As human beings we enjoy social experiences. Shopping in-store gives us this level of social interaction that e-commerce simply can’t deliver. While online stores continue to multiply, there is no question that brick and mortar stores continue to play an important role in the shopping experience for most businesses

In an increasingly competitive retail landscape, it’s not enough for stores to continue using the same tactics. Nowadays, they need to devise compelling new ways of selling, and offer customers new ways of interacting with their products. 

This is where in-store technology comes in. When implemented thoughtfully, it can help to deliver highly personalised, frictionless and memorable experiences for customers. 

As customer expectations only continue to rise, now is as good a time as ever to start investing in future proofing your store. 

Deliver richer brand experiences 

According to retail expert Doug Stephens, retail stores are increasingly becoming another media channel by which customers engage with brands. 

Stores are also often the first exposure many shoppers have with a brand. As such, they help to build brand affinity and customer loyalty - connections that simply cannot be built at the same level in e-commerce. 

What’s more, as technology advances into more areas of shoppers’ lives, Stephens argues that consumers will crave more, and better, physical retail experiences. 

“...Brick-and-mortar spaces will offer retailers and brands the opportunity to draw the consumer into the brand story, deliver a remarkable and immersive brand and product experience, and ultimately galvanize their relationship with consumers,” Stephens says. 

Make the most of data to deliver more personalised service 

Stores that can make the most of their customer information to deliver personalised service will stand out in the minds of shoppers, and can help to build long-term customer relationships. 

Implementing Clienteling techniques and tools to uncover rich customer insights into shopper preferences, past purchases and behaviours can help store associates deliver customised experiences, delivering service and cross selling opportunities that can’t be matched online. 

Customised experiences are proven to increase average order size and customer lifetime value and utilising your date in store is a great way to deliver.

Five reasons why you should start your store of the future initiatives now
More efficiencies for both retailers and shoppers 

Future proofing your store also means improving how operations work behind the scenes. Pick & Packing technology can streamline the fulfillment process, reduce packing errors, and create a seamless experience for customers.

Store associates with hand held devices can send detailed order requests to stockroom staff, who are immediately notified of the product location and customer details.

These sorts of requests can also apply to fulfilling online orders if stores implement Click & Collect technologies. The dual operational benefits for customers and associates alike mean faster processing of order requests, reduced delivery expenditures and added opportunities for promoting other products. Foyer’s Click & Collect features include notifying customers when their order is ready and giving associates customer history so they can provide better service.

Low capex fulfilment solutions compliment your initiatives to drive a seamless end to end experience across every touchpoint so you’re not just convenient, but consistent.

Capture sales regardless of stock levels 

Shopper expectations are only rising - they want more products, more often, at a time and place convenient to them. With this mind, it only makes sense for retailers to use technology to offer a wide product range that can be shopped at the consumer’s convenience. 

Technology such as Endless Aisle allows stores to open up their entire inventory for shopping, regardless of whether items are on the shop floor or not. With the ability to sell items directly from the inventory, stores can stock less products while creating more opportunities to sell.

Deliver frictionless in-store experiences 

Likewise, effectively managing in-store traffic and appointments with technology can help deliver frictionless shopping experiences.

Using queue management solutions can help manage foot traffic whilst empowering associates to prioritise high value customers. Retailers can use technology like Appointment Manager, which allows for self check in kiosks (or text message notifications), simultaneously reducing wait times and freeing up staff to engage in higher value activities. 

With technology becoming more ubiquitous in customers’ lives, there’s never been a better time to start investing in thoughtful in-store experiences that reduce friction and deliver enjoyable, personalised moments. And as competition grows in the retail landscape, technology continues to show us the way forward.