These days, customers are accustomed to the rapid digitisation and omnichannel experience of shopping. With the online experience existing alongside the in-store experience, customers can research the products they want online before they even step foot inside a store.
However, with 88% of customers reporting that they are more likely to make a purchase in-store if sales associates are knowledgeable, it’s more important than ever before that sales staff have access to the tools that will increase their insight, expertise, and mobility.
What’s more, with customers now used to the speed and convenience of online shopping, they are more likely to leave a store without making a purchase if they have to wait in a lengthy queue to do so.
In fact, according to an Ingenico report 78% customers have abandoned checkouts due to long queues. In effect, consumers are demanding a faster, more efficient and more personalised shopping experience – one that places them at the centre of the retail journey.
But there’s no need to lose customers due to having a slow in-store paying process. By maximising on in-store mobility and keeping on top of consumer payment preferences, retailers can offer an amplified level of customer service to draw customers in and keep them returning.
The ever-changing nature of consumer behaviours
Today’s connected consumers shop in an entirely different way from their predecessors, switching between digital and physical shopping platforms repeatedly throughout the buying cycle. From previewing goods and services ahead of a store visit, to real-time product comparisons via their mobile phones while walking the aisles, consumers’ habits have evolved, and merchants must act fast to keep up.
In fact, a total of 80% of consumers reported using a mobile phone in-store to check product reviews, according to a recent report by OuterBox. This represents a significant shift in the power dynamics between the consumer and sales associate. The use of smartphones and the 4G internet connection enables shoppers to access such a broad range of product data that it gives them the “insight advantage” when talking with sales staff.
The role of the sales advisor is evolvin
Now, sales advisors need to form a deeper relationship with the customer before checkout, rather than at the checkout.
In-store mobility then, at its core, involves providing sales associates with smart connected handsets, enabling them to better respond to sales queries and take payments anywhere in the store. So, more than providing the ability to take payments, equipping sales associates with in-store mobility solutions enables them to identify the consumer wherever they are in the sales journey, match their insight, and even provides a gateway to loyalty programmes and their benefits.
To make the most of in-store mobility, retailers need a smart, flexible, easy-to-use device that allows store associates to combine several payment services onto one system, with rich product and customer insight.
But how can retailers know which device is right for their stores and their customers?
Any system which improves the store experience is going to win with customers. The most important thing for today’s consumer is a frictionless experience that suits their needs, so an omnichannel system which encompasses every touchpoint, accepts a range of payment methods to suit any preference and is compatible on a range of devices is the key.
Omnichannel suits every type of customer – with more tech-savvy time-poor customers having the option of a quick mobile checkout with a sales associate, whilst still allowing other customers to shop with the terminals they know and understand.
Ingenico has long been a pioneer of in-store mobility solutions. Its forthcoming generation of devices will enable retailers of all sizes and scale to create a smoother shopping experience for consumers and boost the revenue-generating potential of sales associates. Furthermore, with over 20 years’ experience and a range of payment system offerings, Ingenico Enterprise Retail is perfectly placed to answer any questions you may have – retail, security, technical or otherwise – and help your business improve its in-store mobility with a bespoke payments system.
Lee Jones is Director of Sales and Business Development, Ingenico Enterprise Retail