Thousands of retailers closed after people stayed home to avoid getting infected when the pandemic started. The closures affected small and big retailers as consumers opted to shop online rather than visit malls and physical stores of these businesses.
Over a year after the pandemic started, the situation has improved. And retailers are starting to recover as states lift restrictions to stem the spread of the virus. But retailers still have a long way to go before they reach pre-pandemic levels.
One way for the industry to recover is to use technology to its advantage. Here are some innovations that retailers should use to recover faster from the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
Contactless Shopping Experience
With people still wary about the virus, retailers should implement a contactless shopping experience in their brick-and-mortar stores. Major financial institutions in the US offer these systems that allow consumers to pay without using cash. These options include near-field communication (NFC) technology and digital wallet services, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.
Retailers should upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) systems to accept these types of payments to entice consumers to visit their stores. They should also facilitate online shopping by upgrading their websites to accept online payments.
If they want to increase the chances of upselling products, businesses can use the buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) strategy. The strategy allows the retailer to sell more products to the customer when he picks up what he initially purchased.
Unique Branded Packaging
When it comes to packaging, retailers should use it to promote their business. This is why retailers include their logo and branding on the packaging they use for the products they sell. While these businesses contract third-party package manufacturers, they also have the option to manufacture the packaging in-house. With this, the retailer saves money in the long run since they do not need to rely on another company for their packaging needs.
These retailers should use high-quality foil stamping equipment from sblmachinery.com to create clear impressions of their logo and branding on the packaging. With this, these businesses will increase brand awareness by integrating their logo and business name on the packaging of their products.
Additionally, the equipment improves productivity since the business does not need to wait for the third-party supplier to deliver the retailer’s packaging. It also allows them to easily change the packaging without waiting for their supplier to finish manufacturing the new packaging they will use.
Augmented Reality Shopping
Another tech innovation that retailers should consider using is augmented reality (AR) shopping. Using the technology allows consumers to check the products before they buy them online. The technology allows them to view the items while at home using their smartphones.
For instance, Ikea uses an app to check how specific products would look when the customer buys them and brings them home. The technology positions these items virtually inside a room, and customers view them using their smartphones.
On the other hand, in-store shopping also allows customers to see how they look when buying clothing in a store that uses smart mirrors. These smart mirrors superimpose the clothing on the person when they stand in front of it. When paired with artificial intelligence (AI), customers will get recommendations on the items they should buy to complete their outfits.
The use of AR in retail has a lot of potential for retailers. Aside from enhancing the shopping experience, it also allows retailers to upsell products when AR integrates AI into its system.
Physical Stores without Counters
The pandemic made people wary about queueing in front of a counter while waiting for the cashier to ring up their purchases. Due to this, they prefer going to stores offering self-checkout or contactless payment options. It also led people to shop online and have their purchases delivered.
But some prefer visiting the store since it allows them to pick the products they want to buy. To help ease their concerns, stores should start using Amazon’s technology for their Amazon Go stores. The technology does away with a cashier since the system scans the items that shoppers pick up from the shelves.
And when they leave the store, the system debits the total amount from their accounts. The system takes contactless shopping to the next level since these stores do not have counters. They only have turnstiles that allow shoppers to enter and exit.
Technology offers a lot of potential in helping retailers get back on their feet and increase their revenue in the middle of the pandemic.