Seven ways retailers can be more effective all year round – Part 1

As Australian retailers recover from the busiest period of the year, it’s essential for them to understand how consumer shopping habits have changed due to a prevailing preference for online shopping. These retailers should consider implementing the right technology solutions to maximise their chances of success in the year to come.

By providing sales staff with mobile devices, they can provide customers with real-time access to additional information and in-the-moment offers, price checks and inventory information. These devices also connect sales staff with managers and other colleagues and stores within the retail chain. This makes staff more productive and helpful without having to walk away from the customer to a phone or point of sale station.

Retailers need to empower frontline staff to close the sale. This means giving them the means to get the information and approvals they need on the spot, so they can give the customer the best price or the information they need to encourage them to buy.

Here are the first three of seven key ways that mobile devices can help retail staff be more effective. The next four will be covered in the second part of this article:

1. Improved customer service

When staff have to leave the customer to find the answer to a question, the spell is broken. The customer has to wait for them to come back with an answer and may decide in the meantime to walk away. Mobile devices let sales staff provide the answers to any conceivable question and, what’s more, they can finalise the sale using mobile point of sale technology without having to direct the customer to a different area for payment.

2. More add-on sales

Using a mobile device makes it easier for sales staff to suggest complementary items, provide up-to-date insights on inventory and price, delivery times and more. They can even tell customers what previous customers have purchased in addition to that item to complete the outfit or project, saving the customer a second visit to the store. Staff can place an order for an out-of-stock item and arrange for it to be delivered to the customer’s home.

3. Enhanced staff management

Turnover tends to be high in retail and recruitment, and training can be costly. Most retailers rely heavily on part-time workers. Consequently, it’s important to use devices that deliver a user experience that’s similar to personal mobile devices, to minimise the amount of training required. New hires can become productive very quickly with all the information they need at their fingertips, and customers will enjoy better service and responsiveness.

Next week, the second half of these handy guide will cover how to improve loss prevention, inventory integration and accuracy, and customer intelligence.

Ilan Rubin, Managing Director, Wavelink

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