Of all the recent advancements, mobile technologies have the biggest impact on the retail landscape and offer the greatest potential for brands and retailers. When 77% of consumers will whip out their mobile devices while shopping in physical stores and 73% prefer retail self-service technologies, it’s clear that brands and retailers should look into modernizing their in-store strategies.
Read how 4 brands that have raised the bar on the physical shopping experience:
1) Simon Property Group – Chatbots
Finding your way around in a large mall can be exhausting. Where’s the next ATM? How long is that store open? Where can I get the most interesting deals and offers? These are all questions that can exasperate mall shoppers. What if each of them could receive individualized interactive guidance and have a personalized mall experience right on their mobile device?
This is exactly why Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall operator in the US, introduced a mobile chatbot concierge service. As part of Simon’s broader strategy to bring digital experiences to the brick-and-mortar environment, the chatbot aims at easing consumers’ searches and reducing shopper confusion.
The bot helps consumers navigate the mall using geolocation, store attributes, consumers’ location and behavioral data on their past shopping trips. It provides proactive recommendations, shares personalized promo codes, and makes the shopping experience much more personal, right on the device shoppers carry around in their pockets. It’s an interesting mix of customer care and proactive marketing.
- The chatbot FAQ solution correctly answers over 60% of all questions asked by shoppers
- Additional convenience, comfort and value help Simon in the face of declining sales and foot traffic
- Customers who tried the Simon shopping assistant are motivated to do less shopping online and more at brick-and-mortar avenues
2) Sky Mobile – Tablet Assisted Selling
The rise of mobile technologies at the store is not only improving the customer’s experience but also that of any sales assistant. More recently, Tablet Assisted Sales (TAS) is getting more attention because of its ability to support both the salesperson and the shopper with information during the in-store customer journey.
Wanting to help sales reps be better equipped when advising consumers, even when dealing with complex product lines, telecommunications provider Sky Mobile integrated an AI-powered digital assistant on tablets at its pop-up stores in the UK. It helps each sales reps to:
- always ask the right questions and truly understand what the shopper in front of them wants by analyzing billions of data points and information about shopper personas
- quickly find the most suitable option out of hundreds of choices and combinations
- provide each shopper with the most accurate information
- ultimately, sell the right product or plan that best fits the shopper’s need
- The digital assistant ensures a consistent brand and service experience, reducing customer complaints and return rates for Sky
- Speed up sales conversations, enabling sales reps to serve more customers
- Automatically shortlist and serve up the most appropriate Sky products and/or data plan
- Better retargeting through a more accurate understanding of a consumer’s interests and requirements
See how you can use digital assistants in your store
3) Reebok – Self-Service Kiosk
We’ve all been in stores where the selection was too overwhelming and neither inviting nor engaging. Walls and walls of products can quickly intimidate consumers that they don’t even attempt to find the right product.
This is a particular problem in the footwear industry and athletic brand Reebok set out to solve it. Being a brand that focuses on innovating the shopper journey within the physical store, Reebok was looking for solutions to engage the consumer in-store in a human-centric way and drive loyalty to the brand. They wanted to create a compelling, less intimidating in-store experience that would give customers a reason to come into the store, explore the assortment and purchase the right product.
With its most recent store installation in its retail flagship store in Boston, Reebok is reinventing the in-store experience. It introduced a new way to communicate and educate the average consumer on how to buy the right footwear for their activity and specific needs.
The solution is integrated on a kiosk and guides consumers through a series of questions to gain a deeper understanding of why they want to run and what they want to achieve. Based on this data it provides them with a tailored recommendation and personalizes the product experience for each shopper. According to Reebok, it’s the next evolution of shoe retail. An engaging, interactive, immersive shopping process that’s defining the future of the in-store experience.
- Better experience for people to find the right product for them
- Humanizing the approach to finding the right running shoes in a consumer-driven retail landscape
- Driving brand loyalty through engagement, simplification, and education
- Ability to learn more about their consumer’s motivations and the products they’re interested in
Read how METRO saw a 100% CVR uplift by creating a more engaging in-store experience with zoovu digital assistants – in only 8 weeks!
4) Urban Outfitters – Beacon Technology
Beacons are small, battery-operated wireless devices scattered around a store that track customer movement. They offer extremely effective ways to create a fuller experience in stores. Brands and retailers can interact with in-store shoppers based on which aisle or department they are, sending personalized, highly targeted messages to shoppers, engaging with consumers in new ways and providing incentives to visit more often and hopefully make purchases. It’s all about personalized engagement combined with strategic marketing.
Urban Outfitters (UO) was once the shopping destination for young adults and hipsters before it managed to offend a large number of people with questionable products that, some believe, “border on the fringes of acceptable taste”. Through the integration of beacon technology, UO hoped to draw in new customers and bring back ones who were already lost by making the customer experience more enjoyable.
When a shopper enters an Urban Outfitters store, they are encouraged to check in on social media to unlock a personalized offer and user-generated content about the products they are viewing. This increases conversion rates as shoppers will be more likely to take advantage of discounted products when they are nearby. It has also helped UO to build its mobile loyalty program.
- Boost In-Store Sales – 73% of shoppers said that they are more likely to make in-store purchases on receiving beacon-triggered targeted and contextually aware content or offers
- Maintain consumer attention within the retail environment longer
- By using beacon technology in combination with social media, Urban is able to engage with customers online, even when they’re in-store.
Digital capabilities have changed the in-store experience for the better. They have increased opportunities for shoppers to engage with brands and get personalized help. Given the massive possibilities, every brand should consider upgrading their in-store experience.