May 3, 2102
The success of a retailer hinges on many factors. Ultimately, sales at a brick-and-mortar retailer depend upon converting shoppers into buyers. And perhaps the most impactful way to convert shoppers into buyers is offering quality service.
To impact the level of customer service and thereby increase revenue, retailers implement various technologies in their stores. These include informational kiosks, self-checkout, mobile POS, digital signs, handheld shopping devices, price check scanners, and branded apps, among other things. Notwithstanding, few in-store technologies complement the activities of the sales associate, who can play a major role in the sales process.
To investigate this link between sales staff and technology, the Australian Retailers Association participated in an independent research study to determine the impact of technology on retail spending in Australia. The research found “that interaction with friendly and helpful staff was the major determinant of an exceptional retail experience; using appropriate technology can improve that interaction and have a major impact on spending in a retail outlet.”
The term “appropriate technology” was very broadly defined in the noted research study. One that was not is a emerging technology that closely engages the associate by way of a wearable digital sign. These small digital signs can be used to deliver messages that influence customer perceptions of overall service quality and can impact customer behavior. Messages delivered can comprise the following, for example:
Relevant Communication: This can include, among other things, product information, store information, and highly targeted promotional messages delivered by a retailer’s customer relationship management software
Personalized Messages: These can include customer-aimed messages, charitable endeavors that the retailer is involved with, and community-related notices.
Associate Competence: Sales associate knowledge can impact customer service quality. Communicating that the associate possesses the required skills to perform the service can positively influence the customer experience.
Impact Wait Time: Perceptions of wait time can be reduced when a customer is distracted. Interesting messages delivered by a wearable digital sign to customers waiting in line for check out, for example, can reduce perceived wait times
Service has a major impact on customer experience and loyalty. To increase customer service levels, without the associated increase in labor costs, retailers have invested in various technologies. An interesting new technology introduced here is small digital signs worn by sales associates that deliver relevant messages, which can influence the customer's perception of quality service and, in turn, sales.
For more information about wearable digital signage, read the article on page 36 in PRI's Q1 2012 Journal of Retail Analytics.
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