The amount of crazy technological advances we’ve made just in the past couple of years have been unbelievable! We’re using technology that previous generations couldn’t have ever imagined using. From AR/VR to AI, the amount of futuristic tech that today’s shoppers have access to is outstanding. But sometimes, it can actually be too much. In some cases–particularly in the retail industry–less is actually more. Introducing advanced technologies in a customer’s moment of need is only going to cause frustration. Instead, retailers today should be focused on leveraging technology that shoppers are already familiar with (think: touch screens, mobile experiences, and voice commands), and adding little “futuristic” details to build up to bigger change. When it comes to impressing your shoppers, simplicity and usability are key.
Companies Changing the Shopper Experience
Today’s shoppers are less interested in advanced tech, and more interested in speeding up the shopping process. The easier a store can make the shopping experience for its customers, the more likely they are to return. So using simpler tech that consumers are familiar with is the way to go! Let’s take a look at how two big name companies are using shopper-friendly tech to dramatically enhance the shopping experience.
At the beginning of this year, Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store in their hometown of Seattle, Amazon Go. The idea behind the store is to completely eliminate the lengthy checkout process by allowing their customers to pick up what they need, and simply walk right out of the store. No really, it’s that simple! Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when items are taken from shelves and adds them to a shopper’s virtual cart. Upon leaving the store the shopper is sent a receipt and their Amazon account is charged. While they only have one Amazon Go store for the time being, they have plans to open six more, hopefully in a city near you.
Shopping in Walmart just got a whole lot easier through their new Pickup program that is available in over 1,000 locations! The motto says it all, order online, pick up in stores. Shoppers can now skip the hassle of in-store shopping altogether by placing an order online through the Walmart website, choosing a pickup time slot, and driving to the store. That’s it. Shoppers don’t even have to get out of their cars, Walmart employees will load your groceries into your car for you. The best part, it’s all free!
Simple Ideas for Your Store
As innovative and practical as those two programs are that Amazon and Walmart are using, your store doesn’t have to make any massive technological improvements for your customers to be impressed. Think about the potential of using your shoppers’ smartphones, for example. It’s a device they already know and love, and adding small technological layers on top of their mobile experience is a way to provide futuristic shopping experiences with less friction. For example, instead of having multiple greeters in the front of stores, customers could be given the option to use their phones and scan a QR code which could provide them access to a plethora of information like store layout, specific product information, digital coupons, promotional deals, FAQs, and more! It’s simple tech solutions like those that will leave your shoppers impressed and won’t break the bank doing it.
There are nearly 3.8 million retail stores in the U.S. for your customers to choose from. So ensuring your shoppers have a pleasant and pain free experience is crucial to keep from losing them to one of your many competitors. The sooner your store gets started, the better! Because today, your customers are impressed by this simpler tech in your stores. But tomorrow, it may just be an expectation to keep their business.