Before investing in new technology for your store, every retailer needs to make sure it matches your unique value proposition. From online shopping to brick and mortar or pop-up shops, your customer experience is an important part of your branding. Technology comes in a variety of options. You don’t want to choose any customer-facing tools that don’t enhance and improve it.
Before you grab the latest gadget or upload a new POS system, ask yourself these four questions to make sure you’re using the right solution for your needs and value proposition.
1. Does my store technology match my mission and values?
Your business probably has a mission statement as well as a group of values that provide structure for your omnichannel customer experience. Any technology you introduce to your store should enhance it.
For retailers that place a particularly high emphasis on building customer relationships, technology that provides personalized recommendations or loyalty programs would be a fit. If your mission is to uphold eco-friendly practices, POS equipment that allows you to email receipts or uses recyclable thermal paper would match your mission.
2. Does the technology help solve my customers’ problems?
What are your customers’ pain points? This is one reason they shop at your store or website. Make sure the technology you choose helps in the solution for those pain points instead of adding to them. For example, if your products are complex or if customers frequently call or email with questions, using an AI-powered chatbot might help them find answers quickly. But if your product is simple to understand, a chatbot might be seen as more of a nuisance to shoppers.
3. Does the technology help improve our customer service?
When considering new technology, ask your employees about their pain points. Are there any systems that would make it easier for them to serve your customers? Perhaps mobile point of sale (mPOS) technology would help them check out customers on the sales floor instead of sending them to a long line? This is especially effective if you have a store where customers make purchase with the help of a sales associate. Allowing them to complete the transaction with one person adds to your value proposition.
4. Does our store technology match my target market’s demographic?
Technology should enhance your customer’s shopping experience, and different generations have different expectations. For example, Gen Zers want to shop in stores that offer an interactive fun experience with tools such as smartphone self checkout and interactive shoppable screens, according to Inc.com. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, prefer to shop in stores and often ask for help from sales associates, according to the marketing research firm Colloquy. Arming your staff with mobile devices that can provide more information could be helpful. Make sure your technology will be welcomed by your customers.
With so many new tools being introduced, it’s tempting to want to keep up with all of the new technology, but it’s important to make sure any new tool matches your value proposition. Bells and whistles are only effective if they help your customer get what he or she wants.
Download our omnichannel retail whitepaper to learn how technology can drive better retail experiences.