The year 2020 marks a new decade for Indian Retail and it is certainly the most promising one yet. The retail industry has come a long way in the past 10 years and its evolution has had a fair share of highs and lows from an offline retail point of view.
In the past decade, e-commerce in India took the centre stage and brought unreal convenience into shopping. Numbers read that e-commerce penetration in India is over 74% and is increasing at a steady pace. Although the culture of online shopping is easy for shoppers to adapt, not all retailers manage to cope with it.
It is good to have convenience in shopping, right? But at what cost?
E-commerce has forced offline retailers to come up with ways to provide a convenient shopping experience to their walk-in customers. Today, the stores that have acted on it remain but the stores that have not, are falling. With convenience being the tipping point to all this, here are few ways to improve the in-store shopping experience.
- Manage your crowd to welcome more crowd
- Help your customers make informed decisions
- Take the counter closer to your customers
- Value your shoppers’ time
1. Manage your crowd to welcome more crowd
No shopper feels positive about entering an already crowded store. Having the billing counters lined up against the entrance of your store makes your store look congested even when it is not. This makes the impulsive shoppers walk right past your store. Instead, you can distribute the crowd intentionally to different segments of your store and in turn widen your storefront to make it feel more welcoming.
Replacing your bulky conventional billing counters with handy mobile POS is the easiest and the most effective way to achieve this. A handheld terminal frees up so much floor space and you are suddenly left with opportunities to increase your inventory, widen your storefront and distribute the crowd evenly within your store.
Remember, crowded stores is a dream scenario for retailers, not for shoppers.
2. Help your customers make informed decisions
Shopping has always been about choices. More the choices, tougher it is for anyone to shop. Brands online and offline are quick to capitalize on the indecisive nature of the shoppers to see more business. Offline stores have a massive advantage over online stores to cross-sell rightly if they are being consultative in their approach. This comes as an advantage because even today we value human interaction more than one with the machine.
Use this to your strength and get your sales professionals to focus on the customer rather than the product to be sold. In doing so, you will be able to improve the in-store shopping experience and deliver it based on facts and not based on assumptions. Technology can also give you a helping hand with consultative selling. This mobile POS not only makes the billing routine easier for the sales professionals but also equips them with all the information they need to upsell a product.
Skill up your sales staff to scale up your business.
3. Take the counter closer to the customer
Expanding your retail floor to accommodate more inventory may appear like a smart move to increase sales, but are you aware that you are also making your customers walk more by doing that?
No one finds it interesting to walk up to the billing counter to check out or to the customer desk for an inquiry. Bringing the counter to the customers in the form of handheld terminals, anywhere inside the store will make it so much convenient for the customers. Not only do they get to avoid the long, boring walks but they also get all the information needed wherever they are in the store. Providing a personalized shopping experience like this will go a long way in the views of any consumer.
You need to go the extra distance, not your customers.
4. Value the shoppers’ time
One major reason shoppers drift towards online shopping is that they are made to feel that they save a substantial amount of time by buying products online. How often have we seen ourselves as consumers hesitate to enter big supermarkets just to buy a loaf of bread or a single bar of snickers? We prefer to buy things like that from a less crowded store even if it costs us an extra buck or two, do we not?
That is how sceptical we are about our time getting wasted in the long queues in those big supermarkets. A study says that a typical supermarket loses up to 22% of its monthly business by not converting these walk-ins into sales.
If you are a retailer who can relate to it, the idea below will make total sense to you. Set up express checkout counters exclusively for small carts. Although setting up checkout counters come with heavy investment and large consumption of your costly retail space, you simply don’t have to worry about those factors if you deploy mobile POS counters. Furthermore, integrating such mobile counters with digital payment methods can accelerate the checkout process and improve the in-store shopping experience significantly.
Remember, You need to generate long bills; not long queues.
2019 saw the highest number of physical stores being closed in a year. Do not see it as a panic stat. We all agree that it is not the greatest of times to be an offline retailer but see it the way I see it. Build your store around these four differentiators and get through this tough phase. React quickly, as, in the end, your competition is not just the online stores but also other offline stores that are adapting.