The pandemic was rough on almost every industry. But few industries suffered as much as brick-and-mortar retail. The US retail foot traffic plunged by more than 80% last April. While the numbers don’t look so grim anymore, it’s obvious that the shift to eCommerce will be long-lasting, irrespective of how the pandemic evolves.
For cannabis dispensaries, the pandemic brought an increase in sales, even though shoppers visited the physical locations less frequently. In fact, things look similar across all retail segments: people buy more in a single visit but pay fewer visits to the shops.
The retailers who thrived throughout the last year had one thing in common: they leveraged technology to keep their customers coming back. How did they do it? What can you do to boost retail sales even during uncertain times? How can technology help you meet your sales goals?
We’ll answer all these questions and several others below.
4 Ways Retail Technology Can Help You Increase Sales
1. Focus on the Customer Experience
You hear that a lot about websites and mobile apps -- customer experience is king. But what about physical stores? Given how customers’ preferences have shifted towards online shopping, in-store customer experience is more important than ever.
An MIT study found that companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers. This is because customers expect a seamless experience across all your channels, whether physical or digital.
Walking around the store freely, analyzing the products, and being able to get additional information at their own pace is paramount. Interactive displays, for instance, can help customers get all the additional information they need, eliminate lines, and make it easier for in-store staff to sell.
2. Offer a Streamlined, Seamless Experience through Integrations
86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In retail shops, and especially in cannabis dispensaries, this experience includes the sense of familiarity and the ease of navigation between isles and products.
In-shop user experience can be enhanced by integrating your digital assets: mobile ordering, interactive displays that mimic the look and feel of your website, seamless access to customer databases across locations (physical and online) -- all these make the user experience faster and more agreeable for the shopper. And, of course, more profitable, for the retailers.
At The Peak Beyond, we have seen basket sizes increase by as much as 40% in smart stores after the introduction of cannabis retail technology. Offering your customers a seamless experience across channels doesn’t just increase the size of the purchase: it also keeps them coming back and choosing you over your competitors.
3. Welcome to the Future: Omnichannel Marketing and Omnichannel Retail
If you run more than one physical location or a physical location and an online shop, offering a seamless experience is tricky without the right technology. And it’s impossible without data analytics.
We’re accustomed to thinking about data analytics as a tool for online marketing and sales. But in the era of omnichannel retail, data analytics is equally important for brick-and-mortar stores.
Did you know that customers spend more on brands with an omnichannel strategy? That’s because omnichannel retail is consistent, yet unique. It offers customers a sense of familiarity across locations and across online platforms, but it still has the power to pleasantly surprise them.
Data analytics for brick-and-mortar shops help you focus your energy and your resources on what matters. You don’t have to be everywhere. The “omni” particle in “omnichannel” only refers to the places where your customers are. That’s where you need to be.
The Peak Beyond Data as a Service solution helps you:
- Understand your customers and their preferences
- Refine your messages
- Avoid spending money on ads and on channels with poor performance
- Build loyalty
- Fine-tune product placements
Empowered with relevant data about your customers and their buying behavior, you can make smart choices about your marketing and about your business strategy.
4. Retail Goes Agile
Successful retailers have long since changed their reactive business model. They lead by being pro-active and anticipating the needs of their customers and by implementing sweeping changes in deep-rooted ways of working.
This is the cornerstone of Agile retail. Until a few years ago, you couldn’t have bought a product online and then return it to a physical store. In Agile retail, the omnichannel strategy makes room for endless possibilities and opportunities -- for both the customers and the retailers themselves.
Yes, retail can be Agile, especially since the technology to power this agility exists and can be easily leveraged, even by companies who are only just beginning their journey to digitalization.
Moving Beyond Obsolete Retail Models
Are you still expecting to enter a shop and find the sales clerk behind the counter? Your customers expect more! They expect an interactive approach to sales that includes self-guided experiences and a completely customizable in-store visit.
Want to move into the future and offer your customers more than they expect? We can help! Get in touch with The Peak Beyond consultants to schedule your free, no-obligation demo and learn how our solutions can fuel your growth.