Today’s digital-savvy consumers expect an engaging and technology-driven experience, whether they are shopping online or in a store. In light of this, it is important for small business owners to integrate digital technologies into their brick-and-mortar stores to keep up with consumer trends and maintain customer loyalty and engagement.
How Your Store Can Benefit from Digital Technologies
Digital technologies can enhance the in-store experience, increase convenience for customers, provide omnichannel opportunities and help to both retain existing customers and attract new ones. Before employing these technologies, it is imperative that small business owners have a few important items in place, including:
Small business Internet connection. Your brick-and-mortar store should be equipped with Internet in order to reap the benefits of most digital technologies.
Online presence. A few of the tactics below are best employed in combination with online channels, whether that be a small business website or social media accounts, to give in-store shoppers a true omnichannel experience.
With these items set up, you’re in a great position to bring digital technologies into your brick-and-mortar store. Here are four ways to do so.
1. Digital Payments
Consumers today have a lower tolerance for wait times and an even higher desire for speed and convenience. That remains true for in-person check out experiences, where shoppers can abandon ship if they see a line is too long for their liking (which can mean bad news for your sales). Integrating smart technology that allows for digital payment solutions like mobile wallets– think Google Pay or Apple Pay– where users can pay with a tap of their smartphone, or employing a flexible retail POS system– like Clover or Square– that improves efficiency, can help to ensure your brick and mortar store’s check out runs smoothly and quickly, encouraging shoppers to convert.
2. Tablet Technology
Tablets and touchscreen devices are becoming an increasingly popular technology for enhancing the in-store experience. Tablets can be located throughout the store on tables, at kiosks, or on check-out counters, and provide various methods to encourage customer interaction. Shoppers can use tablets for tasks such as placing orders, finding where inventory is located in the store, browsing additional stock online or putting items on hold. Additionally, tablets can be utilized for a quick self check out experience or one facilitated by store employees. However they are used, tablets offer convenience and flexibility to your customers.
3. Digital Signage
Another way to incorporate digital technologies into brick-and-mortar stores is through digital signage. As opposed to static, printed assets, digital signage can elevate the customer experience and give a modern, high-tech feel to your physical store. Located on TVs, digital posters, kiosks or menu boards, digital signage can be used throughout the store to dynamically display promotional content or featured products to grab customers’ attention. Additionally, these digital displays can be updated quickly and easily, saving you time and energy when it comes to refreshing your store’s signage.
4. QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes are a type of barcode, or scannable pattern, that stores various forms of information or data. When a consumer uses their mobile device to scan a QR code, they are shown the information or taken to the website stored in the barcode. In brick and mortar stores, QR codes can be used to direct customers to virtual menus, product catalogs and additional product information, give shoppers special coupons and promotions, or link to online channels like your small business website or social media profiles. Incorporating QR codes throughout your store can help to encourage customer interaction with your products and brand, while offering a convenient and engaging shopping experience.
The examples above are just a few of the ways small business owners can elevate their physical stores in today’s digital era. Using digital technologies in a meaningful way can help make your brick-and-mortar store stand out in the crowd.