Have you ever been in a store and wondered what the gun-like machine used by the sales assistant is for? Or why tablets and smartphones are being adopted in stores and are ceasing to be exclusive to Apple? Let us tell you, that for several years, wearables have been implemented to transform the retail industry. Also, they are beneficial devices for customers and employees. For starters, do you know what a wearable is?
1. Wearables are objects you can wear:
Wearables are technological devices that could serve as a natural extension of the body; such as prostheses. Simplifying everyday tasks is a significant function they can provide. We can consider as wearables intelligent watches and glasses, tablets and hearing aids.
2. The increased popularity of e-commerce:
Due to the demand for online shopping, this technology is being implemented at POS (Point Of Sale). We said it a few months ago: omnicanality is neither a fashion nor a trend, it is a fact. The e-commerce and POS must be coherent since the customer's behavioral patterns are shifting. To achieve this, companies develop strategies to attract, relate and maintain the customer. Technological wearables and gadgets can assist us to a great extent. When workers have absolute management in the POS, then they can provide a successful experience.
3. Some in-store wearables functionalities:
- Notifications of tasks and activities the employee must perform; such as if the store closes in 1 hour, the workers could receive a notification telling them that it is time to prepare the store for closing.
- Instant information on the product's sizes, colors, materials, and descriptions.
- Total administration of stock by having the amount of merchandise (in the store, other stores, and e-commerce). It is also very useful since the wearable locates the product inside the warehouse, as well. In the case where it is not found, other options can be provided; such as reserving it or be brought from other stores/e-commerce.
- Loyalty programs facilitate customer information, such as past purchases, a digital copy of your receipt and promotions. Also, it enables the company to have a better understanding of its customers by identifying their demographic and psychographic data.
- Communication between employees is a key element, especially for larger stores, for allowing the team to communicate without having to relocate.
- Connectivity with online customers to answer their questions, e.g. through fast chats.
- Wearables provide workers with assistance in a theft or robbery situation. At the touch of a button, a warning is sent to other colleagues.
4. Customer satisfaction increases:
Wearables have allowed for waiting time to be reduced. Not so long ago, when a customer was seeking for an item, the sales assistant had to search inside the store, look for the product, and deliver an answer. This could take an unnecessary amount of time and potentially the customer could leave unsatisfied. This dissatisfaction comes not only from not obtaining the product but also from not having more information about it. Customers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the product and more demanding... You have to know how to offer them answers and alternatives! Wearables allow us to have total control over the product and facilitates our relationship with the customer.
Also, returns and exchanges with the digital copy of the receipt provide a smoother process. This digital backing makes the customer have a positive image of the brand for the efficiency and assistance given, in addition to the eco-friendly factor.
We are looking forward to the digital transformation in all professional sectors, and to continuing learning about wearable's different functionalities in the world of retail. Many people talk about Retail Apocalypse, but with a well-implemented omnichannel strategy we will always continue to bet on Retail.
Written by Clarissa Larrain