Dear Retailers: Your New Consumer is Craving Informed, Seamless, and Personalized Shopping


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Photo from Scandit

Let’s take a minute to analyze the evolution of the typical consumer. After hunkering down and shopping online, they’re back to perusing physical stores almost as much as they did pre-pandemic. However, they’re approaching in-store shopping from a new perspective. 

As e-commerce grew, so did customers’ expectations for informed and convenient shopping. Now, they desire the convenience and seamlessness they’ve been enjoying on their mobile devices and computers at home for the past three years. They’re looking for streamlined omnichannel experiences, and as part of this, they want comprehensive product details, availability, reviews, social impact, and much more to be available at their fingertips.

While speed and convenience should be major focuses, personalized experiences are also vital for retailers to win loyalty and repeat business. Think about the countless individualized promotions and offers consumers constantly receive when shopping online. That’s what they’re now craving in-stores.

These new customer demands are easy to list, but it can be difficult for retailers to fully satisfy them. According to McKinsey & Company, many lack the tech foundation they need to meet consumers’ growing expectations today. On top of this, they’re having to face the hard truth that there’s no end in sight to today’s worker shortage

All of this culminates in the fact that brand loyalty is decreasing. In fact, PwC found 17% of customers will leave a brand after just one bad experience, and the majority (59%) will walk away after two.

It’s time to empower your consumers through in-store mobile technology.

We often talk about ways to support your understaffed workforce, but what about also giving superpowers to your consumers? By providing them with innovative technology in-store, you can satisfy their new demands while simultaneously helping your short-staffed teams.

One solution is through mobile apps integrated with smart data capture-enabled scanning capabilities and augmented reality overlays to provide endless aisle experiences. 

Firstly, this technology enables retailers to give consumers detailed product information and comparisons that they’re accustomed to in e-commerce. Shoppers can use the mobile app to scan merchandise in-store and read fellow customer reviews, materials lists, social impact, environmental and sustainability efforts, and even allergy information in food products. Additionally, as they peruse through aisles, AR overlays can display discounts and ratings directly on consumer screens.

To help avoid dreaded walkouts and empty baskets, these mobile apps can also provide seamless, mobile self-scanning. Once customers decide on the items they’d like to purchase, they can checkout directly from their smartphones and avoid long wait times. Or, if a product isn’t available in-store, customers can use the app to check other locations and order it to be shipped. All of this is crucial in today’s worker shortage, as it frees up staff from having to remain at checkout counters or assist with placing orders at other stores.

In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, if you hope to build loyalty and have your customers leave wanting to come back for more, then investing in technology that streamlines interactions and permits informed decision-making in-store is key. Mobile apps enabled with smart data capture capabilities and AR put more control (literally) into the hands of your consumers – satisfying their new shopping preferences while helping alleviate your stretched store associates.

Steven Cunningham
Steven Cunningham is Senior Sales Director, Retail – North America at Scandit, where he is responsible for developing the business through direct and indirect channels. With over 20 years of experience in the retail sector, Steven has frequently shared his insights on new and evolving industry trends through events (Future Stores) and publications (RetailToday). Prior to joining Scandit, Steven was Vice President of Sales at Spencer Technologies. He also held senior sales and leadership roles at Diebold Nixdorf, Essintial Enterprise Solutions, Data Junction, and Aperian.


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