Despite the growth of e-commerce, the French still prefer physical purchases in stores. Here’s what a study from Klarna at the end of 2021 tells us: 52% of French people make a purchase at least once a week in a store, compared to 19% online. But how long? Almost a third of them admit that they will prefer e-commerce in the future in order to achieve greater savings and save time.
So physical stores must compete in ingenuity to maintain the privileged relationship they have with consumers today. And that includes improving the customer journey at all levels. Technological tools help employees perform their daily tasks, tangible time savings allow them to more easily consult clients. Many technologies are now available, and this is from a familiar tool: the smartphone.
Tip 1: Optimize inventory management and shelving
A good customer experience starts before the consumer even enters the store. Sellers need to make sure that the products are in their place and the prices are displayed correctly. This task, which may seem simple, is actually a real challenge, especially during promotions when prices fluctuate significantly every day.
It’s a time-consuming task that sometimes intrudes on customer relationships, but one that technology can make easier. By implementing intelligent data collection solutions, employees can manage shelves faster. These solutions, true bridges between the physical and digital worlds, collect data from barcodes, texts, identifiers or even objects to automate and provide information. In this way, employees can, for example, scan several shelves at the same time and see all discrepancies on the screen in order to be able to optimize the shelves.
Tip 2: Improve your customer experience by having all the information at your fingertips
The smartphone is also the main tool that helps salespeople in customer relationships. It is impossible for a person to save all references and know at any time the exact composition of the product, the colors in which it exists or the available sizes. But all this information is at your fingertips, or rather, within the reach of your smartphone thanks to intelligent data collection.
It is very frustrating for customers not to find what they are looking for after they have made the effort to come to the store. But with a few clicks on a smartphone, a retailer can direct them to similar products, report online availability, or simply order a product directly from the store.
The goal is to provide every customer with an answer to ensure both sales and customer loyalty.
Tip 3: Comply with Hybrid Buying Requirements
The Click-And-Collect format is attracting more and more consumers. With the promise of being able to pick up their items from the store within an hour on average, customers find this form of shopping to be a good compromise between the online and physical experience.
But to meet their expectations, retailers must be able to prepare orders on time while continuing to manage the influx of customers into the store.
Smart data capture solutions on smartphones are once again making it possible to find ordered products in seconds, with the advantage of being cheaper than old hardware scanners for retailers and more intuitive for employees.
Tip 4: Speed up checkout
Often it is the payment stage that is the most time-consuming for customers. Long queues or technical problems at the checkout, this passage can leave a bitter aftertaste. Again, the smartphone provides a decisive advantage here: it allows you to collect customers in a more mobile way in order to offload cash registers. It also offers the option to complete additional forms more quickly, such as in the case of tax-free sales, to speed up procedures and reduce waiting times.
Often, checkouts are also a Click-And-Collect pick-up point, so you also need to provide vendors with the necessary technology tools so they can find an order very quickly and deliver it to customers. This will unload the checkouts and increase the satisfaction of customers who will have access to their orders without waiting.
These four steps, made possible by smart data collection technologies integrated into smartphones, enable retailers to improve the customer experience and limit in-store annoyances. Using these tools, stores can build customer loyalty and maintain strong relationships, which is why many French people prefer to shop in person.