As if the past two years hasn’t been a big enough challenge for retailers, the fight for the customer’s dollar is at an all-time high. With online still growing at a fast pace, physical retailers have to move with the times or be left in the dust of those that are.
A massive trend coming out of the last two years has seen consumers focus on saving. With travel restrictions and store closures in full force consumers were saving at a high rate and enjoying the experience. This represents a mindset shift for a large number of consumers, as the allure of saving grows, their need to shop lessens. This means retailers will have to fight even harder for every sale and not just with their competition but with a new inclination of not shopping at all.
This puts even more pressure on retailers to provide a great customer experience. As I have mentioned many times before, why would a customer come into a store and put up with poor service – too easy for them to buy online or not all.
The second trend has been around for a while but is becoming more of a focus for consumers. Due to our continued focus on how time poor we are, the need for quick sale finalisation and reducing transaction friction is even more important. Technology is the game changer here, with more retailers moving to self-checkout to eliminate checkout hold ups and the ability for sales staff to take payment on the floor rather than herd customers to the checkout.
Self-checkout has been around a little while here in Australia, and is slowly gaining traction as technology gets cheaper and more retailers move this way. Reducing staff at checkouts is a win for retailers in a number of ways, as they can deploy these staff in other areas and save costs. Customers win by not having to face large queues and can get in and out quickly.
Speed also applies when customers use a retailer’s online platform, unless this is frictionless and fast, customers will simply move elsewhere. Making it clear on shipping costs and speed of checkout are the game changers here.
Expect to see even more retailers adopt technology as the battle for speed continues unabated.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.