How retailers are adapting to customer and technology trends
The pandemic has created a dramatic increase in online shopping as customers shelter in place. This change has given rise to innovation as retailers continue to adapt and find ways to keep customers coming back to their stores. While the ease, convenience, and safety of online shopping is compelling, retailers can rely on the irreplaceable feeling of in-person shopping that brick and mortar stores provide—as long as the customer feels comfortable enough to return.
New technology is the solution that retailers and their customers need. By seamlessly bridging the gap between online and in person shopping experiences retailers can offer the ease, comfort and safety that customers require. Keep reading to learn how modern retail technology makes pandemic shopping more comfortable for consumers, and more effective for store owners.
Retail technology 2021 provides the ease and safety of e-commerce in store
The pandemic has caused an understandable fear for consumers. In fact, Deloitte reports that 56% of shoppers were anxious about in-store shopping before the end of 2020 due to COVID-19. Despite economic hardship and so much fear surrounding the pandemic, shoppers did not spend significantly less in 2020—they simply spent more online. The modern consumer uses technology throughout their typical shopping experience, and the rest of their lives. Retailers are finally adapting to these trends and redesigning the consumer experience to better match consumer needs. Here's how:
- Allowing customers to use physical products to trigger digital displays. These types of smart displays are easily sanitized, and require proximity with staff.
- Creating additional digital touch points that track a shopper’s journey while collecting data that can be used to influence marketing campaigns, drive sales, and stay connected to the customer after they leave the store.
- Integrating an omnichannel retail strategy that creates a seamless transition between platforms to provide customers with the best shopping experience. Companies with omnichannel strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers.
Cannabis retailers are leading the way in innovative in-store shopping
Cannabis retailers are some of the most exciting innovators leveraging technological advancements to adapt to consumer needs.
Dispensaries are learning the power of utilizing technology that streamlines the customer experience. Interactive smart shopping stations allow customers to browse products at their own pace, disrupting a shopping model that previously relied heavily on staff intervention. These types of interactive displays encourage customers to directly engage with products the way they were used to pre-pandemic, without the fears of close personal contact. Without putting their staff in danger, retailers are collecting even more insights to how their customers shop.
At Empire Connect, a cannabis smart store in San Bernardino, California, customers browse products by interacting with their 50 digital displays that automatically respond when customers pick up a package. Customers build and submit a digital cart as they walk the store floor, preventing the accumulation of lines at the checkout counter, and allowing for quicker payments.
This breaks from the traditional dispensary model, where face to face ordering is not only customary, but one of shoppers’ biggest complaints. By offering this new model that looks and feels like e-commerce, Empire Connect has maintained regular numbers during the pandemic, and expects this year's shopping to be a huge success.
Enhance the in-store shopping experience with The Peak Beyond
Our clients have seen cart sizes increase by 40% and staffing expenses decrease by 20% by using our suite of products. Combine the simple processes of e-commerce shopping with the traditional experience of brick and mortar shopping for an ideal—and successful—2021 shopping season. Contact us to learn more and start implementing the best retail technology today.