By the end of 2018, it is expected that consumers will have spent a collective $2.842 billion online — which is likely the cause for many of our favourite high street stores going into administration. As more ecommerce websites continue to rise in numbers, spend is set to increase further to $4.878 billion by 2021.
From Poundworld to Toys R Us, stores are closing their doors like there’s no tomorrow. With more people venturing online to do their shopping, no business is safe.
The customers perspective
If customers walk into a physical store, they want a better service than what they can receive online. You need to fully optimise your service to make sure the reality lives up. If not, you could find yourself closing down stores and letting staff members go.
Time is ticking, customers will only stay in a store for 13 minutes before being served. Although this may seem like a high waiting time, businesses around the world are still trying to improve this area of their operations and make great changes to ensure that no customer is ever disappointed with their service.
From the moment they enter the store, they want a service that is personalised. Businesses that have not had a focus on this area of their business reported that they lost 75% of their customers due to lengthy waiting times; which of course led to a decrease in business opportunities. Customers that do not have an enjoyable experience with your business will not likely return, which has been the case for many telco businesses.
There’s queuing systems available for retail businesses to help combat walk-out issues. 50% of people believe waiting in a queue is irritating, so if you’re not already looking to introduce such systems in place — you could face bigger problems as a business.
How your business can change
You should have an aim to deliver an efficient customer experience from the moment someone arrives at a store up until when they leave. Enhancing the customer experience is all about adopting new technologies that can streamline all processes across an organisation.
Although you already have a point of sale system in place, you must make sure that it is worthwhile. You need to invest in a POS that has the ability to drive results and also give you greater visibility over your business inventory; it can often be hard to strike the perfect balance.
You want to make sure that the in-store experience you offer is different to your competitors. Make it your mission to ensure that someone is always on hand to help with any queries someone may have about a product or service. Although customers do tend to wait a generous 13 minutes before leaving; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best to serve them as quickly as possible.
If you introduce more appropriate technology across your business, you’ll be on your way to completely optimising the in-store experience. This in turn will generate continuous results when implementing new solutions or upgrading current technologies – something which often takes time to adopt.
Queue management is also something you should be looking at, as this can help your retail business streamline the process. From this, you’ll be able to create upsell opportunities and offer a more tailored experience to your customers if integrated across different areas of the business.
You will also want to gain a greater oversight of your inventory. In effect, it removes the need to go back and forth manually to check the availability of products. As well as this, you’ll be alerted when it’s time to restock your inventory, which can remove the need of constant monitoring; allowing you to always be prepared for popular store times.