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How Retailers Are Answering the Age of Consumer-Driven Retail

The retail landscape today looks quite different than it did a decade ago. How customers are making purchasing decisions and buying items has changed significantly. Customers will often be physically present in a store, yet still consult their smartphone to complete the buying decision. They will read product reviews, compare pricing, take pictures, and sometimes even purchase the product itself.

Rather than struggling with this consumer behavior shift, successful retail companies are coming out on top by embracing technology and blurring the line between the online and in-store shopping experience.

Delivering a Seamless Customer Experience Throughout All Retail Channels

From discovery to being ready to buy, next generation shoppers want to be able to do it all with minimal effort.

Retailers are responding to this demand by investing business capital into syncing systems. Global inventory management, merchandising, and logistical data meets with online platforms to provide a true omnichannel experience. This gives customers the information they need to know at their fingertips, such as real-time item availability and shipping times. Multi-channel communication also means that a retailer can eliminate overselling by viewing unified sales and inventory information across all stores and retail channels.

Empowering Employees and Customers with Technology

As global trends have shown, the prevalence of smartphones in brick and mortar stores is only going to increase over the next several years. Forward focused retailers have accepted this fact and have shifted their focus to providing a more mobile-friendly customer journey. Some examples of this which can be found in several stores today include:

  • Customers can bypass the traditional time-consuming checkout process and by using optimized websites and native smartphone apps.
  • A growing number of retailers are integrating in-store pickup or BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) technologies.
  • Retailers are providing customers with “call” buttons which allow them to receive service-on-demand from a sales associate.

Today, customers have a higher expectation of sales associates than ever. This new engagement technology means that employees can quickly respond to the needs of a customer, help them find the most suitable product, and increase the likelihood of a customer walking away with a purchase.

Gaining Better Business Intelligence to Drive Sales and Loyalty

How customers research and buy items is becoming more technologically driven, but it still does not compare to being able to physically touch and try on items. This creates an opportunity for retailers to utilize technology in order to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

Retailers now have the resources available to keep up with consumer-driven retail. With access to these tools, they can deliver a better and more memorable customer experience while driving sales and profitability.

Are You Making This In-Store Experience Mistake?

This brief interview with Alert Tech’s CEO Marge Laney highlights how most apparel retailers are focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to customer experience.

Marge shares what retailers really should be looking at if they want to prioritize profits.

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The Power of the Customer’s Journey (& How You Can Use it to Fix Your Fitting Rooms)

How intimately familiar are you with your customer’s journey? Do you know what brings your customer into your store? Do you know what happens while she’s in your store to make or break her decision to buy from you? What about after she leaves – what can you do to help ensure she doesn’t return her purchase?

An analysis of your customer’s journey can leave you with valuable insights into areas of weakness/opportunity.

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How to Use Technology to Surprise and Delight Your Customers

As a retailer, you’re well aware of the importance of customer service. Exceptional customer service has the ability to surprise and delight customers and improve your bottom line.

With supportive technology, you can not only surprise and delight your customers, but provide qualitative measures of customer service, so that your team can make adjustments as needed.

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What Training and Collateral Will You Need During a Pilot Project?

One of the biggest concerns with starting a pilot project is whether or not your teams will seamlessly adapt to the new systems. If your staff don’t adopt new habits and make full use of the new technology and systems, you’re leaving results on the table. This is where training is crucial.

To help you get the most out of your pilot project, here are the training and collateral materials Alert Tech provides during a pilot project.

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Maximizing Retail Customer Experience Using Metrics

This article originally appeared on FashionIsYourBusiness.com.

Brian Laney, VP of Sales for Alert Tech, a platform that specializes in call button systems, occupancy sensing and traffic analytics for retail, joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez and Marc Raco on the floor of the Innovation Center of the 2016 ECommerce Show USA in Atlanta, GA.
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How does the fitting room look in the ‘store of the future’?

A question that many different retail shop owners are asking these days (and indeed, a common question among shoppers themselves) is what the “store of the future” will resemble. Will brick and mortar stores even continue to exist? Will the entire shopping scene shift to online-based operations and purchases? Or will the “store of the future” be a hybrid between the traditional brick and mortar store setup and the more modern shopping experience offered by Amazon and other online retailers?

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Build Trust With Your Customers by Keeping Them In-the-Know

The only thing worse for your business than an angry customer is an angry customer who feels that you have misled them in some way. Customers need to trust that the company they’re working with has their best interests at heart before they give them money, and one way to earn that trust is to be as upfront and honest as possible. This is true of every facet of business no matter what industry you work in, but it’s especially important when it comes to wait times.

Restaurants, retail stores, repair services, and many other types of businesses will likely require their customers to wait at some point during the transaction. This is an inevitable part of life, but in an age where attention spans are shortening, and people are programmed for instant gratification, wait times can be devastating to your business. A study done by Northwestern University found that when standing in a fast food line, the amount a customer is willing to pay decreases each extra second that they’re waiting.

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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 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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