—particularly at peak shopping hours.

Plus, even if you could shorten your lines, would you want to? After all, having a busy, bustling store often leads directly to higher revenues.

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5 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Queue Management

If we were to add up the amount of time we spend waiting in line every year, we’d probably be pretty shocked at the final number. It’s best not to think about it too much.

Sometimes, though, the wait is more unpleasant in some places than it is in others. The line to renew your driver’s license is unbearable, and if it weren’t mandatory, you would never set foot in a DMV office again. But the wait for a table at a restaurant, when you’re comfortably seated at the bar with a drink in your hand, isn’t so bad.

Other than the presence of alcohol in the latter scenario, there are a few things that set the two waiting experiences apart, and it has a lot to do with queue management. In fact, there are five things your customers wish you knew about queue management.

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9 Ways to Improve Sales with Queue Management [Free eBook]

How to improve sales with queue management

Despite popular and traditional beliefs, queue management strategy does not rely primarily on solutions to shorten lines. Instead, it is most successful when your customers feel happy and at ease while waiting for a fitting room or waiting to pay for their purchase.

The length of your queues does play a significant role in your choice of which queue management strategies to employ because the number of people queuing up affects the customer’s perception of your store.

Customers are always making snap judgments about whether or not to buy from you. The longer your queues are around your store, the higher the likelihood that you’ll lose sales due to the perception of long wait times.

Queue management goes a step beyond shortening up these lines to improve your customer’s perception of wait times. It involves giving your customer an experience while buying from you.

In this book, we give you nine highly effective ways to improve your customer’s experience in your store. From implementing modern technology to improving your sales associates experience working for your store, you’ll discover some of the best ways to get your customers buying more. Boost your sales, employee happiness levels, and customer satisfaction with these nine solutions for better queue management.

3 Ways a Lack of Queue Management Costs You Sales

Do you have a queue management strategy? If not, you could be putting your store in bigger risk than you realize.

Out of the top 10 experiences where people wait, the retail store checkout lines were the second most frustrating only behind having to wait at the hospital, according to NCR Corp.

It’s not the wait time itself that’s so frustrating. It’s the experience of standing in line.

In a robust queue management strategy, your focus is not on reducing the wait time as much as it’s on improving your customer’s experience while standing in a queue. By ignoring the customer’s experience, you’re taking a gamble.

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