Leveraging the In-Store Experience with Digital Strategies
By David Salisbury, VP of Sales and Marketing, Star Cloud Services
As a retailer, it is necessary to create an in-store shopping experience that is both visually pleasing – to prompt consumers to step inside – and effective – to highlight the right items in the right places. From the window display to the items next to the register, a store layout is created with the objective of resonating with shoppers, thus encouraging them to purchase items they may not have considered before, and ultimately, turn one-time visitors into return customers.
After determining which items should be on display and what promotions should be highlighted in-store, it is important to extend the same diligence to a digital strategy. Having a digital factor is as important for retailers today as the in-store environment created.
Consumer ownership of digital devices continues to increase; in fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of Americans own a smartphone, 45 percent own a tablet, and 73 percent own a desktop or laptop computer. These statistics indicate the importance of leveraging in-store and digital tactics, given the likely chance that your shoppers are online.
It’s All About SEO
The first step to going digital is ensuring customers can easily find your establishment online. If a potential shopper carries out a Google search for your store hours, how easy will it be to find them? To determine that, it would be beneficial to carry out your own search. If you are not within the first five results listed, something is wrong. Whether other shops with similar names come up or simply unrelated results, if shoppers don’t find you on the first page, it’s likely they will move on to something else. To guarantee your business is the first that comes up, make sure your website has the correct SEO terms included within the home page, each page title and the metadata.
Once SEO has been enhanced, take the next digital step and consider deploying a mobile strategy. Whether that’s creating a mobile version of your website, developing a mobile app for shoppers, or enlisting a third party app that enables you to be a better retailer, going mobile comes with a plethora of benefits. Depending on the type of strategy you choose, benefits can range from presenting customers with another way to make a purchase to providing ways for you to get to know your clientele better.
Additionally, consider the benefits that could come as a result of going mobile with your point of sale system. For retailers, having enough staff to run the store is crucial. However, employees’ priority should be to engage with customers and assist them as needed with their shopping – it should not be running the store. Mobile POS systems create an incredible opportunity for retailers to ensure employees are taking care of the customer, while also expediting the checkout process, therefore reducing lines and creating more room in the store for shoppers to walk the aisle. Employees who are equipped with a connected mobile POS system also gain an advantage by having access to the same technology as the shopper, therefore being able to view pertinent information in real-time and make necessary changes as needed.
As you assess strategies to propel your business forward, don’t discount those that seem rudimentary in nature. Whether you’re an established SMB opening up your tenth branch or just starting out with your first one, a refined digital plan could be key in creating growth opportunities.
Star Micronics subsidiary, Star Cloud Services was built to bring IoT solutions to retailers by enabling the more than six million Star Micronics POS printers in stores today to become cloud-connected devices. Star Cloud Services has the unique ability to transform shopping receipts into valuable digital transaction data. With that data, retailers gain deeper insights that help them better engage, activate and retain shoppers.