Despite the rise of e-commerce, the French still favor physical purchases in stores. This is what a study conducted by Klarna at the end of 2021 tells us, 52% of French people make a purchase at least once in store per week, compared to 19% via the web. But for how much longer? Nearly a third of them admit that they will favor e-commerce in the future, in order to achieve more savings and save time.
Physical stores must therefore compete in ingenuity to maintain the privileged relationship they have today with consumers. And this involves improving the customer journey at all levels. Technological tools help employees carry out their daily tasks, the perceived time saving allows them to advise customers more easily. Many technologies are now available, and this from a tool familiar to all: the smartphone.
Tip 1: Streamline inventory management and optimize shelving
A good customer experience begins even before the consumer enters the store. Sellers must ensure that products are in their location and prices are displayed correctly. This task, which may seem simple, is actually a real challenge, especially during promotions, when prices fluctuate considerably every day.
This is a time-consuming task, which sometimes encroaches on the customer relationship, but which technology can make easier. Thanks to the introduction of smart data capture solutions, employees are able to manage the shelves more quickly. These solutions, real bridges between the physical and digital worlds, capture data from barcodes, texts, identifiers or even objects in order to automate and provide insights. Employees can thus, for example, scan several shelves at the same time and see all the inconsistencies appear on the screen in order to be able to optimize the shelving.
Tip 2: Improve the customer experience by having all the information at hand
The smartphone is also a major tool to help salespeople in customer relations. It is humanly impossible to retain all the references and to know at any time the exact composition of a product, the colors in which it exists or the sizes available. But all of this information is at your fingertips, or rather within reach of your smartphone, thanks to smart data capture.
For customers, it is very frustrating not to find what they are looking for after having made the effort to come to the store. But with a few clicks on the smartphone, it becomes possible for the seller to direct them to similar products, to inform them of online availability, or simply to order the product immediately in store.
The goal is to provide each customer with an answer in order to secure both sales and customer loyalty.
Tip 3: Meet the requirements of hybrid forms of purchase
The Click-And-Collect format is attracting more and more consumers. With the promise of being able to collect their products from the store within an hour on average, customers find in this form of purchase a good compromise between the online and physical experience.
But to meet their expectations, retailers must be able to prepare orders on time while continuing to manage the influx of customers into the store.
Smart data capture solutions on smartphones again make it possible to locate products ordered in a few seconds, and they have the advantage of being both cheaper to purchase than the old hardware scanners for retailers and of being more intuitive to use for employees.
Tip 4: Speed up checkout
Often, it is the payment stage that is the most time-consuming for customers. Long queues or technical problems at the checkout, this passage can leave a bitter taste. Once again, the smartphone confers here a crucial advantage: it makes it possible to collect customers in a more mobile way to unclog the checkouts. It also offers the possibility of completing additional forms more quickly, such as in the case of tax-free sales, in order to speed up procedures and reduce waiting times.
Often checkouts are also a collection point for Click-And-Collect orders, so you also need to give the necessary technology tools to the sellers so that they can locate the order very quickly and deliver it to the customers. This will both unclog the checkouts and improve customer satisfaction, who will have access to their orders without waiting times.
These four steps, made possible thanks to smart data capture technologies integrated into smartphones, allow retailers to improve the customer experience and limit in-store irritants. By using these tools, stores can ensure customer loyalty and maintain strong relationships, which is why many French people prefer to make their purchase in person.