Self Service Leads The Way For Retail In 2013Arrow

Technology has completely revolutionised the way we see the world, creating new possibilities, and our reliance upon it has inevitably changed the manner in which we go about our day-to-day business. With this in mind it is essential that today’s businesses cater for the changing needs and demands of the consumer, in order to stay afloat in what it is an extremely competitive market.

Every day billions of people click on hundreds of millions of websites, and, as a result, 2012 and early 2013 saw consumer downturn in the traditional sense; with major highstreet retailers closing their doors for the final time. Familiar names such as HMV, Jessops, Currys and Blockbuster are just some of the companies that could no longer compete with etailers. On the flip side, away from the highsteet, B2C ecommerce sales grew 21.1% to top $1 trillion for the first time, according to new global estimates by eMarketer; showing that people are still buying, they are just going about it differently. So what was the highstreet’s downfall?

Failing to keep up with multi-channel activity meant that highstreet stores could no longer meet the changing behaviours of the modern day shopper. Consumers are now using the devices at their fingertips in order to better understand the products they are buying; from researching reviews, comparing prices and social recommendations. According to internetretailing.net, 40% of shoppers now consult 3 or more channels before making a purchase, compared to 10% in 2002. Knowledge is power and interestingly, 50% of shoppers believe they are now better informed that store associates. (source: Motorola, 2013)

So, with the collapse of the highstreet and the demand for multi-channel retailing apparent, what should businesses be doing to stay one step ahead of the game?

It’s important to note that these stores didn’t shut because people are no longer going to the highstreet, they shut because they failed to move with the changing landscape of consumer buying behaviour. Simply put; if under performing retailers are to avoid becoming part of these statistics for next year, they need to start adapting to their customers needs.

Self-service and automated shopping experiences are growing in value amongst consumers. This is clear from the recent Cisco Customer Experience Report, which found that 52% of global consumers prefer to use self-check out stations to avoid queuing, and 57% prefer using in-store touch screens.

According to Cisco, approximately 8 in 10 consumers are digital shoppers (meaning those who regularly research and purchase products via the Internet) and they make up the ‘Digital Mass Market’. With 54% of consumers saying they would use or would like to use digital touchscreens in-store, shops should move beyond their traditional processes and start practicing ‘everything ecommerce’; whereby everything that customers are used to online is reflected in-store. That means improved in-store technology, more readily available information and more self-service facilities.

The benefits of self serve kiosks

All of these findings point to one clear conclusion – the future of buying behaviour centres around self-serve kiosks and that’s because touch screen kiosks meet the needs of the modern consumer, in more ways than one. Firstly, with statistics showing that consumers are now making an increasing amount of purchases through mobiles and tablet devices, it makes sense to offer similar technology in-store. That way consumers can browse, review and purchase products in the way that they are used to, increasing shopper engagement, loyalty, and more importantly, sales. Secondly, self serve kiosks put the user in control, not only giving them the freedom that they crave, but also meaning they don’t have to rely upon a sales assistant. Thirdly, self-serve kiosks speed up sales process making it quick, simple and hassle free; eliminating time spent queueing and giving the consumer greater convenience. Other benefits of self-serve kiosks in the retail industry include;

If you’re wondering how your business can benefit from installing touch screen kiosks, or you simply want to find out more about how we can help you, contact Cammax today.

Image source: psion

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