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How to Engage Customers Through In-Store Tech | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Use today's retail technologies to surprise and delight your customers during the path-to-purchase.

So, you've brought customers into your store, the hard part is over, right? No! Now that they've arrived, your new goal is to entice them with your offering and chauffeur a path-to-purchase that presents correlating products to increase shopping cart size and satisfy their journey. Recent developments in smartphone tech and other digital innovations have made this more difficult as customers continue to browse other sites for the same products while in-store. There are many ways retailers can still effectively maintain shopper engagement, the key is finding which tactics and tools work best for your store.

First and foremost, a heavy percentage of shopper engagement is the responsibility of store employees who provide quality customer service. Retailers can contribute to customer engagement through proactive technologies, such as a help button in a fitting room that informs employees of customer needs in an automated fashion. Other tools like smart floor sensors help employees know how long customers are waiting and in which areas of the store, or how long someone spends within the fitting room. This enables retailers to shorten their employees reaction time and have a stronger understanding of customer interest to assist, which ultimately increases customer satisfaction. Employee-to-customer interactions shape the shopping experience, so educating and arming your staff with insight will ultimately lead to stronger engagement.

Retailers are thinking outside the box by creating unique, engaging activities for those who enter the store. Interactive areas like an in-store photo booth that doubles as an area where shoppers can play with merchandise is a great way to get customers involved and their hands on the product. Home furnishing stores stage "demo" rooms for shoppers to walk through and interact with products as they would in their home, by sitting on the displayed couch in the "living room" or changing channels with a remote of the latest flat screen released. Providing customers with an experience instead of just a warehouse of products will lengthen their stay and improve the likelihood of a purchase.

Retailers are quickly implementing interactive digital displays throughout their stores to educate and assist in the customer journey. These displays allow customers to search for specific products, investigate their questions, and even make a purchase on the spot to bypass a line. If you aim to dazzle and delight, get customers involved through digital activities such as designing a digital outfit that can be shared on social media. Digital displays aren't your only option, either. Lowe's is implementing robot technologies to assist in greeting customers at the door, while Neiman Marcus is staging interactive retail tables into their spaces. By servicing customers through digital tech, retailers are realizing significant savings in staffing by automating and improving experiences upon entry to the point of exit. No matter what form, digital displays and activities in the retail space are quickly increasing in popularity as customers continue to make the shift toward technological shopping.

The dramatic and ongoingly inevitable increase in technology has skyrocketed competition in brick-and-mortar retail. Consumers are no longer jumping store-to-store searching for products when they've already done their research before entering their first shop. This is truly great for consumers, but retailers are challenged to keep up in excitement and pace with this trend. To stay interesting, retail is getting creative with in-store activities and optimizing their workforce to meet shopper expectations. Whether it's a photo booth or an interactive display, the importance of intriguing customers throughout their in-store experience has never been more important. To maintain an engaged customer-base and in-store conversions, retail must evolve with the trends of their clientele to stay in the game.

About Scanalytics

Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing "Internet of Things" companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.

With over 10 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.

More Stories By Rolando Kahn

Rolando Kahn is a writer at Scanalytics Inc. with a passion for technology and all things marketing. Blogging, social media, and technical writing are all components of the bigger puzzle he's spearheading at a leading "Internet of Things" business. He is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies.

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