How Mobility is Transforming Retail in 2020
As the cost of mobile technology for retail comes down, and adoption goes up, retail mobile solutions are poised for continued long-term growth. Many retailers who have taken a wait and see approach to in-store mobility are now ready to make the investment and reap the rewards.
And if you’re already using mobile technology to improve customer service and sales, there are some emerging trends in 2020 to keep an eye on.
Here’s how Retail is changing in 2020
Young, tech-savvy shoppers: Industry buzz indicates that the retail scene will change more in 2020 than in the last 50 years. GenZ will replace millennials as the largest worldwide consumer group and will become the new trend setters for retail shopping. This is the most “Internet native” generation ever, with all of the latest technology tools, apps and devices to to shop across channels like no other generation. These are the new power shoppers.
The challenge for retailers is to be as tech savvy as these up and coming consumers — to win their loyalty by meeting their expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience. Consider these up and coming technologies as enablers to win their hearts, business and loyalty.
Work smarter: AI and machine learning — With enough data, you can predict the future. And with AI and machine learning, you can predict the future in near real time. Self-programming and self-learning algorithms can crunch vast quantities of data in no time to learn what’s hot right now so you can stock your shelves accordingly.
AI and machine learning will also become essential for predictive workforce scheduling. These emerging technologies can factor in weather, traffic and historical store traffic to ensure that stores are optimally staffed at all times.
Work-life balance: Retail mobile solutions also help balance the work and personal lives of managers and store associates. Retail mobile solutions now give employees more visibility, input and control over their work experience. For example, employees can use mobile devices to swap shifts when something unexpected comes up.
Easy to use mobile solutions also help managers get out from behind their desks and on the floor to interact with employees and customers where they can have more impact.
Mobile payments: Another trend in mobile technology is the ability to accept mobile payments. Much of the retail industry has moved beyond the wait-and-see approach with mobile payments and are ready to jump in. Apple Pay, Android Pay, mobile wallets and other payment options are quickly becoming the norm.
Clienteling: Retail mobile solutions will also help retailers get ahead of trends like showrooming and buying online while in-store. “Clienteling” is a new strategy to engage shoppers with personalized service and consists of three aspects:
- Information — Armed with personal information about a shopper through their mobile devices, store associates can access customers’ wish lists, typical purchase size, purchase history, clothing size, likes and dislikes. Information helps drive customer engagement and gives the associate a means to make relevant recommendations.
- Personalized 1-to-1 communication — Using apps that shoppers use, associates can reach out to customers with personalized offers and suggestions. Of course, you can send mass emails, but they can languish in shoppers’ inboxes and the offers tend to be more generic in nature. Through apps, hyper-personalized shopping suggestions pop up as a notification on the customer’s smart phone.
- Seamless checkout — Shoppers are losing patience with long checkout lines. Mobile technology allows store associates to check customers out in a flash — no lines, no waiting. Apple has used this technology in its stores for years, and customers are coming to see this as an expectation.
How mobility is arming in-store associates to be more productive in 2020
A survey of 500 North American retailers by Boston Retail Partners shows that by 2020, nearly 84 percent of retailers plan to have a mobile POS system in place for their sales associates. About 70 percent indicated that delivering a personalized shopping experience is a top priority. With the right resources at associates’ fingertips, they can be more knowledgeable and helpful to customers. The experience is satisfying for both the associate and the customer. Satisfied workers stay with their jobs longer with better performance. Satisfied shoppers are more likely to return.
Arming in-store associates with retail mobile solutions is paying off for companies that have taken a strategic approach. Retailers that provide mobile sales tools for associates report 77 percent higher sales growth and 92 percent growth for those using mobile POS technology.
Retailers can leverage a plethora of apps to help make associates’ jobs easier. Firms pushing higher numbers of enterprise apps are getting an edge over their competition by giving employees more advanced tech tools. Custom productivity apps that help streamline processes have the most impact to the bottom line, and the move towards productivity apps is growing. Investing in apps helps ensure your company stays ahead of the curve.
With more than 30 years’ experience helping warehouses improve operations and profits through technology, DecisionPoint can help you find the voice picking solution that’s right for your business needs. Get the most out of your wireless ecosystem with a Wavelink voice picking system designed and implemented by DecisionPoint.
Learn more about how DecisionPoint and Wavelink can improve efficiency and profits.