Imagine having your own personal shopping assistant who brings clothing right to your fitting room. If you like what you try on, they buy it for you without you even having to leave the fitting room. If you decide it’s not for you, they take it out of your shopping cart and bring you a different selection of your choice.  And that personal shopping assistant is none other than your smartphone (with some help from a few robots).

This convenience is a reality for US retail consultant Hointer, who recently launched a beta store and is leading the in-store digital revolution, where shopping in a store is becoming a lot like online shopping. This revolution is being embraced by consumers, according to our report, which reveals that 71% of North American consumers find shopping online more convenient than in-store, and successful retailers are taking note.

There are three important components for any successful omnichannel strategy aimed at making the store replicate many of the best eCommerce experiences:

  1. Achieving an Omnichannel View of Each Customer
    To make omnichannel shopping as seamless and convenient as possible for shoppers, you need a 360-degree view of your customers and their lifetime value. With detailed insights about customers’ past purchase habits, store associates can make tailored product recommendations, similar to offers that customers receive when shopping online. Retailers can also send loyal customers exclusive offers and rewards based on their repeat business. The iVend Retail management suite gives retailers these in-depth insights to enhance customer engagement and keep customers coming back to their store again and again.
  2. Mobilizing Point of Sale
    One of the many conveniences of online shopping is that information about the inventory and products is readily available, another convenience is being able to skip long checkout lines. However, all these conveniences can be provided in-store by retailers investing in mobile POS solutions that allow store associates to interact with shoppers, check inventory and process sales from anywhere in the store, supporting the move toward a consultative sale, rather than a cashier simply ringing up a sale.
  3. Digitizing Loyalty
    Our research shows that 36% of North American shoppers and 20% shoppers in Europe fail to use paper coupons before expiration. This translates to customers losing out on loyalty benefits as well as retailers losing out on a sale. A digital passes application helps address this by allowing customers to manage their coupons, gift cards and rewards all from one place, without having to carry a physical coupon with them. Digital passes also allow retailers to send push notifications to a customers when a coupon is about to expire or when they’ve earned enough points to get an award. Customers don’t need to plan ahead before stopping at a store or worry about forgetting their coupons and shopping in-store just got that much more convenient.

There are several great reasons why the store is the most profitable sales channel. Consumers get the instant gratification of receiving products immediately without paying for shipping, the ability to try on or examine a product up close to be sure it is exactly what is needed, and knowledgeable store associates who can help shoppers find what they need and add a personal touch. An integrated software solution optimized for retail improves the in-store shopping experience and helps to match the convenience of eCommerce that consumers desire.

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