The retail industry is going through a significant transformation due to the rise of eCommerce and evolving consumer behavior. The conventional brick-and-mortar stores are finding it difficult to keep pace with the ease and accessibility of online shopping. Furthermore, shoppers are demanding more customized and tailored experiences that cater to their individual needs and preferences.
Numerous retailers have succeeded in responding to these changes by fully embracing both online and offline channels, making significant investments in cutting-edge technology to enhance the overall customer experience, and focusing on cultivating strong and enduring relationships with their customers.
1. Loyalty and Personalization
Retailers are actively investing in loyalty programs to bolster customer retention rates, foster brand loyalty, drive repeat purchases, and provide valuable insights into customer behavior. By offering rewards and incentives for purchases, retailers can show appreciation to their customers while encouraging them to keep coming back. Furthermore, these loyalty programs offer a treasure trove of data, including customers’ purchase history and preferences, that retailers can use to create more personalized shopping experiences and target their marketing efforts more effectively.
By utilizing privacy focused location intelligence, retailers can significantly enhance their loyalty programs. One effective strategy is to target specific items based on the customer’s precise physical location, while also reminding them to redeem their points when they approach the register, thereby increasing their level of engagement. This personalized approach based on the customer’s physical location can greatly increase the likelihood of them taking a desired action, resulting in a more effective and successful loyalty program.
2. Same-Day Delivery and BOPIS
Effectively managing in-store shoppers, pickup customers, and same-day delivery drivers can be an operational challenge for retailers who want to maximize labor efficiency. However, retailers understand the importance of offering customers a range of choices such as in-store pickup, curbside pickup, or home delivery. By providing a seamless omnichannel experience, retailers can meet customer expectations and drive sales. Encouraging customers to opt for pickup can save retailers on last-mile delivery fees, and many are exploring creative ways to incentivize customers to do so. For instance, Target’s Drive Up service has expanded its curbside pickup to include Starbucks orders which has successfully attracted more customers.
Increasingly, retailers are opting to use lockers for pickup as a means of providing customers a hassle-free and contactless option for collecting their online orders. Lockers provide a secure and easily accessible location for customers to pick up their orders at any time that is most convenient. By leveraging lockers, customers can avoid having to interact with store staff, avoid waiting in line, and have peace of mind knowing their packages are safe and secure.
Moreover, retailers are employing lockers to minimize their operational expenses associated with order fulfillment. With the implementation of lockers, retailers can significantly cut down on time and resources required to make the handoff, freeing up their staff to focus on other important tasks. Overall, lockers help reduce the risk of packages being misplaced or lost, which can result in increased expenses and customer dissatisfaction.
Some retailers are taking advantage of location intelligence to enable lockers access based on the customer’s precise physical location. This approach streamlines the pickup process for customers, minimizes the risk of theft, and eliminates the need for an associate to be stationed near the lockers.
4. In-Store Mode
Retailers are leveraging mobile devices to enhance the in-store shopping experience in a variety of ways, such as providing personalized offers, discounts, and loyalty programs to customers. Moreover, customers can access detailed information about products, including reviews and ratings, based on their exact location within the store. Retailers can also leverage in-store mode to collect data on customer preferences and habits, which can be used to refine and improve the overall shopping experience.
5. Returns on Site
In-person returns offer both a superior customer experience and cost savings for retailers. Many customers may opt for in-person returns because it allows them to receive immediate assistance from store associates, which can help to address any issues or concerns they may have with their order. This personalized approach can further foster customer loyalty and establish a deeper sense of trust, as customers feel valued and appreciated when they receive personalized service.
For retailers, in-person returns provide an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell products, driving higher sales and revenue. Additionally, it offers a cost-effective solution compared to the expense of shipping returns, which can be expensive, especially if the retailer is responsible for covering the return shipping expense. Also, in-person returns enable retailers to inspect items on the spot, assess their condition, and determine whether they can be resold, reducing the overall cost of returns.
Retailers can unlock several benefits by promoting in-person returns, such as enhanced customer experience, cost savings, and opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
In summary, staying abreast of emerging technologies and innovations that maximize associates’ time and improve the customer experience is a priority. Implementing multi-channel strategies will drive more top line revenue, while streamlining processes for customers and staff will lead to tangible cost savings and an improved customer experience.
About the Author:
Alonso Vargas is the Senior Vice President of Product at Radius Networks and is responsible for overseeing the Flybuy platform that is deployed worldwide. As location technology experts, their Flybuy Pickup and Flybuy Notify solutions have moved the needle for retailers worldwide, including Petco, Joann Fabrics, Vineyard Vines, Belk, Ahold Delhaize, Meijer, SpartanNash, Giant Eagle, and more. Flybuy Pickup is being used by brands to automate and enhance their pickup and same-day delivery operations by understanding where and when a customer is arriving and providing operational cues for faster order handoffs for in-store, curbside, and delivery driver pickup. Flybuy Notify allows brands to leverage location to trigger proximity based messages to your app customers to drive specific purchasing behaviors, whether that be visiting your store, prompting loyalty redemption, or purchasing a specific item.