Far from making real people obsolete in the in-store process, new technology brings enhanced opportunities for the retail workforce.
Shopping in store is increasingly becoming a value-added experience. From in-store music through to technology to facilitate customer service, this enhances the employee’s role and opportunities and gives the customer a better retail experience.
Technology may replace some of the mundane or basic functions, enabling store personnel to concentrate on more challenging value-added services, which in turn enables them to increase financial reward, job security and grow their in-depth skills and knowledge.
Technology is already intrinsic to the shopping experience with in store music from the likes of https://moodmedia.co.uk/ and via the point of sale terminals. This trend continues to develop – https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2016/08/09/the-future-of-retailing-the-revolution-to-technology-is-now/#3f747d674fc1.
Old-fashioned customer service
Take self-service kiosks – these are fine for a ‘grab and go’ purchase, where the customer can search, order and pay for the exact item they want and merely execute their purchase. However, where advice or assistance is needed, it frees staff to use the skills and knowledge they have developed. This is much more rewarding and fulfilling rather than just operating the tills.
Find your way
Interactive screens allow customers and staff to navigate their way through stock and purchase options to find the desired item. This can be extended to comparisons, alternatives and extra items to enhance the intended purchase.
Similar touchscreens are being developed to extend the in-store experience to items that may not be in stock or on display and this is known as the ‘endless aisle’ which is an invitation to explore many more options than are physically on display.
Customer facing staff can partner side by side browsing together and upselling through demonstrating other stock, colour, sizes, accessories, and so on, to facilitate the purchase and improve customer satisfaction. This leads to improvement in knowledge, with the technology making sure the sales assistant is credited with the sale even if the products were sold from another source.
Changing room revolution
The traditional changing room will be greatly enhanced by technology. Instead of limiting the number of items and swapping garments in and out and attracting the attention of sales assistants when half dressed, a touch screen request will deliver an alternative size, colour or suggestion for the perfect outfit suggested by your enabled customer assistant!