What makes a brick and mortar store successful? That is the question on every retail analyst’s mind these days as we enter the Super Bowl of shopping (aka the holiday season). The brands that have set themselves up for success are creating strong in-person store experiences, have an omnichannel presence that allows for seamless shopping between in-store and online, and deliver on excellent customer service through mobile POS systems.
For the hectic holiday shopping season, that last point is more important than ever. With 88% of consumers intending to shop in physical stores this year, according to the “In-Store Holiday Shopping” survey from Natural Insight, brands must employ great salespeople who do everything in their power to help their customers in real time while staying by their side.
Here’s why: When every associate with the store has the ability to help a customer and check you out, dollars and units per transaction can go up 20-30%. Additionally, TimeTrade’s Retail Executive Survey found that sales increase by 25-50% when customers are helped by a knowledgeable retail associate. They also noted that 70% of consumers will wait 5 minutes or less before abandoning a purchase and leaving the store. According to Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy, “The most important factor in terms of a shopper’s opinion of service is waiting time — either at checkout, or in being acknowledged when they need help.”
That’s why innovation in mobile POS systems is vital for retail survival.
The best brands have equipped their teams with mobile tools to make shopping a seamless customer experience. They have the ability to check for additional sizes, check other stores for inventory, and are with the customer from browsing to final purchase. They don’t make their customers wait for extended periods of time. They aren’t running up and down the stairs or back and forth to stock rooms. They also have access to their past purchase history, online wishlists, and other key shopping info to better personalize the shopping experience.
Hertz and Apple have been at the forefront of this movement toward a personal salesperson experience. Many brands have followed suit: The Pandora store at Disney has nearly 20 devices ready to checkout customers and Birkenstock just launched its first retail store in New York City complete with mobile POS for its staff. Fashion and footwear, in particular, can benefit from mobile tech features like Send a Runner, which enable salespeople to get stock from the storeroom without ever leaving the customer. With the push of a button, a product is called up and a transaction can be made.
Tools like this are helping to close sales and save customers time and effort, leaving them with a positive shopping experience and earning brand loyalty. As retailers head into holiday season, when people are more harried and time-conscious than ever, update your systems and equip your employees with mobile tools to capitalize on the uptick in shoppers who are ready to spend. That’s what’s going to really move the retail needle.
-Sam Kliger, CEO, KWI