Innovative Technologies Adopted by Offline Retail Businesses
Technologies like E-commerce and Mobile commerce have changed the vision of the retail industry. The transformation has been so disruptive which saw the dominance of E-commerce app development over the last few years. This has hit harder to the physical stores, even than it was first assumed. Physical retail and other brick-and-mortar stores are experiencing a huge decrease in the number of footfalls in the store. What could be their next move for survival in the midst of stiffest competition?
Enhancing the in-store customer experience perhaps is the first thing that comes to mind, right? But what could be done to improve the overall store experience that almost drags every customer into the store, instead of purchasing online?
Thankfully, there is a range of innovative and smart retail solutions which could help! These solutions are developed using various technologies or using some of them through integration.
Beacons/ BLE Devices
We all know what a beacon does. But how it could work for a physical store? Beacon-based solutions can in fact empower a retail store owner to get notified about an incoming customer when the customer enters the vicinity. The owner can send the relevant content (images, text, video) regarding marketing, discounts, coupon codes, cross-selling, upselling, etc., directly to the customer smartphone. Everything without opening any app or a website! Sounds cool to you?
The first roll-out of this technology was in The Swan Centre in Eastleigh, Hampshire, England. The shoppers inside the centre received offers straight to their phones. The service has been developed and implemented by the UK based tech startup TagPoints. Using Beacon technology, the company has incorporated its unique ‘TagBeacons’ platform into The Swan Centre’s popular white-labelled ‘SmartRewards’ app.
Along with a welcome message, customers entering the centre receive 10 points to their loyalty account which can be used in conjunction with merchant discount offers.
The concept of “how E-commerce can save the high street” shall be implemented by the shopping centres around the world. The shopping outlets must use the Brand online to drive the footfall to the stores and help their tenants enhance the in-house experience. It is all about using both the mediums effectively for one common purpose- to increase the volume of footfalls. To make a marketplace where the space within the shopping centres work as an area to seek out entertainment and showcasing of the products will provide an honest experience to the purchasers. It is all about promoting the brand alongside trading.
Smart Parking Leveraging IoT
Shopping malls are using technology to rework mall usability as a crucial area for enhancing customer satisfaction. There are numerous opportunities for shopping centres to transform customer pain points into new delight points. IoT Technology helps in addressing one of the most important challenges shoppers face whilst being at the mall, and that is finding parking space.
People waste a lot of time finding these parking spots or end up paying hefty fines if the vehicle is wrongly parked. Sensors located in the parking areas detect the number of parking spots available on each level and provides visual indicators to drivers.
After registering its name in the UK in December using the trademark Amazon Go, which is considered as “The world’s most advanced shopping technology”. It is about to bring the concept of tech loaded counterless stores there as well. The test already successfully carried out in Seattle, at Amazon headquarters, where a mobile app tracks customers as they enter or out, record the things they devour and deduct.
The shop is currently only available to company staff, but will hospitable shoppers from next year. The value of purchases is going to be automatically billed to their accounts. Following the footsteps, other businesses also are trying to implement assistant free concepts to provide a hassle-free and time-saving shopping experience.
In the fight of the retailers with a physical store to online retailers is to cope up with the deliveries. Delivering is one of the key problems to tackle due to time limits and uncertain traffic loads. In cosmopolitan or metropolitan cities, traffic jam is one among the most important problems. To beat this situation, one would only dream of package delivering drones at the doorstep to be tested. It actually is though. To check the feasibility and viability as per the regulations, Amazon has already started working with the UK Government for access to provide the delivery of small parcels with the help of drones.
If you are a retail business owner and looking to develop/implement a smart retail solution, contact our technology experts now!