Strengthen retail with new technologies

Retail trade has been experiencing a number of new challenges since the arrival of online trading. Many customers like to be advised by an expert and they also make the decision to purchase immediately. The final purchase, however, often takes place in the online trade at a lower price because the cost of advice and the sales floor are eliminated. The advantage of the advice and the fulfillment of customer needs cannot be taken over by the online trade, since the purchase does not take place through interpersonal relations. Thus, essential emotional criteria of purchase simply fall away. New technologies help. to meet customer needs even if the range of products sets the limits. With the help of modern apps on mobile end devices, the adviser will be presented with new possibilities for customer support in retail.

A modern customer conversation in the sales room could already begin on an agreed date, as the salesperson at the time of the appointment already knows which products from the range should be presented. The salesperson compiles a few product groups, has a more precise impression of the wishes of the consumer during the appointment, and complements the offer with additional individual elements that meet the customer's requirements. If the customer wants to know what other product variations there are, the salesperson can show further products by means of the product range which can be ordered in the digital product catalogue of the different partner manufacturers. If desired, the salesperson can also order the alternative offers. Moreover, the salesperson can check the stock of the manufacturers and determine the delivery address and delivery data. The consumer has their purchasing experience, expert advice, an optimal time/benefit ratio and leaves the business having had a good emotional experience. All the senses of the end customer were addressed in a positive way so that a purchase experience with emotional components is remembered. This makes a customer a satisfied customer who would like to come back.

In the best case, the sales adviser in the shop has the customer data in their database, can order directly from the manufacturer (even individual pieces), knows at what intervals the customer returns and has agreed personal appointments for the consultation. Moreover, the salesperson can tailor the advertising to the customer's needs.

The individual elements of this sales process were implemented technologically as described in the following steps:

Customer data

The adviser or shop owner takes the final customer data e.g. from the business card via their tablet to their own customer database. The details can be deposited there e.g. the customer visit, which products are preferred, preferred brands and even more. This data is transferred directly from the app to the database and is constantly updated so that no further manual interventions, which can sometimes contain errors, are required. This data can be retrieved from any device, be it a tablet, a smartphone, or a notebook, even when used offline i.e. when there is no network connection.

Order

The adviser/salesperson prepares the selection of products for the consumer, which they then only have to test. If the customer has made their choice and wants additional variants, the adviser can check the inventory at the manufacturer via the app and can immediately make the order, specifying the desired delivery date or address. Using the sales app supports the conversation with the consumer while fitting, as they can visualise the variations on a tablet at any time and initiate an order immediately. Because the sales app is offline, it can unfold the full range of functions even without a network. Data synchronisation takes place in the background whenever possible and does not affect the operation of the sales app.

Advertising

By using the app, the adviser has all the necessary information about the clients in the database system. This allows them to control targeted advertising according to the explicit wishes of the end customer. For example, the end customer only gets advertisements from manufacturers of certain brands, or even special expert offers from new manufacturers and many other possibilities. The adviser can selectively invite customers to test events that want to get to know the products in the desired interest spectrum. At the consultation, the salesperson has all the advertising information on their app and can present it directly to the final customer.

Create a relaxed environment for the consumer

With the help of the new technologies, the shop adviser can use further information from their customer. They can, for example, offer special services to special customers. One option is to offer a consultation appointment after closing time in order to avoid the customer's professional duties. Or to facilitate purchases in the private rooms of the customer. These moments of direct interaction with the customer can be made even more pleasant by offering a small snack or the customer's favorite drink.

Purchase

With the test/fitting, the selection and the order, all customer senses have been addressed. Now comes the decisive experience: a positive purchasing experience and thus a purchase confirmation. If consumers were previously disappointed in the shop because the desired products were sold out or not available in the right size, today's customer is provided for all around: they buy the products directly in the shop and can still have additional wishes with the help of the product catalogue, ordered goods and the pleasant surroundings.

Retain the consumer with emotion

With the use of the new technologies, the adviser can expect to see customers more frequently thanks to the positive purchasing experience. This advantage can only be fulfilled by the online trade to a limited extent, since emotional experiences are hardly fulfilled despite purchases. This is in contrast to the personal consultation and fulfillment of the purchase request.

All these steps can be realised thanks to the blue-app! Scenarios from all specialist stores can be implemented using the same form of consulting and purchasing experience. The prerequisite is that more and more suppliers of retail chains allow access to their product catalogues, ordering systems, warehousing and conduct the respective retail trade as customers.