Digitising physical stores works at its best when it’s linked to enhancing existing processes. With hardware costs as the major consideration for large scale rollouts, retailers investing should be capitalising on the technology to the full extent of its capabilities. If digital can allow direct sales, assist and educate sales staff, and deliver dynamic marketing content as visual merchandising, why not utilise every piece of functionality?

The goal to getting the best return on investment is to develop an understanding of how customers behave and what they expect when they walk into physical stores. Following this, analyze the sales process to see how staff communicate product information and how they assist customers. Finally develop a solution that enhances customer experience and augments existing processes to educate, sell and aid in customer retention.

5 reasons to use eCommerce endless aisle kiosks in your stores are below:

1. In-store Digital Visual Merchandising

As we’ve written previously, customers don’t have access to the product information they want in-store. This is easy to understand when you visualize your stores. Typically there is a product on a shelf and a price tag. Which is a long way from an online experience that provides the product description, dimensions, multiple images, customer reviews and related product content that your customers are accustomed to having access to on your eccommerce site. Therefore it is little wonder that so many customers pull out their smartphones and search to find the additional product detail they need in order to make an informed purchase decision.

In this new retail landscape where show rooming and user-generated content have a great impact on shopping, retailers are having to find new ways to be a part of the conversation with their customers. Own the omni-channel experience within the store environment by giving customers the information they want, at their fingertips on large format touch screens will solve a large piece of the puzzle. Touchscreen kiosks provide customers with access to the product information and reviews they desire using your devices, obtaining the information you want them to have to put your products in their best light. Help your customer to make informed purchasing decisions, empower them, whilst maintaining control of the in-store shopping experience.

2. Assisted Sales

In order to meet the demands of the highly educated customer requesting specific product details, retail associates can utilise endless aisle kiosks into their sales process to bring up product details on screen, highlight specific features, and show additional images or video for the product that a customer is interested in. When done well, retail associates can appear educated on every product you carry, answering customers detailed questions with ease through the inclusion of digital content in their discussion with a customer. To look for inspiration on how to incorporate kiosks into your sales process visit a Sephora store and discuss with a Retail Associate a specific ingredient you prefer or products that are suitable for a particular allergy. Sephora Retail Associates typically will take you to an in-store digital kiosk where they are able to enter your needs and the technology suggests appropriate products. The process is seamless, and the customer gets the information, and service they expect when shopping in-store. But as you know, expecting a Retail Associate to know all of the specific ingredients for every individual product across such a broad range of SKU’s is near impossible. The use of a digital kiosk by the Retail Associate empowers them with the ability to serve the customer. The use of a screen big enough for the customer to view in conjunction with the Retail Associate, makes the customer a part of the process rather than the Associate staring into a screen the customer can’t see. Make your customer a part of the information gathering process by flipping the access to digital information to be customer facing, breaking down the traditional POS barrier and bring your customer a joint information gathering exercise with your Retail Associate.

3. eCommerce Endless Aisle

A customer may walk in to your store with a specific product in mind, whether it be a color variation they had seen online or in your latest email or other product marketing. Where that particular item isn’t able to purchased due to it being out of stock or not sold in that store an eCommerce endless aisle kiosk is the answer. When browsing a product on the kiosk you open up access to additional product images, can provide the customer with an understanding of the alternative color or specification variations, and look up availability based on their preferences. On screen this is as simple as selecting the check availability button, and selecting the required variables to order the product.

This solves a major problem facing customer service in physical retail today, as each store can only hold certain inventory due to its physical size constraints. Also popular products often sell out in store before the full stock inventory that is typically available online has been exhausted. By linking your stores to your ecommerce or ERP platform FoyerLive enables the sale of all of your products, in all of your stores, all of the time.

FoyerLive integrates with all popular eCommerce platforms and is able to not only pull the required product details from the platform for display in-store but it is also able to push sales orders from the store back to the ecommerce platform for home delivery for your customers.

4. Customer Self Service Digital Kiosks

The growing number of self-service checkouts at supermarkets, and customers preference to use them for convenience purchases provides an opportunity for your business to consider whether the self-service kiosks would be suitable for your stores. If your sales process does not frequently require retail associate interaction as your customers know what they want, consider the implementation of kiosks to streamline sales and increase customer satisfaction by reducing time to purchase.

Endless aisle digital kiosks can also give your busy staff the option to direct a customer to browse promotional material, or browse your product range whilst the associate serves another. This offers your stores the opportunity to entertain customers whilst they wait rather than them walking out due to impatience.

5. Retail Associate Education

In-store technology can also be leveraged to educate staff on the job by augmenting the retail sales process. Retail Associates can easily access detailed product information using the digital kiosks, meaning they don’t have to memorise everything or disappoint a customer by not having the answer to their question. This is particularly useful for stores with a broad range of SKU’s or technically complex products. Perhaps most importantly new staff members can be onboarded and learn about products on the job as they use a touchscreen device to support the sales process. Additionally during pre or post store opening hours, the digital kiosk can be used to train Retail Associates on new products, new brand messaging or the latest campaigns.