Adam Davidson in a recent New York Times article writes about a disappointing shopping experience at Ikea. He had such a terrible experience, driven by less than par customer service that he didn’t return to the retailer for about five years. 5 years later when he went back he noticed that something had changed- because of better in-store management software, more staffs were present in relevant places where customers might require the most help. In the end Davidson contemplates whether even more sophisticated technology could actually help in-store retail staff to go beyond just being in the right place, and actually better do their job.
Davidson’s experience is not unique, and I am sure that all of us at one point or another have been to a store that for various reasons- we just can’t stand. This usually results in us avoiding that retailer at all costs, or at least until absolutely necessary. Perhaps mobile’s role in reconciling situations such as these has been somewhat overlooked. Although mobile retail is making traction: in-store mobile convergence is still missing and remains virtually unnoticed as a way to increase in-store staff productivity and ultimately sales.
Technology is the customer service enabler
Most staff in a retail store can be found at the POS, processing cash and credit cards, putting things in bags and passing over a receipt. But, with technologies on the move, such as mobile POS’s, self-check-outs and Bluetooth Low Energy (the technology behind Beacons), eventually less staff could be required when the customer is already finished their shopping.
BLE for example, enables a check-in by mobile phone, so that customers can be tracked through their purchasing path while in-store. Checked in customers can receive coupons, make payments and get digital receipts, meaning that less time and staff would be needed at the POS. Shorter transaction times, could also nix long lines and waiting times, which I’m sure both staff and customers would appreciate.
What’s more, BLE would enable store staff to start preparing orders while a customer is still browsing, and even identify store traffic patterns, so that staffing could be done strategically to deliver more customer service or product information in the busier sections. Imagine though if employees also checked in with BLE? Tasks and responsibilities could instead be delegated by mobile phone rather than in person, saving the time required to manage and hunt employees down.
Click and collect, a smart commerce system that also enables staff to provide a better level customer experience, is also making inroads amongst many retailers including: Zara, Sephora, KFC, McDonald’s and grocers like Carrefour City. Because the customer checks in on the way to pick up an order, which has been placed before arriving at the store, employees have the order prepared, packaged and ready for pick-up when the customer arrives. There is no transaction processed in-store, instead the customer just shows their order confirmation number, and gets on their way.
The death of the Shopping Mall
A lot of the talks surrounding the recent NRF conference centered on the changing role of the brick & mortar shopping store. Rick Caruso, owner of 3 shopping malls, in an opening address at the NRF 2014, claimed the “shopping mall is dead,” one of the big reasons one has not been built in the US since 2006. This reminds us just how drastically the retail store is changing because of new digital shopping trends, which inherently means that the role/tasks of in-store retail employees should also be changing too. The solution, like Davidson realized when visiting Ikea again after 5 years is- technology. Customers equipped with a mobile phone, will eventually want different kinds of customer services in-store, a nail that has yet to be fully hit on the head.
Read more on the New York Times about retail operations management software
While many of the current retail commerce conversations have been focused on the mobile shopping strategies that tier 1 retailers are implementing, little has been said about how the mobile revolution is affecting the rest of retail. In the current state of retail with increasing online competition and new values over finding the best prices, every sized retailer should be thinking about how to get on board with mobile shopping. Here are some best practices that retailers of any size can follow to break into mobile shopping.
Mobile accessible: We first recommend that every sized retail chain has a website that is accessible by mobile phone. This is important because, 70pc of consumers call a business directly from search results and an additional 57% won’t recommend a business that has a poorly designed mobile site. Have your phone number, location, operating hours, and product catalogue easily available by mobile phone, to ensure you are not driving traffic to competitors.
Leverage what you have got: If you are already using an ecommerce site like Magento, Prestashop or Drupal, we suggest opting for mobile and web apps that can connect directly with these platforms. Learn more about AIRTAG’s ecommerce integration features.
Customize rather than build: For small to medium sized retail chains, that want their own mobile app or wallet, we recommend using customizable white label solutions rather than building a mobile wallet application from scratch. Building is incredibly time consuming, costly and requires very detailed technical management. You are better off customizing a solution which will save time, money and in the end headaches. Learn more about the benefits of white label wallet solutions.
Most importantly, many retailers have seen mobile as a real opportunity to increase sales, raise the frequency of in-store visits, and build strong customer relationships to foster brand awareness and visibility. We encourage all retailers to think of mobile in a similar way – as a crucial and growing, business opportunity.
Article by AIRTAG, originally appeared on Business2Community
Read our mobile shopping Case Study’s to learn more
Plus d’une vingtaine de restaurants McDonald’s testent actuellement le service GoMcDo, permettant de commander en ligne son menu. Dans la lignée du service McPass, présenté par Relaxnews en octobre 2009, GoMcDo est disponible pour une dizaine de points de vente en Ile-de-France, comme Créteil (Val de Marne) et l’Isle Adam (Val d’Oise), les précurseurs du système, mais aussi dorénavant en province, dans tous les restaurants niçois, par exemple. More >
GoMcDo est le nouveau système de commande en ligne de McDonald’s, il reprend ce qui avait été entreprit avec McPass. Il est actuellement toujours en test mais accueille près de 25 restaurants :
( Paris RP : Convention 15ème, Vitry sur Seine, Créteil RN6, Créteil Centre, Créteil Soleil, Villeneuve Saint Georges, Confians Sainte Honorine, L’isle Adam, Avrainville, Mantes la ville et tous les restaurants de Nice.. ).
Nice devient le premier théâtre de l’innovation NFC avec le lancement de « Nice ville sans contact »
Le 21 Mai 2010, débute la première expérimentation des mobiles NFC grandeur nature à Nice. Grâce aux mobiles dotés d’une puce NFC et au service « Citizy », les utilisateurs vont pouvoir régler leurs achats dans des commerces de proximité sans sortir de monnaie, valider leur titre de transport et consulter des informations aux arrêts de bus et de tram par simple tag, ainsi que dans des musées et dématérialiser leurs cartes de fidélité sur leur mobile NFC.
Le lancement a eu lieu au cœur de Nice en présence de Christian Estrosi Ministre chargé de l’Industrie. More >
Wireless Dynamics has announced a device called the iCarte that will add both RFID and NFC capabilities to the iPhone. The device adds functionality to the iPhone via the dock connector, to which it connects without adding too much bulk or without being too much of an eyesore. In fact, it looks like the iCarte’s designers went out of their way to make sure the add-on looks like it’s a natural extension of the iPhone itself, rather than an apparent third-party accessory.
Pour se déplacer, se divertir, payer ou accéder à des services publics, de nouvelles technologies arrivent dans nos téléphones mobiles et offrent des perspectives passionnantes dans le domaine du « sans contact » pour les collectivités territoriales. Après la période des expérimentations, s’ouvre en 2010, celle des déploiements d’envergure à Nice et bientôt sur d’autres territoires.
Désormais il est possible de commander son menu avant d’arriver dans les restaurants McDonald’s sur www.mcpass.fr. Fini les files d’attentes ! Le client peut prendre le temps de regarder la carte et essayer les dernières nouveautés de la chaîne de restauration rapide (source Relaxnews).
Voilà le nouveau service actuellement testé dans deux McDonald’s d’Ile-de-France, a appris Relaxnews auprès d’Isabelle Kuster, vice-présidente en charge des Opérations Nationales pour la France du groupe de restauration rapide. “Nous réfléchissons constamment à la manière d’améliorer les services proposés aux clients”, a-t-elle déclaré.
Tape à l’œil, enseigne mode des 0 14 ans, innove et choisit la plateforme NFC ADELYA Loyalty Operator pour sa nouvelle carte de fidélité.
130 points de ventes en France ont diffusé + de 170 000 cartes NFC « smart sticker mobile» depuis le 1er avril 2009. Tape à l’œil entre dans le monde du marketing interactif et ouvre massivement la voie à une nouvelle génération de carte de fidélité dont elle prend nettement le leadership.
This video shows us how it’s possible to pay with an iPhone at Starbucks. A barcode reader is at the back of a NFC reader. You pay your coffee on-line and you receive a 2D barcode on your iPhone to pickup your coffee. We can suppose that both technologies will coexist for the payment in a near future.