One of the industries that have been hit the hardest by the ongoing global health crisis is retail. The safety concerns due to the pandemic have left most, if not all, physical retail stores with no choice but to limit or even suspend operations for an extended period of time. And since physical stores account for 75% of sales for most retailers, closures can result in massive EPS (earnings per share) declines. With many consumers turning to online stores and delivery services for their needs and wants, many physical stores have shut down since the onset of the pandemic.
However, this doesn’t mean that physical stores will be gone forever. In fact, luxury brands like Slowear see the rise of e-commerce as an opportunity for businesses to not just experiment with virtual shopping, but to also intensify brand loyalty efforts and even revamp the in-store experience. If you are a physical retailer who shares the same vision for your brand, here are some of the technologies you should take advantage of to ensure a thriving 2021:
Now that the world is rapidly shifting into the digital space, it becomes incredibly important for real-life shopping experiences to have a digital touch to them. This is where beacon technology can come in handy.
Beacons are small, battery-operated wireless devices that can transmit Bluetooth signals to nearby smartphones. These portable devices use complex circuitry that needs net ties to meet PCB requirements. This ensures that all of its features work without flagging a violation in the hardware or its network. In retail, beacons are used to reach customers that have Bluetooth enabled on their phones and the right retail apps downloaded onto them. With beacons, brands can push for proximity marketing that can potentially increase brand affinity, drive sales up, and revolutionize the customer experience.
With the pandemic still very much a threat in many parts of the world, technologies that can limit friction points are growing more and more crucial for businesses. A great example of such a technology is facial recognition. By integrating facial technology with access control, it would be possible for physical stores to allow touchless access. This technology can also be leveraged to alert employees about customers who are not wearing their masks properly or are not following the provided safety rules.
Facial recognition can also be used to reduce cases of shoplifting and improve the customers’ overall shopping experience. For instance, through facial recognition, it would be easier for employees to identify frequent customers as well as those that spend large amounts of money within the store. This can help them provide such customers with extra care, thereby cultivating and enriching a relationship between staff and patrons.
Like facial recognition, checkout-free technology can also be a great way for retail stores to minimize human-to-human interactions. With the need for traditional cashier staff eliminated, stores would be able to limit the number of people inside their store at any given time and reallocate personnel and financial resources elsewhere for greater profit.
Since this technology tracks movement at the item level, it would also be possible for retailers to collect robust analytics and data on item movements, handling, and purchasing behavior. Since checkout-free technology can also remove the need for bulky counters that can take up too much, investing in this innovation would also allow you to recalibrate your store design and make it more effective. With Amazon’s checkout-free tech known as ‘Just Walk Out’ now available for retailers, it would be easier for you to cash in on this innovation and make the most out of the benefits it can bring.