How Can Telephone Tech Be Used In Retail?
27 May 2021
Author: Jasmine Waters
Many of us are no strangers to using our phones to help us shop, whether that’s scanning a QR code to order or frantically searching for your student discount at the till. Since non-essential retail has been firmly back up and running, consumers that may use these features are now more divided than ever – either overly keen to return to physical or extremely self-conscious. Brands may have the answer to the best balance in the palm of their consumers’ hands. But how can we best use our phones to make the new shopping experience seamless?
What are our phones letting us do?
You only need to look as far as Amazon to see how rapidly technology is shaping the landscape of retail. With a growing number of Amazon Fresh stores hitting the streets of the UK, customers don’t even need to pay in store to secure their goods. Creating mobile checkouts has been an essential way of keeping up with the new demand for contact-free services. For many of us, using our phones to help us shop is certainly nothing new. We are familiar with many of the barriers technology presents us with, such as price comparisons, product information and availability. What’s interesting is that many of these services are conducted by third party apps, rather than inclusive in that brand’s omnichannel presence. But why is that?
Can this be improved?
At a quick glance, the merits boil down to practical function. According to Outform, 83% of shoppers already use their phones to aid their in-store experience, but only 2 in 10 are using a retailer’s app. In general, their functions are limited, showing promise in areas like store availability – but it’s not enough. Often no alternative is fully provided, making the customer journey disjointed. There’s now a difficult balancing act to perfect in achieving the convenience in online for the time conscious consumer. This is a main reason for a brand to run on one unified ecosystem, cross-pollenating touchpoints to make a journey totally on a shopper’s own terms.
The best example of this are our trusty QR codes, with 40% of shoppers believing them to be the future of retail. The potential access to make shelves informative highlights that our phones can build long-term loyalty, as well as providing footfall. Willingness to provide data also offers up the opportunity to create unique shopping habits, a gateway to a more personalised interaction. Our phones could easily give us access to bespoke discounts, something we could see pay off and grow in the in-store environment. Ultimately, brands cannot get away from the fact that a lot of shoppers are currently feeling uneasy. Allowing for payment systems to only ever be a click away ensures a healthier return to shopping as we love it, as well as limiting queues while maintaining that all-important human interaction.
Photo source: https://vrscout.com