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Local Commerce Innovations: Leveraging Technology for In-Store Experiences

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The lines between online and offline shopping are quickly blurring. Most consumers run online research before making an in-store purchase. They are generally open to considering both online and offline purchases.

In fact, 36% of consumers use their phones inside the store to research products. If they can find a better deal at another store, they may change their purchase decision . 

Despite this trend, in-store experiences still hold considerable sway. The experience of handling products, personalized assistance from staff, and immediate gratification often lead customers to finalize their purchases in person.

Read to know how you can use this in-store behaviour to drive sales, by making consumers change their minds in favour of your products.

Technology Solutions For A Great In-store Experience

The increasing use of smartphones in the decision-making and purchasing process shows that consumers want an immersive experience. 

Most business owners already know that consumer satisfaction drives sales. So, how can you tailor your in-store experience to appeal to your target audience?

When you think about it, the answer is simple. 

For converting consumers used to an end-to-end tech-enabled buying experience, an immersive store experience is the key. This also ensures that your consumers focus on the value addition your product provides rather than looking online and getting swayed by competitors.

Retail brands are quickly adapting to the necessity of using technology to create a seamless and improved shopping experience. Technology is now being used in all stages of the decision-making process, from initial consideration to active evaluation, and finally to a purchase.

Cost and scale are no longer limiting factors in implementing tech solutions, as a number of platforms provide ready-to-deploy solutions for local offline businesses.

Here are a few strategies that can help you improve your in-store consumer experience using simple cost-effective technology:

Online Presence Management

Before you think of providing a great in-store experience, you have to create enough visibility to increase store footfalls. Product offerings like SingleInterface’s Presence Management ensure that your business is visible when someone searches for your products or services in your locality.

Online research plays an important role in deciding which option consumers will consider first. Popular Engagement Management tools use hyperlocal approaches to optimise your business listing and manage reviews. Active online presence management ensures that consumers are actually visiting your store – after which the in-store experience begins.

Using QR Codes

Consumers will often seek more information about the products in your store. Your store associates are, of course, their first point of contact. However, there might be a lot of information that is better communicated via text, infographics, or video.

 

This is where QR codes come in.

QR codes are extremely easy and cost-effective to use. You can generate QR codes for free that redirect a user to a resource on a webpage. You can then simply print them and place them at the correct places in your store. Consumers can use their own phones to scan the codes — no added cost there. Moreover, this also makes shopping an interactive experience!

Self Service Capabilities

Easy information availability can considerably increase consumer engagement inside the store. If your consumers have to approach store executives for all queries, they are much less likely to seek the information.

You can remove this friction point by introducing self-service capabilities like information and feedback kiosks. Information kiosks can act as a product discovery point where consumers can search for products by category or keywords. It also gives them information about items that are out-of-stock in the particular store, along with restocking timelines.

Local businesses can also place kiosks that allow consumers to choose products, pay from the kiosk, and then pick up their orders at the counter. This practice is widespread in the fast food industry but can be used by any retail store.

Mobile apps can also be used to implement these self-service capabilities. However, for local businesses, mobile apps will generally have lower adoption rates compared to high-visibility solutions like kiosks and vending machines.

 

Seamless Payments

The payment counter is a bottleneck in many stores. While a crowded counter is an indicator of success, it can hamper consumer experience.

Employing seamless and quick payment methods can significantly speed up the buying process. Using payment technologies like QR code-based payment and contactless NFC-based payments are a few ways of implementing this. You can also get rid of paper currency and earn green points as a bonus!

Store Pickups

The majority of global shoppers consider delivery speed when making a purchase decision. Local businesses have an edge here as they can enable consumers to choose the product and pay online, and then let them pick it up from the store at their convenience. 

Once you have established a solid online presence using offerings like SingleInterface and their Transaction Management features; you can add the option of in-store pickups. This allows you to access a larger consumer base, such as those looking to buy online but have a requirement for immediate delivery.

The Future Awaits You

The future of local offline businesses is in technology integration. Offline and online fulfillment processes are already merging with the introduction of dark stores and hyperlocal e-commerce.

This trend is highly likely to continue in the future. 

The good news for small businesses is that several tech companies catering to this market have reduced the cost of getting started and have maximised ROI for business owners. With comprehensive product offerings from experts such as SingleInterface, you can build and manage an online presence without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details of IT infrastructure maintenance.

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