Mobile technology in retail has become status quo for retailers to be and stay successful in this ever evolving pandemic landscape. In-store and online, consumers expect the conveniences of tech to help them with their purchases. From point of sale (POS devices) to scanners and tablets, tech is crucial to thriving in today’s retail market. It’s essential to have technology to help consumers get the goods they want, but retailers also need an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution to stay on top of shopping trends or issues with customer purchases.
In SOTI’s latest report, From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022, consumers reveal what they want to see from retailers in 2022 to keep them happy and loyal as a customer. So, here’s what retailers can do to keep purchases coming into their business instead of their competition.
What Customers Expect
The pandemic forced customers to change their shopping habits. The supply chain crisis forced customers to change their shopping habits yet again. Customers are looking to retailers with the best technology to help them adapt and retailers have been forced to reinvent how they do business.
In SOTI’s report, consumers indicated that product availability, faster delivery time, local shipping options, more return options and total visibility into their orders are the key to a premium customer experience. Since the start of the pandemic, consumers have also been staying at home. Despite lockdowns easing, and many businesses reopening, the home continues to be the hub of all activities, including shopping. Many consumers who have increased their use of digital and omnichannel services, such as home delivery, curbside pickup or shopping via social media platforms, expect to sustain these activities into the future.
Retailers can jump ahead of their competition by not only having the right technology in place, but properly managing that tech as well. Solutions for the technical challenges of their business can reduce long-term costs and deliver a significant return on investment (ROI). This will also keep customers happy, loyal and ensure repeat purchases.
Want to know what consumers are really saying about supply chain shortages?Download Our Free Report, From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis
What Retailers Need to Do, Now
As a retailer in 2022, adopting mobile technology is essential. Retailers who don’t have technology like RFID, kiosks, scanners and tablets are now viewed as behind the times and not caring about the customer experience. Mobile technology is vital for retailers to be able to deliver on the expectations of their consumers.
Consumers not only want, but have come to expect information on their purchases to be available at their fingertips every step along their purchase journey. It’s up to retailers to deliver and provide the information they need. If not, they’ll simply shop elsewhere.
What can retailers do to give this information to their consumers?
- Provide a confirmation of purchase: Whether it’s a text message or email detailing their purchase, consumers want confirmation to know their order has been placed and is in queue.
- Checks along the way: From packaging, labeling, leaving the warehouse, getting onto the truck and dropped at the front door, consumers crave information on the purchases so they can track and know where it is every step along the way. Retailers need an EMM solution in place to ensure these checks are happening.
- Delivery partners: Now more than ever, consumers want to know which delivery company has their package. SOTI’s report found that 35% of consumers will not complete an order if they are unsatisfied with the retailer’s delivery partner.
- Delay updates: If the package is delayed for any reason (weather, low stock, shipping issues, etc.) consumers want to know what happened and how it will be resolved.
It seems like a lot of information, but it helps consumers feel they can trust the retailer they’re shopping with. But what can really impact the customer experience is something that’s completely out of customer’s hands: downtime of devices or systems required to deliver what consumers have purchased.
Technology is critical to a successful operation and there are changes retailers can implement ‘behind the scenes’ that will have a positive impact on their customer’s experience. In SOTI’s report, it was found that consumers want to see changes like:
- Enhanced employee training for superior customer service.
- Improved logistic processes that give consumers insight into their purchase journey.
- Greater sourcing options for products to limit supply chain issues.
- Better delivery partners to ensure their purchase makes it safely to their doorstep.
- Integrated systems.
As 2022 evolves, it will become clear who has made investments in their technology, processes and systems. Hesitant retailers will pay the price as consumers have far less patience for issues that impact their need to get the goods they want in a timely manner. The ability to blame the supply chain crisis as a reason for delivery delay, empty shelves or poor service will soon wear off.
how can retail tech create an omnichannel experience?Retail Recovery After COVID-19 Hinges On Creating the Ideal Omnichannel Experience
Bringing Retailers and Consumers Together
With the right systems, strategy and technology, retailers can provide the highest level of service across every consumer touchpoint. This will allow a retailer to not only thrive, but evolve and expand in the ever-changing retail landscape. Home will also be the new battleground for retailers. With life, work and shopping continuing to focus in and around the home, retailers need to design services and experiences to meet consumer needs.
Retail businesses have a unique opportunity to reset and rebuild for the longer term. How they help consumers navigate the pandemic will influence their future success. Technology will enable retailers to stay ahead of customer preferences and the requirements related to the pandemic as it continues into 2022. And when the supply chain catches up, and supply and demand start to balance out again, retailers that made the right technology investments will be ready for what’s next.