Retail Profits Driven by Customer Dwell Time

Customer experience is vital in the retail industry. It has been important for years, but it is now crucial to drive customer satisfaction and repeat business. Customers who are satisfied and spend more time with their store will be happier and they will buy more products. This will lead to increased profitability and a greater number of items in the shopping basket. The demand for new technologies is growing to assist retailers in improving their operations, establishing stronger relationships with digital customers and increasing revenue. Many stores want to improve their customer experience and increase profits by offering intuitive connected devices and services. However, customers who prefer personal interaction with their store may lose customers and profit.

This begs the question: How can you improve the connected store experience while still maintaining human interaction? Technology can be used to enhance the in-store experience of customers. This allows sales associates to provide more personalized customer service, which in turn will allow them to upsell and build sales. This personalized customer service results in more customers being satisfied, higher store profits and longer dwell time.

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Let’s take a look at today’s retail transformation

Recently, Jeremy Dallois (CEO of ReachFive) stated that the future in retail is in “digitalization” of the supply chain, and the customer experience. This sentiment appears to be widely shared within the sector.

Retailers have moved beyond using technology to prevent loss to creating new business models that encourage profitability and provide customers with convenient connected services. The retail sector has become a laboratory of innovation, evaluating the return-on-investment potential of breakthrough technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things(IoT), and big data. This will deliver new benefits to consumers and insight for retailers to increase profits.

A digital e-commerce experience online or at home can help customers engage beyond the store. Let’s look at Monoprix as an example. It leverages voice control (conversational shopping) technologies to give its customers the ability to dictate their shopping lists via their connected speaker.

Use technology to deliver personalized customer service

Some retailers don’t have the financial resources or the expertise to fully exploit the potential of new RF/RFID-connected retail technologies. While loss prevention is an established practice to limit store shrinkage, how can technology be applied in-store and via smart devices to improve customer purchasing experience? The retail landscape has changed due to cultural shifts caused by mobile devices and ecommerce. Retailers need to adapt to be able to capture the new ways consumers interact with brands and make purchase decisions. Take a look at the following:

  • 72 percent of shoppers would rather have the item in their hands before they buy it.
  • Only 29 percent of respondents appreciate having a personal assistant for their shopping.
  • 49% of shoppers stated that they would be more comfortable if the interactions with AI systems were more personal.

Retailers now have the ability to use technologies to assist customers, take into consideration their preferences and offer a customized shopping experience. This is where enhanced Customer Dwell Time (ECDT), although there are a few subtleties that might not be obvious, comes in.

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A direct correlation between increased profitability and longer dwell time in-store is the increase of Dwell Time

What is increased dwell time? This is the idea of extending a customer’s stay in your store. It involves interacting with the customer via technology to personalize the experience. Regardless of the reason, a longer dwell time means more items are added to the shopping cart. Customers make more money when they buy more items.

ECDT Benefits Consumers and Retailers

  • Efficiency: Suppliers that offer product portfolios with intelligent RF/RFID tags, sensors, connected AI, machine learning retail devices and near-real-time IoT supply chains and inventory management provide transformative solutions for retailers to personalize the retail experience, optimize shelf replenishment, and engage customers to increase dwell time.
  • Transparency Enhance consumer confidence when engaging with connected devices in order to create omnichannel strategies that are healthy, both online and offline.
  • Experience: Use connected devices and radio frequency identification technologies to create in-store experiences that are consistent with brand DNA and today’s digital consumer culture. Create a Retail Comfort Zone ™ that allows consumers to dwell, dream, and connect with the brand’s offerings using technology.

ECDT is a smart retail strategy that connects to smart devices. Consumers today are digitally connected and start their shopping journey outside of stores. However, they also seek out new experiences in-store beyond the products and services offered by brands.

Retail seduction starts outside the shop with aspirational branding, and connecting with digital customers. Connected devices can influence the size of the shopping cart, allowing brand stakeholders to identify consumers’ brand preferences using mobile devices, AI, or in-store sensors that reference RFID-tagged items taken into the fitting rooms. An enhanced shopping experience leads to longer dwell time for the consumer and higher sales.

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source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/enhanced-customer-dwell-time-drives-retail-profits/

Shopko Files Bankruptcy Protection

Shopko, a general merchandise retailer that has stores in the Central, Western, and Pacific Northwest regions of the U.S.A., announced it and its subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Shopko stated that the reason for the bankruptcy filing was excessive debt and ongoing competition pressures. Shopko reported assets less than $1billion and liabilities between $1billion and $10billion. Shopko announced it would close 38 stores, in addition to the 45 that it had closed over the past year. It will also relocate more than 20 optical centers to independent locations and conduct an auction for its pharmacy business.

Shopko, which has over 360 locations, stated it will continue to serve customers, vendors and employees with the $480 million in debtor-in possession financing it obtained from lenders. Russ Steinhorst (Shopko’s CEO) stated that this was a difficult decision but essential. We’ve had to make difficult decisions in a tough retail environment. However, we are confident that we can build a stronger Shopko by operating smaller, more focused stores that will better serve customers, vendors and other stakeholders.

Total Retail’s View: Shopko filed for bankruptcy not unexpectedly. According to Chain Store Age McKesson Corp. claimed that it has provided Shopko $67 million worth of drugs since Nov. 11 but has not been paid since December. This week, the drug supplier requested a restraining or injunction to prevent Shopko selling the drugs it supplied. A McKesson lawyer stated that Shopko would file for bankruptcy protection Jan. 15. Shopko is not in the worst of luck. The company’s optical business is a shining spot. Shopko was encouraged by the success of its four independent optical centers, which were opened in 2018, and announced that it will open more optical centers in 2019, in addition to moving more than 20 to freestanding locations.

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source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/shopko-files-for-bankruptcy-protection/

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