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How to Enhance Retail Customer Experiences with Contactless Technologies

Published Date

February 9, 2022

Read

4 minutes

Written By

Sampath Kumar Arunachalam

In recent years, customers have shown less tendency towards spending their time in stores and have moved towards online shopping.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed most of the customers' shopping experiences. Retailers are migrating towards touchless and voice-based interfaces, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning technologies, and mobile-based transactions to serve their customers better. Here are some proven ways for retailers to effectively improve customer experiences.

Understand Customer Behaviours and Expectations

Lockdowns and restrictions have made consumers do their shopping from the comfort of their beds, scrolling on smartphones and tablets and filling digital carts with a few simple clicks. With contactless shopping on the rise, consumers are less tolerant of inefficient and painful checkout experiences, regardless of whether they are shopping digitally or in person.

Newer technologies are driving new and higher expectations for customers. It is time to reassess the whole customer journey from every touchpoint, including brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping. Retailers need to offer speedy services, an easy checkout process, and good delivery options to retain their business.

 

Customer Experiences

 

Retailers should constantly innovate to increase options for a better user experience and reimagine their customer experiences by removing user experience roadblocks, simplifying their checkouts, and reducing abandonment rates.

Create a Seamless Commerce Experience

The number of retail channels has increased considerably, from the web to mobile or to buy online, pick up in-store model (BOPIS) - one of the ideal ways for retailers to mobilize in-store foot traffic and connect their experiences. Retailers must try to unify the customer journey by integrating technology systems and merging in-store and online operations. Adopting a seamless commerce experience is one way to achieve this goal.

 

Customer Experiences

 

Retailers must be dedicated to working with integrated payment companies that facilitates them to receive payments in a single system that encourages contactless experiences and revenue growth in-store, online, on handheld devices, and at the POS. 

Adopting an omnichannel retail solution will allow retailers to accept secure online and contactless transactions while also capturing and centralizing customer data for future engagements. It will also make it easier for customers to move between sales channels, fostering loyalty and driving conversion rates.

In-Store Contactless Checkouts

The contactless checkout stood as a top priority for customers to shop safely while in-store. Consequently, retailers across the globe had to adapt to consumer needs by augmenting their digital and contactless capacities, accelerating the checkout process, and by applying social distancing norms to help shoppers feel safer. 
 

Customer Experiences

 

Mobile payments and mobile-centric experiences have already become essential, contributing to shorter wait times and a seamless in-store experience. Keep in mind that due to the rising concerns regarding privacy and data security, only few consumers today prefer purchasing with one click, tap, or scan.

Improve Your Employee Experience

Retailers also need to consider the store associates, delivery team, and support team experiences. A well-trained and equipped staff is also a key to creating a great customer experience. Equipping staff with more streamlined, up-to-date technology will bring them closer to customers. Providing frontline employees with all-in-one mobile POS and payment devices that enable customers to pay in safe, multiple contactless ways.

 

Customer Experiences

 

The training of employees in digital tools will help them serve customers more effectively when they reach out for help anywhere (from in-store to online shopping).

Innovate and Reimagine the Experience

Experience Design is here to stay and is the future of retail. There are endless possibilities - e.g. when customers get back to the new-normal world where the experience inside the store or across channels can look almost like the experiences offered by amusement parks. For example, MagicBands - are plastic bracelets that contain RFID radios, a wearable hands-free device used by Walt Disney resorts. It's time for the retailers to 'Imagineering' (a term from Disney) where technology gets twined with the customer experience. 

 

Customer Experiences

 

With 5G & 6G technologies in the pipeline, there will be a surge in the latest technologies such as sensors, computer visions, AI, Immersive technologies, and spatial computing. These technologies can help retailers innovate and reimagine the experience they offer now. They should not be bound to fixed strategies and business models but should be more agile towards a growth mindset. For instance, Domino's Pizza, Inc. attached innovation to the brand by demonstrating radical possibilities, like self-driving pizza-delivery vehicles.

However, retailers must think of themselves as Experience designers to survive and thrive. They must figure out how to use the technologies in creating aspirational experiences for their customers. Contact the experts at ACL Digital for more information.


 

About the Author

Sampath Kumar Arunachalam Digital Experience

Sampath Kumar is a human-centered design practitioner and digital transformation consultant. He is a Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) with 9+ years of involvement in User Experience Design. He is currently working as a Senior Interactive Designer at ACL Digital.

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