Retail Innovation Shoppers Want Most in 2020
There are many reasons why retailers may have put new retail technology on the backburner, if only to see how shopper preferences would evolve. But wait too long and risk falling behind the competition, particularly when it comes to technologies that customers are comfortable and willing to use – those that have reached the “tipping point.” So which technologies should retailers be looking to adopt?
There are three areas that retailers should focus on to elevate their customer experience in the store, and retailers should not be afraid to invest in technologies which help them give customers the value-added services expected in stores today. So what are the top technologies and services that shoppers are most willing to use in stores today?
Attract omni-shoppers with mobile apps
According to the tenth annual Tenth Annual Shopper Megatrend Report (2019), nearly three quarters of shoppers are using online and mobile sites more – and visiting stores and malls less. And when they visit the store, they probably already have a reason to come in, whether it’s to find a gift or try something out.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you look at their online and offline activities holistically. Three quarters of shoppers go online more today than they did five years ago, and over two thirds indicated that they already use mobile apps in stores. 70 percent of those use the retailer’s mobile app to check prices, product descriptions, and in-stock availability while they are in the store. 71 percent will also allow location-based alerts while they are in stores.
Consumers also indicated a striking vote of confidence for grab-and-go stores (69%), where the shopper avoids all queues and uses a self-checkout application on their own mobile to make the purchase.
So retailers should look to provide customers with more than just a transaction and provide omni-shoppers with a mobile-friendly app they can use while they are in the store to research, save, compare, purchase, and choose their preferred mode of pick-up or delivery.
Offer in-store digital technologies
Interactive shoppable screens were also popular (58%), which is used by shoppers to find and compare items and place orders. It is also useful for stores that want to open a smaller format store, because they do not need to carry all the stock on-site, such as in the case of Zôdio, which recently added product range extension screens, among other in-store digital technologies.
Nearly half indicated they would use virtual fittings (48%), but this can be a very effective and versatile use of technology. From athletic shoes to furniture and cosmetics, a digital/virtual fitting and augmented reality applications can truly enhance customer satisfaction at the time of purchase, reducing the risk of returns and increasing the likelihood of repeat customers.
Offer new and convenient services
Omnichannel technologies support more flexible and efficient stock movements, and customers have embraced convenient fulfillment services such as curbside pickup (69%), click-and-collect (67%), and pickup lockers or kiosks (55%). 21% of shoppers purchase a product online and pick it up in a store at least twice each month, and 90% of shoppers who do click-and-collect make an additional purchase when they pickup in a store.
Another tech-driven service which has grown in popularity are subscription services, such as Rent the Runway (53%). These new services require new inventory process flows, which can be configured using a cloud-based POS solution. Retailers who want to add new revenue streams such as subscription services, maintenance services, in-store restaurants, etc will require a technology platform that can enable innovation with minimal risk and disruption.