The digitisation of stores is a growing trend in the retail sector. It involves seamlessly blending the use of digital technology with the in-store experience to create a more personalised shopping trip.
The benefits of digitisation
Here are 3 main benefits to digitising a retail outlet
Improving the customer experience
The point of sale can harness modern technology to really enrich the consumer experience. Digitisation offers the customer a smoother journey and helps them find the right products when they need them, saving everyone time.
Optimising inventory management
It’s not always easy to manage stock in real time, although it’s an essential to responding to customer demand with supply. Digital tools give you more precise control so you can avoid overstocking running out.
Personalising the consumer journey
The data you collect can be used to personalise the product or service you’re offering to a customer. It is not uncommon for a retailer to tailor offers based on purchase history or to send text messages to mark important events like birthdays.
What technologies are used to digitise shops?
There are several ways to digitise the branches of a retail network, some examples of which are below:
These are generally used in points of sale to display product information or to advertise promotions or share customer reviews. They allow customers to interact with a digital space in store.
Tablets are frequently used by shop staff when providing information to customers. They are an easy way to access the information like remaining stock, customer comments or similar recommendations based on what customers are buying.
Ways to pay
Customer usually wants to optimise the time they spend in a shop, so retailers are pretty motivated by the idea of automated payments. Take the Amazon Dash Cart experiment, a physical shopping trolley designed to avoid queues altogether by automating payments.
There is no shortage of ways to digitise and innovate when it comes to points of sale. Like augmented reality, an increasingly popular part of the phygital experience.Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread
Digitise your store, but don’t stop there…
Digitisation improves the customer experience in the physical point of sale but it boosts the online visibility of the business as well.
For example, being active on Facebook and Instagram is an undeniable advantage when it comes to the store’s social media presence. Posting on social media helps maintain a link with local communities and is a way to provide product news or highlights.
However, there is also the process of managing your business’s SEO, more broadly referred to as Presence Management, which involves tracking and increasing your brand’s online visibility to ensure it has a presence online, especially in search engines.
Social Media and Presence Management therefore go hand in hand. We are seeing younger generations using social media as a search engine while Presence Management remains essential to SEO.Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread
What are the challenges of digitisation?
It goes without saying that digitising a retail outlet requires the use of modern technology, a challenge in itself: think of access, management, skills, compliance…
Just fulfilling all the necessary security or privacy criteria can be difficult for retailers, which is why it’s essential for head office to make the digital transition of its branches as smooth as possible.
To avoid obstacles and complications, a practical tool is needed that makes the job of head office easier and gives local branches access to new and innovative solutions.
How does local marketing enable the digitising process?
Companies use local marketing to interact with their local customers and gain an understanding of them, so this is inextricably linked to digitisation. A local marketing campaign allows companies to connect with customers in their area by offering a personalised experience.
Locality is about knowing your customers.
Because local retailers are close to consumers and are familiar with their shopping habits and needs, they can provide them with the most compatible experience.
Proximity is an important part of personalisation.
Thanks to the relationship between the retailer and its customers, marketing can take a more personal approach. Take email or text campaigns, for example. Another good strategy is responding to customer feedback.
Visibility is also achieved online.
The digital visibility of local stores is becoming increasingly important; this includes the establishment’s Google Business Profile as much as its social networks. To attract consumers to their store, retailers must be able to conduct marketing online and create a community around the brand.
In short, the digitisation of shops is now indispensable to retail chains. The more the network is able to capitalise on the digital experience, the better placed they are to offer an optimal shopping experience to their customers.
After all, the very point of retail digitisation is to increase online visibility, footfall and customer loyalty.