Technology for its own sake is at best a novelty and at worst an annoyance. Customers quickly get bored with it if it doesn’t deliver some value for them. Post-pandemia, we have witnessed multiple retailers reorganize themselves to orient back towards stores. Removing or reducing services that were designed to connect with customers through the pandemia, video shopping and try-ons have mostly disappeared. Click and collect remains for the most part, but this still puts a lot of work on the customer. Most retail transactions still take place in a store. Browsing and searching and researching are at your fingertips via the computer in the customers pocket, but the joy of touching, feeling, and trying as well as learning something you didn’t already know about a product or brand can come from stores.

The Importance of Thoughtful Technology Integration

To elevate the in-store experience, integrating technology thoughtfully is crucial. It’s about creating seamless bridges between the digital and physical realms that add value to both the customer journey and business operations.

Listening to a colleague relate an experience in a Nike store in NYC recently, he shared that on entering the store, he had downloaded the app, then used it to review and look at products, find the one he was interested in, and have it brought to him to try on. His size was not available in the store, but he was able to purchase it, and the item in question was at his home before he returned. A completely seamless integration of technology into the customer purchase flow.

Contrast this with the recent experience of my partner in Sydney. Having purchased with this retailer previously (a suit), he was looking for business shirts. The shirt in question was not available in his size. The Sydney store told him that he could go online and buy it for himself. As he was relating this experience to me, he shared that he had not bought it yet. Why not? He hadn’t got around to it. Instead of the DIY approach, imagine the option where the retail assistant helps the customer to select shirts based on fabric and fit (even if the desired ones are not available) and adds them to a shopping cart in-store, sending him a link to review and pay, or better yet, having him pay in store and they ship to him!

Empowering Retail Teams to Enhance Customer Experience

The key takeaway from these contrasting experiences is the need for empowering retail staff with technology that facilitates rather than complicates the shopping process. Training staff to use in-store technology for assisting customers can significantly elevate the shopping experience.

Which one of these experiences would you rather have? I know that I’m on the NYC side of things (this is not to say there are not great retailers in Sydney; it’s just two recent examples that are great comparison points).

Follow the customer, and you will never look for growth. I cannot find where this quote originates from, but keeping the customer at the heart of what you’re doing is the key to delivering technology projects that add value to your business and team. Whilst much of the technology tools we work on in our daily practice relate to the back end of businesses, there must be a result that delivers something to making the business better for their customers.

We feel the same way about our customers, ensuring that the project continues to deliver the promised value through the time that it often takes to get it done. Yes, even the ones that don’t listen, forget to do the work, or are in constant conflict through the project.

Creating Seamless Retail Experiences with 6R Retail

At 6R Retail, our mission is to bridge the gap between technology and tangible business benefits. By focusing on systems that enhance customer interaction and empower teams, we ensure technology serves a deeper purpose beyond novelty.

Are you ready to transform your retail technology approach to one that truly serves your customers and your team? Reach out to us. Let’s create shopping experiences that are memorable for the right reasons.