Retailers are opening up to technology and they are adopting it at a faster pace. However, as retail technology is taking up space in stores and online, retailers can’t forget about the human touch. The employees are a big part of the whole business and without them, customers can’t receive the whole shopping experience.
As more stores offer self-services, retailers should find the right way to balance the human touch with retail tech. That’s why in this article you will learn more about how to find that balance and how you can train your employees to offer an amazing shopping experience.
How can retail tech help elevate customer experience?
Technology is shaping the future of retail and it comes with many benefits for both retailers and brands. But how does technology impact customer experience?
Convenience is key in retail. If people have to struggle to buy a product from your store or to order it from your platform, then they will leave to your competition. Convenience doesn’t mean making great changes. You can start with smaller ones.
For example, self-checkout is one of the best uses of technology in-store. Everybody hates standing in line just to pay for their groceries. With a self-checkout option, people who are in a hurry can go, scan their products, and pay for them in a matter of seconds.
Retail technology can make the shopping experience much more entertaining. For instance, brand activation solutions like Tokinomo can help you engage with your customers and make them purchase more. With the help of Tokinomo, products can promote themselves.
People are definitely going to be amazed and entertained when they hear a bag of flour talking to them.
Shoppers come into the store because they want to have the whole shopping experience. In-store, customers can see, smell, touch, and compare products. They also come to the store for the atmosphere. The gentle music playing in the background, the smell of baked goods, and the perfectly lined products on the shelves. All of these play an important role.
With the help of retail robots like Millie, retailers can make sure that the aisles are always clean and the store is hazard-free. Millie spots leaks, spills, and any other hazards and solves the problem without even alerting the staff.
How to balance retail tech with the human touch
Yes, technology in-store is a must nowadays. However, it needs to be balanced with the human touch because people come into the store to interact with other people, not with technology. Having the right staff can help you elevate the shopping experience.
As Shep Hyken says, employees have an awesome responsibility. The way they act is the way shoppers are going to perceive that brand. For example, if your employees are super helpful and always try to provide the best service, customers will come back to the store because of that attitude, not because of the big discounts.
Train your employees
First, work with your employees and show them how you want your store to be perceived by customers. Explain what type of customer service they should offer and how involved or not they should be. Some stores offer assistance, while others leave the customer to shop at their own pace.
Also, employees shouldn’t fear technology, they should embrace it. Teach your employees how to use retail tech so that they can then help customers learn how to use it.
Combine retail technology with human interaction
Even for self-checkout, you should have an employee there who can help shoppers in case they don’t know how to use it or if they simply need assistance. While you might have a customer service robot, you should also make sure that you have staff who can help customers with additional information.
Tell your staff that tech is not there to replace them, it’s there to increase their productivity, help them get rid of boring or difficult tasks, and enhance the customer experience.
Use tech and employees for the right tasks
It is better to use technology for boring, repetitive, and demanding tasks. When it comes to customer support, customer service, or anything revolving around the human connection, you should leave it to the employees. They can offer information, guide people, and give insights that retail tech can’t.
Adopting technology shouldn’t be a scary process for your employees, it should make them feel more empowered, productive. Also, it is going to show them that they are needed for more important tasks. Technology should come as an addition to the great service provided by retail employees.
Nicoleta Niculescu is a Content Marketing Specialist at Tokinomo, the ultimate brand activation solution for retailers and consumer goods brands. Tokinomo advertising robots bring CPG products to life on the shelf and lift sales by an average of 200%.