Future of Retail — Omnichannel

issue 03

As new connected technologies are changing the way customers shop, retail needs to be prepared to change traditional systems, procedures, processes and ways of communicating.

printing. Enabling remote printing directly and securely from the retailer’s web server to printers anywhere in the world without complicated network confi gurations, CloudPRNT is ideal for a range of retail applications including click and collect. As mobile payments become increasingly

commonplace, loyalty programmes and rewards will become smartphone dominated and digital receipts with a loyalty-retention feature will be attractive to customers. Apps such as the AllReceipts app from Star offer customers the opportunity to receive and store a digital receipt as well as see what deals, coupons and promotions the retailer has via its Receipt Flip feature. The customer just has to tap on the receipt and the two sided colour receipt not only becomes the proof of transaction but also a means for the customer to know the latest news from their chosen stores. To enhance direct communication with the customer,

the retailer has the opportunity to upload four colour promotions to the customer’s smartphone with the option to change these as and when required without cost. In contrast to being interrupted by marketing emails, the customer has full control to search coupons in their catalogue of past purchases. And, with the Engage NOW tool that is secure and easily customizable, retailers can link their logo on the AllReceipts App on the customer’s smartphone to their choice of web page providing a highly personal customer connection. And, unlike e-receipts where the customer has to

provide personal email details, QR code receipts are designed to be anonymous, secure and non-intrusive; an attractive feature given that customers are concerned about their personal information and trust retailers more who are less invasive. For the retailer, there are a number of benefi ts. The

Instant Customer Satisfaction Survey feature provides real-time feedback from customers. When claiming a digital receipt in the AllReceipts app, customers are prompted to provide feedback on their experience, which is relayed to the retailer’s dashboard. This allows

the retailer to see how many customers have claimed receipts and the satisfaction level of the service received. Beyond enhanced engagement with the customer,

the retailer can profi t from a number of free-of-charge device management tools, providing access to the real time status across the installed base of printers including different locations with refreshed error status notifi cation on the comprehensive cloud-based dashboard. Within an omnichannel strategy the potential of

beacons cannot be underestimated as a means of reaching customers with relevant, timely and engaging content regardless of location. And by using predictive analytics to look at the customer’s digital footprint across web and mobile, retailers can gain an understanding of current actions as well as predict future actions based on habits and trends in order to deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time. The IoT unlocks a lot of potential synergy with other

technologies to provide new kinds of apps that offer in- store enhancements both for customers and the retailer. Such apps can explore fully the potential of offering new mobile experiences to leverage omnichannel facility at all stages of the customer experience; acquiring, engaging and retaining customers. In summary, as new connected technologies are

changing the way customers shop, retail needs to be prepared to change traditional systems, procedures, processes and ways of communicating. This has to involve greater unity across internal departments as well as with external providers, alongside embracing technology to maintain a competitive edge, enhance customer experiences and in turn drive business growth. Adopting these practices will be essential to creating an omnichannel strategy that puts the customer fi rst.

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