As we’ve discussed recently, omnichannel retailing has become the goal for many retailers as it not only allows retailers to increase sales and better compete with online competitors, it also provides customers with their ideal shopping experience. A key result of an omnichannel rollout is a cohesive shopping experience for customers, regardless of whether they’re shopping online, in-store or on their phones.
In speaking recently with Tom Jones, technology consultant II, Advanced Solutions, ProAV/Digital Signage at Ingram Micro, solution providers should think broadly when it comes to how to deliver that cohesive experience.
What opportunities do solution providers miss when it comes to omnichannel implementations?
Jones: Most solution providers focus on implementing or integrating the retailer’s POS, inventory and POS systems so customers can purchase and return items in-store or online. They often overlook the opportunity to sell digital signage, kiosks and mobile applications, all of which can yield significant revenue.
How can kiosks be useful in an omnichannel strategy?
Jones: It’s important to note that an in-store kiosk shouldn’t just be a portal to the retailer’s website. If customers wanted to access the information on a website, they’d do it themselves on their smartphones. Instead, a kiosk is an opportunity to provide additional value and information to customers. With omni-channel enhancement in mind, a kiosk could allow customers to scan their loyalty card to access their shopping history. The kiosk could alert customers to sale items that match their past purchases. It could also allow customers to print out coupons—which are more effective when presented before checkout than after—and even provide in-store directions to items of interest. In short, a kiosk is a great way to make an in-store shopping experience better.
How can digital signage be leveraged by retailers?
Jones: Digital signage is a great way to carry an online message over to the in-store experience. For example, if a customer is sent an email that includes information on an upcoming “back to school” sale, that same message—from the words, prices and look—should carry over to the in-store digital signage.
What mistakes do solution providers make when implementing these solutions?
Jones: Since omnichannel is all about giving customers a unified shopping experience, it’s important that every technology (kiosk, digital signage, website, app, etc.) not only gives customers all the information they need, but it should also have the same look and feel.
Additionally, as we’ve discussed in the past on these blogs, it’s important that the ROI of digital signage or kiosks be measured with analytics. By marrying in-application analytics, surveillance cameras and even in-store beacon tracking, solution providers can ensure the solutions are contributing to the omnichannel initiative and delivering on the promise to retailers.