While the COVID-19 pandemic has speeded up the adoption of online shopping, this doesn’t mean that brick-and-mortar stores are doomed. Actually, more than 80% of retail sales take place in stores. However, physical retailers should continue to innovate and find ways to attract and engage shoppers in stores.
In this article, we are going to focus on tech solutions and tools that retailers should have in their tech stack. Before that, let’s answer an important question: How does technology impact brick and mortar retail?
Brick-and-mortar retail and technology
In today's fast-paced and digitally driven retail landscape, technology has become a crucial lifeline for brick-and-mortar retailers. Embracing the right technological solutions can revolutionize the way these businesses operate, enhancing their efficiency, customer experience, and overall competitiveness.
A robust tech stack that includes modern can empower retailers to stay ahead of the curve. With technology, retailers can optimize inventory levels, track sales and customer behavior, and personalize marketing efforts, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Additionally, technologies like mobile apps and in-store analytics provide invaluable insights, enabling retailers to offer a more personalized and interactive shopping experience. In a world where consumers demand convenience, speed, and customization, technology serves as the cornerstone for brick-and-mortar retailers to thrive and adapt to the ever-evolving retail landscape.
Let’s take a look at the solutions every brick-and-mortar should consider adding to their tech stack.
Retail tech stack: Every type of solution you need
Point of Sale (POS) System
A Point of Sale (POS) system is a vital technology for brick-and-mortar retailers that facilitates transaction processing and sales management. It encompasses both hardware and software components, including cash registers, barcode scanners, and software applications that record sales data and manage inventory levels.
Some popular POS systems include Square POS and Shopify POS.
A modern POS system streamlines the checkout process, reducing waiting times and improving customer satisfaction. Additionally, it enables retailers to track sales, monitor inventory levels in real time, and generate detailed reports for data-driven decision-making. Integration with inventory management and payment processing systems further optimizes stock control and enhances operational efficiency.
Inventory Management Systems
Inventory management systems are software tools designed to help retailers oversee and control their inventory effectively. These systems track the movement of products from purchase to sale, ensuring adequate stock levels and reducing the likelihood of stockouts or overstocking.
Retailers often utilize inventory management software such as Fishbowl Inventory and TradeGecko.
An efficient inventory management system ensures that products are available when customers demand them, optimizing sales and minimizing carrying costs. Retailers can accurately track stock levels, set reorder points, and automate replenishment processes, leading to better stock control and reducing the risk of lost sales due to insufficient inventory.
An e-commerce platform is a digital framework that allows retailers to establish and manage their online storefronts. These platforms enable online sales, product display, and secure payment processing.
Retailers often choose platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce for their e-commerce needs.
Integrating an e-commerce platform with brick-and-mortar operations expands a retailer's market reach and provides customers with a seamless omnichannel experience. Customers can browse products online, make purchases, and choose between in-store pickup or home delivery. E-commerce platforms also facilitate customer data collection, enabling retailers to personalize marketing efforts based on online behavior.
Security and Data Protection Tools
In the digital age, safeguarding customer data and ensuring secure transactions are paramount for retailers. Security and data protection tools encompass encryption, secure payment gateways, and measures to protect sensitive customer information from data breaches.
Retailers commonly use tools like SSL certificates and payment security services like SecurePay to secure transactions.
Implementing robust security measures instills customer trust and confidence, encouraging repeat business. By safeguarding customer data, retailers avoid potential legal and reputational risks associated with data breaches. Secure payment processing also protects both customers and retailers from fraudulent activities.
Analytics and Business Intelligence
Analytics and business intelligence tools analyze data from various sources, providing retailers with valuable insights into customer behavior, sales patterns, and overall business performance.
Retailers often use tools like Tokinomo Shopperscan to uncover more insights about their customers’ behavior.
Retailers can leverage data-driven decision-making to optimize store layouts, product assortments, and pricing strategies. Analytics reveal trends and customer preferences, helping retailers tailor their marketing campaigns for greater impact. Retailers can also track the effectiveness of promotions and identify areas for operational improvement, enhancing overall store performance.
Mobile Technology and Apps
Mobile technology, including smartphones and dedicated retail apps, has become a game-changer for brick-and-mortar retailers. Retail apps offer features such as mobile payments, loyalty programs, and personalized promotions.
Popular examples of retail apps include Starbucks' mobile app and Walmart's app.
Mobile apps enhance the in-store shopping experience, providing customers with easy access to product information, reviews, and real-time promotions. Retailers can offer mobile-exclusive discounts to incentivize in-store visits and encourage customer loyalty. Additionally, mobile technology enables retailers to send personalized push notifications, keeping customers engaged even after they leave the store.
Wi-Fi and Network Infrastructure
Wi-Fi and network infrastructure provide customers with internet connectivity within the store premises. It allows retailers to offer value-added services and paves the way for various in-store technologies.
Offering Wi-Fi enhances the overall shopping experience, as customers can access product information, compare prices, and read reviews online while in the store. Moreover, retailers can collect valuable customer data, such as in-store navigation patterns and browsing behavior, which aids in refining marketing strategies and store layouts.
Point-of-Sale Marketing Tools
When it comes to retail displays and other POS marketing solutions, retailers can choose Tokinomo’s Visibubble or Shelfobot. These two powerful in-store marketing solutions increase customer engagement, brand awareness, and sales.
These tools provide an opportunity to influence purchasing decisions at the critical moment of checkout. Retailers can display targeted promotions, recommend complementary products, and showcase customer testimonials to boost sales. Additionally, interactive displays encourage customer engagement and create a memorable shopping experience.
Employee Management and Training Software
Employee management and training software facilitates efficient workforce scheduling, payroll processing, and training programs for retail staff.
Retailers might use software like Deputy for employee scheduling and SAP SuccessFactors for performance management.
Streamlining employee management processes saves time and resources, enabling retailers to focus on customer service. Accurate workforce scheduling ensures sufficient staffing during peak hours, reducing customer wait times. Employee training software enhances staff skills, leading to better customer interactions and improved overall store performance.
Customer Feedback and Review Solutions
Customer feedback and review solutions enable retailers to gather and analyze customer opinions and sentiments regarding products and services.
Retailers might use tools like SurveyMonkey or Trustpilot to collect and manage customer feedback.
Gathering feedback from customers allows retailers to understand their needs and expectations better. Positive reviews can boost brand reputation and attract new customers while addressing negative feedback helps in resolving issues and building customer loyalty. Customer feedback also provides valuable insights for product improvements and service enhancements, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention.
The power of technology in retail
Embracing the right tech tools has become a strategic imperative for retailers seeking to remain competitive and relevant in today's digital era. From efficient Point of Sale (POS) systems and advanced inventory management solutions to seamless e-commerce platforms and robust security measures, each tech category plays a vital role in empowering retailers to thrive and adapt.