«Omnichannel isn’t an abstract concept to be pondered by retail IT departments. It’s the beating heart of an active retailer need and customer ...»
The In-Store Edge
Understanding how customer expectations
are driving the in-store experience and
service of tomorrow.
Omnichannel isn’t an
concept to be pondered
by retail IT departments.
It’s the beating heart of
an active retailer need and
The new consumer is empowered with insight and information. Mobile
technologies have impacted hugely on how people choose to shop—
but the store is still standing, and has greater potential than ever before for making a meaningful differentiation in customers’ eyes.
Meanwhile, the retail workforce are today used to and comfortable with a level of mobile technology which they understand customers expect to see on the shop floor.
The retail space has become the leading-edge of mobile innovation.
Understanding expectations today will give competitive advantage and better business results to the retailers who dare to take the plunge.
The challenge: make the omnichannel promise a reality and ensure the store remains the main arena for capturing sales and keeping customers satisfied.
Customer Experience—The Industry Fact:
No.1 rated service by customers shopping in-store is a personalized experience.
The Retail Impact:
We all know the retail mantra: people remember great customer service. This is how you keep customers. But it’s getting harder for leading retailers to differentiate on service in-store. Personalization is key to this—the trick is to meet expectations that customers didn’t even know they had.
“We expect our employees to go in there and say: ‘Can I give you comparisons between this item and an alternative one´, or `can I show you the warranty information´, or, if I don’t have it in stock, `I can get it for you online´ rather than losing this sale. I believe it to be a better shopping experience to spend the entire process with a single person rather than being passed from a selling assistant to somebody on a checkout.”
- Clothing retailer, UK Planet Retail/HP Consumer Research 2015
Customer Experience—The Customer View:
“They know me.
They get me.
I love it.” Customers want to be recognized, communicated with, and valued—they appreciate offers and notifications which have some personal meaning and relevance.
They notice this level of care and attention.
And, increasingly, they expect it.
“They could scan the item and put in my credentials to see if I’ve bought that item previously. Also maybe tell me my skin type and my recommendation for the type of foundation I need. Keeping the customer engaged, instead of leaving them while they get stock, helps speed up the process.”
- Rosie, Health and Beauty shopper, UK Planet Retail/HP Consumer Research 2015
Customer Experience—The Retail Challenge:
Retailers can deepen relationships with their customers through pioneering a personalized in-store experience, nurturing increased satisfaction that leads to even greater loyalty.
And more sales.
The use case:
The magic of data – capturing customer data—with customers opting in to its use— can trigger the start of a beautiful friendship.
Behaviors and needs can be observed through analysis of purchasing history, opening the way for intelligent—and welcomed—cross-sell and up-sell. The aggregated data can identify trends and define new strategies.
“We store 2.7 million unique email addresses in our CRM database. We are now able to segment that data based on sales by time of day, store number or country. We use that data to apply segmentation in order to improve margins significantly.”
- Clothing retailer, France Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015
In-Store Availability—The Industry Fact:
44% of consumers expect store associates to be able to place an online order for home delivery, on the spot for out of stock items.
The Retail Impact:
Inventory insight is no longer an optional extra for retailers—customers today demand to get what they want—if not today in store, then as soon as possible via delivery direct to their home.
“Through this app, customers can scan an article or a barcode and then order it online.
We will bring the same functionality to our tablets for those customers who don’t have a smartphone with the app and want to be assisted by a store associate.”
- Department store retailer, UK Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015
In-Store Mobile Availability—The Customer View:
“Ok, if I can’t have them now, send them to me.” If you sell it, and they want it, they expect to get it as quickly as possible. And this means using In-Store Mobile to ensure that shop staff are fully empowered to make sure that sale doesn’t leave the store.
“The shop has a huge monitor where you can check the availability of products in the store.
You can also browse through the company’s website to check if the item you need is available. You can search for products, but you can also search for sizes and colors. If a product is not in stock, it is possible to order it; to have it delivered into the store to try it on.”
- Emily, Apparel shopper, Germany Planet Retail/HP Consumer Research 2015
In-Store Availability—The Retailer Challenge:
Ensure you never lose a sale, and that your customers never leave the store disappointed.
Stay one step ahead in giving customers what they want. Even when it’s out of stock.
The use case:
The moment of truth – the future could well be in the hands of your associates when they are equipped with tablets that empower them to engage smartly with customers.
Staff equipped with the means of effective clienteling, through in-store mobile, can deliver on all their customers’ needs and answer even the most complex of questions.
“We were losing too many sales due to stockouts, even when items were available in other sister stores. The shopper was less likely to track down the item in another of our stores and more likely simply to abandon the purchase idea and look elsewhere. It’s archaic. Now we can fulfil shopper desires. If they want it and we haven’t got it, our In-Store Mobile systems allow us to ascertain stock availability in another store and have it delivered.” – Clothing retailer, UK Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015 Bricks & Mortar Advantage—The Industry Fact 90% of shopping transactions still take place in-store.
The Retail Impact:
Retail trends come and go. “The death of the store” was one such trend. While the mobile revolution and the social media imperative have turned retail on its head, the store is still standing. It’s good to remember that 90% of retail transactions still take place in the store.
Retailers who neglect the in-store customer experience are under-utilising one of the most valuable and influential points of differentiation in their entire sales and marketing mix.
“We equate every square foot of selling space as having a value to us. If we can remove some tills in favor of mobile solutions, that reclaims ‘x’ amount of pounds worth of selling space. The tablet solution is cheaper than a standalone registry.”
- Grocery retailer, France Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015 Bricks & Mortar Advantage—The Customer View “I want to make sure it fits.” 90% of shopping still takes place in the store.
Customers don’t just want to see and feel the items, try them on, and be comfortable about their purchase. They want as much information as they can get. That might be about fabrics and stitch, washing precautions and care but, in a connected age, the hunger for information also goes further. Where was the item made? How recent is the design? What’s the best way of complementing the look?
Store associates equipped with mobile devices can enrich the appeal of the item by giving the full story, in a way that the customer’s smartphone or internet searches at home never can. Retailers can connect with manufacturers, designers, workshops to help customers explore, elaborate the allure of the purchase, and endorse the customer’s choice with a reassuring bank of insights.
“New technologies in-store make life easier and encourage you to buy more because you don’t feel like you’re spending money.”
- Francoise, Clothing shopper, France Planet Retail/HP Consumer Research 2015 Bricks & Mortar Advantage—The Retailer Challenge Play to the enduring, underlying strengths of the physical store which is now about much more than the spirit of place. It’s the home of the product, the birthplace of ideas, and a forum for interaction with people who know their subject and delight in sharing the knowledge.
The use case:
The thrill of instant gratification – customercentricity is about more than simply focusing on the customer, it’s about wrapping the store experience round the customer, bringing the information and knowledge to them rather than leaving them to work it out themselves.
Interactive mobile selling tools deliver the benefits of the internet into the store. It’s a winning combination and one which the purely online transaction can never replicate.
“We have more than 1,500 square meters in a shop so we tend to sell external brands as well, cosmetics, shoes or accessories. When you sell cosmetics, you don’t need to send people to the main cash register. You can probably just use your mobile device. Another benefit is our sales associates put more make-up on and dress more elegantly because they think that they will spend their day selling the product and not just receiving boxes.” – Department store retailer, Germany Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015
Customer Loyalty—The Industry Fact:
It takes just minutes waiting in a queue in your store to lose your customers.
The retail impact:
On average customers will “abandon basket” and walk out of your store in 5 minutes 54 seconds when waiting in a queue. The same survey also found that 56% of customers would be less likely to return to a store if they’d had a bad queuing experience.
“Our key drivers are really around how we save costs, but equally how do we generate more sales and provide a seamless customer experience.
We see people getting more used to the idea of deploying mobile devices for checkout and for shopping. It is clearly a massive growth area in retail at the moment. I think people are much more confident and comfortable with the idea of checking out with a mobile device than they were five or six years ago.” – Clothing retailer, Germany Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015
Customer Loyalty—The Customer View:
“Right, I’ve had enough. I’ll buy it somewhere else.” Customers are more aware today of the choices and power they have than they ever have been before. Brands live and die, succeed and fail, impress and alienate entirely in accordance with how they treat their customers. There’s no value in nurturing them through a sale if you then ignore them when they try to pay.
“I think what I’d like to see is an app on my smartphone which I can use to scan the products I take from the shelves, and then check out on my smartphone; either by scanning a bar code, like you do with the scanners in the grocery stores, or just by paying like you do online when you’re at home shopping of an evening. It would be great just to save those awful queues.”
- Sue - Luxury goods customer, UK Planet Retail/HP Consumer Research 2015
Customer Loyalty – The Retailer Challenge:
Speed up queuing times and slow down indifference.
The use case:
The attraction of special treatment – queues don’t just occur at check-outs, they can clog information desks or even build up around one associate if many customers seek assistance. The trick is in pro-acting with the assistance, having more staff on the shop floor and less in the back-office, empowered with In-Store Mobile to connect with each other and with their customers.
“The idea is to be able to make the checkout with the customer at any location within our store without lining up for the cashier” – Health and Beauty retailer, France Planet Retail/HP Retailer Research 2015 Delivering the in-store experience that today’s customers expect depends upon the right technology The facts speak for themselves. Whether it’s queue-busting or clienteling, stock-checking or taking an order, opening a new customer account or showcasing the endless aisle, retailers need to recognize that customers want more from their service
and experience in-store:
And they expect your store associates to be assured in making this happen.
Empowering your workforce in-store In-store mobile technologies are at the heart of making sure the store isn’t the weak link when it comes to making the omnichannel promise a customer reality.
Retailers throughout the world are successfully implementing mobile systems that address the new challenges posed by new expectations. For those that haven’t, the good news is that the technology has come of age, the proof points are more numerous each month, and the hunger for this from customers continues to grow unabated.
What did the retail movers and shakers do that worked for them?
What can you do to make it work for you?
• Define relevant use cases
• Articulate a vision for the new workforce culture
• Get the infrastructure and security in place
• Manage the rollout carefully with frequent checkpoints The In-Store Imperative HP, together with Microsoft, understand what it takes to deliver the new customer experience.
We understand the complete, end-to-end retail requirement from both the retailer and the customer side. We’re helping retailers connect the various parts of their operation and connect with their customers. We’re leading the retail mobility journey to deliver the innovation in-store that’s measurable in lasting loyalty and satisfaction. And increased sales revenue.