Retail tech needs to calm and excite

Innovation is key to retail success.

Presumably retailers are sick to death of hearing that. We know it. They know it. But when it comes to innovative retail tech, things are not as simple as we’d like. That’s because while there’s a lot you can control with tech, some things you cannot.

Customers, for instance…

Humans can be instinctively wary of change, which means many people are hesitant to try out new technology. 

Yet, there are also plenty of customers who are tech-savvy and will pledge allegiance to stores that offer more advanced systems and offerings.

The question therefore is: How do you keep all customers happy? Calming more cautious customers, while exciting the more curious.

Customers are more familiar with retail tech than they think

The high street is already full of examples of in-store retail technology. Here are some examples of how tech is already part of the shopping experience:

  • M&S’s on-the-spot payment system has been in-store since late 2020. Pay With Me lets customers who have a few items in their baskets check out with a staff member, keeping queues to a minimum.
  • & Other Stories debuted a smart vending machine in its flagship Paris store which allows customers to try out beauty and fragrance products. The plan is to roll this technology out to other locations.
  • A Lush store in Japan uses an app as its primary source of product information. The app replaces in-store demos and products are displayed on shelves and conveyor belts around the store.
  • Zara dabbled in AR technology in 2018. Customers could hold their phones up to sensors to see models sporting items from the latest collections. This showed shoppers how to style items and potentially saved them a trip to the changing room.

Keeping all customers happy

Retailers looking to keep their progressive customers happy need to find ways to offer increasingly frictionless experiences. This could mean digital signage which informs, engages and connects the online and offline worlds; pop-up shops where new tech is trialled; mobile apps that feature loyalty programs; or mobile scanning shopping options.

More traditional shoppers can be appeased with easy-to-adopt tech such as click and collect and QR codes. Cautious shoppers will also be grateful for the presence of a real-life associate to answer any questions.

If you’re looking for ways to strike the right balance with your in-store digital signage, Delta can help. Get in touch with the team to find out more: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.

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