If you haven’t noticed, the retail industry is scrambling to improve customer satisfaction, and the implementation of technology into the shopping experience seems something akin to the space race from the 1950s. Sometimes the drive to implement may come with a cost.
Customers want a more seamless experience while shopping in stores, and brands want to provide it. Worldlink Integration Group works with brands in the retail, restaurant, and grocery industries to deliver a better consumer experience.
We work to integrate an omnichannel solution on shelves and at checkout to simplify the shopping experience without being invasive. Plainly put, we install solutions that customers see as friendly.
Shoppers may not be on board with technological integrations they might see as intrusive – or a foe in the experience.
The Verge recently published a story about Walmart securing a patent for eavesdropping technology in shopping carts and bags. Detecting rustling bags and register beeps may be more of new store security measures, but if the system can listen to those indicators, what else can it hear?
According to the patent filed: “The sound sensors can be located throughout the shopping facility or in specific areas of the shopping facility. In some embodiments, the sound sensors are located near POS terminals. The sound sensors are configured to capture voices and other audio resulting from activity near the POS terminals.”
Implementing any technology isn’t the answer. Worldlink focuses on deploying the right technology for your business.
This is an important distinction for consumers. They want to be heard; they just don’t want to be listened to literally while shopping.
A recent article in ConsumerAffairs.com supports that claim.
Author Mark Huffman writes, “Technology isn’t the only area where there seems to be a retail disconnect. When you ask retail executives if their stores have become more inviting places for consumers in the last five years, 73 percent say yes.”
But business owners and IoT integrators shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back just yet.
“When you ask consumers the same question, you get a different answer. Just 45 percent agree with the premise, and 19 percent actually say stores have gotten less inviting during that time,” adds Huffman.
Connecting with Millennials and Gen Z is a skill as well. It’s not as simple as adding a Chatbot onto your website or social media channels.
We know from our installations and systems, the experience needs to be authentic, and it needs to add value to the shopping experience. Technology cannot be implemented for the sake of it.
Bob Phibbs, CEO, Retail Doctor, agrees. Huffman quoted Phibbs in the ConsumerAffairs.org article saying, “These findings point to a clear and urgent need for better customer service. No retailer wants their customers to be confused or anxious, yet more than half of respondents have felt that way while shopping.”
How well do you understand your customers, and how are you advancing your business model to deliver a comfortable and streamlined experience? Our team recently attended the NRF’s Big Show in New York. If you’d like to discuss some new strategies for your business, we encourage you to reach to schedule a 15-minute meeting with our VP of Sales, Brett Busconi, by using the Calendly link in the upper right corner of this blog!