Customer experience in retail is at the heart of what keeps customers coming back.Forbes reports on a study in which 90% of consumers said they are more likely to return to a retail store if they have had a positive experience. Gartner confirms that ‘more customer interactions leads buyers to find your brand more valuable and provide you with customer insights’.

Customer experience in retail is even more crucial in the post-pandemic return: surveys find that many shoppers feel underwhelmed by being back in the brick and mortar environment. Retailers need engaging customer experiences to win back this jaded audience.

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One of the most effective, engaging and flexible ways of engaging shoppers is customer facing displays. We’re not talking here about the traditional ‘2 x 20’ LCD display which simply shows customers each item as it is rung up. Rather we’re looking at today’s customer facing displays, based on familiar tablet technology. They’re larger, touch interactive and richly functional – and can play a vital role in a positive retail experience. Their use is growing – driven by a recognition of their role in a positive customer experience, and by consumers’ acceptance of interacting devices in the retail store.

More than just transactions

A customer facing display can perform a multitude of roles in delivering a positive retail experience:

  • Visual confirmation of item and price – the primary role of a customer facing display is to let customers to see each item as it is rung through the retail POS system.

  • Promotions and offers – the customer facing display can be used to cross sell upsell, to increase basket size, or ensure a return visit. Using image, video and sound to promote offers is highly engaging.

  • Loyalty program – customers can use the interactive display to check their loyalty points, spend points, or update their details.

  • Customer feedback – the customer facing display can solicit and capture valuable real-time customer insights.

  • Brand messaging – the customer facing display can extend brand messaging, by showing store ads, or providing customer information, such as the safety measures the retail store is taking in the aftermath of the pandemic.

  • Legislative compliance – a customer facing display can help to meet legislative requirements, such as those in California, where the law states that ‘the price of each good or service to be paid by the consumer is conspicuously displayed to the consumer at the time that the price is interpreted by the system

Experience, efficiency and growth opportunity

Using a customer facing display for these functions helps retailers to not only enhance the customer experience, but to drive operational efficiencies and marketing opportunities:

  • Improved experience – the transparency of enabling customers to clearly see every item and price as it is rung up makes for a more efficient checkout. There is less chance of error, it reduces customer queries and means they get ‘no surprises’ at the end of the checkout process. All of which makes for a more streamlined checkout and a happier customer.

  • Greater engagement – customers feel part of the checkout experience, they interact with offers and promotions and relish the opportunity to provide feedback. Interaction and engagement are primary drivers of customer retention, and therefore increased sales.

  • Improved loyalty programs – enabling customers to update their own data whilst at the checkout helps to improve the accuracy of the retailer’s loyalty database. This allows more insightful retailer analytics, used to improve future offers and promotions.

  • Insightful feedback – capturing how the customer feels, whilst they are actually transacting in the retail store, provides invaluable retailer data that can be used to tailor and improve the customer experience of the future.

Next steps

The real smarts for customer facing displays are in the retail POS system that drives it. So the essential first step for retailers is to ensure that they are using a retail POS system that enables all customer facing functionality so they can maximise the benefits.

Even retailers who plan to start with limited display functionality, must ensure they have point of sale software for retail that will allow them to expand their capability in the future and take full advantage of this valuable tool for improving customer experience in retail.

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