Return to the store: New journeys for Clienteling Software
Opening back up the retail space poses new sets of challenges, including managing and enforcing physical distancing. There will be so much more than this for retailers to tackle, so what are the retail journeys that will be affected in store and how can Clienteling software help?
Payment and POS – taking payment is the life blood of a retail store. However the POS or payment location within a store is a bottleneck where both store associates and customer congregate. They also have to interact with the same hardware and share hardware as Store associates use the same POS screen and Customer the same credit card payment/chip and pin device.
Solutions such as KIT help with payments in several areas. Firstly the payment location no longer needs to be in one place. KIT can allow items to add items to baskets and even take payments anywhere within the store using alternative payment methods:
- MPOS – this allows store associates to take credit cards anywhere in the store with the addition of a Bluetooth or Sled device such as Paypal here, iZettle, Stripe Terminal etc. It also provides the benefits that MPOS payment devices are much more cost effective than a single POS device meaning that you could even have one MPOS device per store associate, which removes the need for sharing any hardware.
- Social payment methods – like AliPay, WeChat Pay or iMessage Pay can be brought into the store. These methods are performed without the need for an additional device other than the store associate’s device and the customer’s device.
Time in store – controlling the number of people in the store is now very important. KIT provides retailers and their stores with their own appointment booking and queue management solutions. There are two main areas that this helps with:
- Queuing when customers get to a store – KIT provides a way that customers can queue up at a store virtually. Meaning that there is no need for customers to wait in a physical line but they could wait in their cars or further away and when their turn is called they receive a notification
- Customer booking appointments to come to a store – for customers to guarantee when they can visit a store the traditional booking system to book appointments is supported with integration using our sister product Matrix Booking. This allows customers to book appointments online, which store associates can see in their app.
Customer Detail Capture – Now more than ever it is important to get customer information and customer consent. This is a challenge in a world where we cannot share a device, paper or even a pen between people. Customer detail capture within a retail store often requires a prolonged period where customer and store associate have to remain in close proximity. Our software enables capturing details and identifying customers whilst keeping a distance. We do this using the customer and store associate devices in unison started on a store associate device and then completed on a customer’s personal device.
Store Associate Collaboration – there are a number of areas that store associates collaborate with one another in a retail space such as sharing best practices, task lists, reassigning work tasks, training, KPI distribution from store manager. KIT provides a mechanism that enables all of these through the app for example:
- Tasks and appointments are managed within the app providing store associates an easy place to see what they need to do and mark them as complete fully autonomously.
- In app learning learning resources exposed in one location
- Bespoke sharing capabilities such as look book for fashion – look book allows senior store associates generate complimentary product outfits that can be shared with both customers and other store associates.
Customer communication – allowing store associates to communicate with customers whilst out of store and at a distance is even more important. To do this store associates will be creative and resourceful using their own communication methods. This poses challenges for a retailer in that it means that they have no view over the communications. KIT assists with this by bringing communications into the app. This gives store associates the ability to create baskets and share products via channels such as sms, email and social channels.*
Buy online and pick up in store – customers are moving to more cautious purchasing with a large amount of online purchasing. For a retailer that has bricks and mortar stores a key benefit that can be offered is BOPIS. There are four parts to enable this:
- The online ecommerce system to take the order which is aware of store stock
- OMS system to distribute the baskets to each store
- A tool for picking the items and getting the items prepared for a customer
- Tool to issue the pick up in store capturing the customer approval
Often stages 3 and 4 are overlooked as to their importance. KIT helps with this section by providing a best in class tool that performs both the task execution and customer pick up completion.
Overall this is a big step getting everyone back to work however it does not need to be as difficult with a little help from a clienteling tool.