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4 Ways Technology Helps Store Associates Improve the Customer Experience

4 Ways Technology Helps Store Associates Improve the Customer Experience

According to Retail Dive, about 83% of shoppers believe they’re more knowledgeable than retail store associates.

That’s not to say that shoppers don’t want to engage with store associates. In fact, 79% of consumers surveyed indicated that being able to engage with knowledgeable store associates is “important” or “very important.

As a retailer, you need to empower your retail associates with technology that will help them cater to the needs of customers who expert more than ever in today’s digitally enhanced world.

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Based on a survey cited by Retail Dive, almost half of the respondents said they would like to shop in-store if they could talk to knowledgeable store associates capable of suggesting products based on their purchase histories.

About 72% survey participants who have dealt with a store associate with a mobile device that provides product info, credit card checkout, and inventory look-up said it resulted in a better shopping experience.

Here are 4 ways technology will help employees enhance the in-store experience for your customers:

1. It Provides Associates With Ready Access to Information

As you know, having the capability to access information with a few taps on a mobile device has changed the way customers shop. Not only can they compare prices between stores and search for coupons and promotional codes, but they also have access to online reviews and lots of information about any given product.

“Putting mobile devices in the hands of store associates is now a necessity to keep up with the customer who has a plethora of information available at her fingertips. Associate mobile devices enhance the shopping experience by accessing real-time inventory and customer data and offering the ability to service customers and process transactions anywhere in the store.”

Source: Perry Kramer, vice president of BRP, via RetailWire

When your associates can answer any question with quick online access, you empower them to meet customer needs. Your associates will be able to offer greater insight into products and make more informed suggestions.

Additionally, the ability to look up inventory data without leaving the floor to check the back room leaves more time to have meaningful face to face interactions with consumers, resulting in a better in-store experience for your shoppers.

2. It Increases Productivity

Implementing the right technology in your store will help employees increase their productivity.  For example, it can be a struggle for associates to find time to keep inventory updated, especially if that includes keeping your website updated too.

With an integrated POS and E-commerce solution, inventory only needs to be entered one time and everything is automatically synced across your physical store and website, saving time and money.

Cloud-based point of sale systems store your information with software and services that run on the Internet, where it’s accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection. And you won’t have to worry about your associates backing it up, because it happens automatically.

Since all the data is viewed in real time, associates can better assist customers with accurate product information.  Additionally, a POS system allows your associates to access important customer data—like purchase history and reward points—so they can personalize each customer’s shopping experience.

By automating business processes, you can increase employee efficiency and free up valuable time they can use on more important tasks.

3. It Enables Associates to Process Sales Anywhere

Cloud-based POS systems, like Rain POS, give your employees the ability to process payments at different stations in your store, as well as outside your store—and wherever else your customers are. Associates are no longer tethered to a cash counter, turning them into roving sales consultants who can provide excellent customer service and a quick checkout experience.

When your cloud-based POS is integrated with your store’s inventory system, employees will have access to an accurate count of the products you have on hand. That means when a customer wants an item that’s not on store shelves, your associates can quickly determine whether it’s in stock and if not, they can place a special order for that item on the spot.

Employees can also use the store’s e-commerce site to help customers, as well as make purchases through the online site and have items shipped right to their doors.

Having a POS system with mobile capabilities also enables employees to efficiently create customer profiles for future interactions, and send email receipts to buyers. With access to shopper inboxes and digital receipts, your business will be more environmentally friendly.

4. It Requires Continuous Training That Makes Associates More Valuable & Informed

Based on an article found on Forbes, eyewear brand, Warby Parker, has sales associates who are engaging, personable employees who are good with eye contact, skilled at matching customer pacing, and quick to catch on to expressed or perceived customer preferences. Additionally, these employees are very effective at making a sale, as well as performing marketing and sales-related activities necessary for building a sustainable and profitable business.

How did Warby Parker employees get that way? Not only were they carefully curated for their positions, but they were properly trained—and no doubt continue to be—along with working in a setting filled with high performers who positively influence each other.

“When an employee receives regular training, they are simply better able to do their job. They are more skilled, more aware of workplace processes, more confident, and more knowledgeable of their industry — all of which push them to perform better both now and in the future. Continuous training also keeps employees informed of new industry trends and developments, which will help position your company as a leader in its field.”

Source: Recruiter 

Offering tech to employees means there will be continual training that comes along with it. That’s because software and devices are constantly being updated, necessitating regular training and/or retraining.

New technology empowers your staff to do more, including checking out customers, instantly answering inventory questions, and providing many other on-the-spot services. Furthermore, training employees to perform many different tasks with in-store tech increases their value and keeps them engaged, improving the odds that they’ll stick around longer.

Conclusion

Want to drive sales and build customer loyalty and lifetime value? It’s time to arm your retail associates with technology that enables them to increase customer engagement and satisfaction.

Taking advantage of technology in your store enhances the retail experience for your shoppers, too, because employees are better able to solve problems with efficiently, engage customers more easily, and process sales transactions from anywhere in the store.

Plus, the training required for digital development will keep your retail employees more informed and empowered, increasing their job satisfaction. In short, using the right tech in your store is a win-win for everyone!

About The Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and the eBook The Small retailer's Ultimate Guide to Increasing In-Store Sales. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.

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