[Preview#5] How to EFFICIENTLY/EFFECTIVELY employ (Mobile) tech in Retail…

RetailIn my latest Preview I talked about How to NOT employ (Mobile) tech in Retail… …and, as a side-effect, a couple of false myths were gracefully debunked.

Let’s now talk about how retailers can otherwise efficiently and effectively leverage Mobile tech – specifically in-store – to get tangible business results (…and be happy!).

Pay attention, dear Retailers: when I think of effective/efficient retail Mobile tech, it’s not the shopper’s smartphone with your branded Apps on, but a cutting-edge Mobile POS solution in the hands of your store-associates.

I’m talking about replacing the traditional desk-bound POS stations with retailer-grade Mobile POS solutions (fully integrated with the IT back-end) based on tablets or smartphones; the final goal is to enhance the shopping-experience with personalized interactions on the shop-floor, during the most important phases of the shopping process – and there is even more…

Using Mobile POS solutions, store-associates are able to have an in-store “anytime, anywhere“ full view of:

  • the shopper and her purchase history, habits, personal info, …
  • products, prices, promotions, sales data, real-time inventory levels, …
  • other valuable, always up-to-date info, for example work schedules, alerts, training & HR related material, …

The store-associate is so able to relate with the shopper in a personal and informed way, and is empowered to provide helpful advice and significant product recommendations – this is what I call a rich, consultative sales approach; all of this occurs on the shop-floor, where and when the buying decision is made – not afterwards at the checkout desk, when it is too late…

Let me rephrase it, dear Retailers: combining different information from various enterprise data sources, such as customer personal data and shopping-histories contained in loyalty programs – and offering it to store-associates in simple, accessible and actionable formats – allows to deliver improved one-to-one experiences for store shoppers.

Think omni-channel: thanks to Mobile tech, multiple fulfillment channels can be all at the fingertip of the store staff; for example, if the needed size or color of a product is not available in-store, the store-associate can:

  • look on her Mobile POS device to find another store nearby where the customer can go and pick up the desired product right away, in the proper size or color

or

  • enter on her Mobile POS device the shopper’s address and have the desired product shipped from a central warehouse

Take note: Mobile technology solutions that offer access to all aspects of order-management and fulfillment have the potential to both improve effectiveness (customer service KPIs) and efficiency (cost-reductions) – yes, I’m talking about more performing operations.

A Mobile POS solution has another big advantage: it allows to complete the purchase (payment, etc.) straight-away on the shop-floor: customers – always pressed for time – value the convenience of Mobile checkout because it gets them on their way sooner – no more annoying queues…

What’s the overall outcome?

The shopper feels unique and valued, loyalty is improved and bottom-line numbers get better, much better.

In my next Preview I’ll discuss a clear-cut Use-case describing how to employ a Mobile POS solution in-store; as a bonus, I’ll show how and why the traditional shopping-process is probably flawed…! Don’t miss it…

Andy Cavallini – andy.cavallini@gaia-matrix.comhttp://www.gaia-matrix.com

PS: dear Retailers, in this Post I am sharing the fifth preview of my new white-paper titled “The importance of brick-and-mortar stores in an omnichannel world” that you will be able to download on my blogsite http://www.gaia-matrix.com very soon.

[…just to be crystal-clear: it’s a white-paper, it’s free, I’m not selling anything…]

Gaia-Matrix

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