Retail Reality

Mind The Store

The Rise of Robots: How New Technologies Affect Retail Strategies

By: Chelsea Pritchard Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:02

Imagine this: You walk into your favorite brick-and-mortar store and are immediately greeted by a robot—let’s call her Ali—on wheels. With just one look, Ali knows your name and shopping preferences, has your entire order history ready, and produces a list of products tailored for your tastes—plus a coupon or two to sweeten the deal.

No, it’s not a reality just yet, but with the so called “robotics revolution” kicking off, it’s only a matter of time. The idea may seem daunting to consumer brands, but don’t cry Skynet just yet—while robotic technologies have their perks, there’s plenty you can do to embrace new technology while retaining the human touch.

Providing Personalized Service

Were you a little thrilled at the idea of Ali remembering all of your shopping preferences (all while having coupons at the ready)? It’s only natural for shoppers to get excited by easy, personalized service, which is why it’s necessary to provide that same level with your in-store teams.

Think about a demo for a new line of protein powders. Could a robot whip up samples faster? Probably. But by having your in-store team manning the demo table, your shoppers can enjoy customized recipes; receive coupons and samples that suit their tastes; learn how they can incorporate the products into their own lifestyles; and so much more.  

Layering in the Tech: Store sales increase by as much as 36% during the week of a demo or event. Boost your sales—then keep the momentum going—with ThirdChannel’s technology. From our platform you can bring in the human touch by scheduling events, requesting and managing brand-right agents, and accessing live feedback and photo streams; then you can dive into the data by accessing key reporting for conversion KPIs, post-event aggregated KPIs, integrated sales data, and more.

Taking Stock of Store Conditions

As convenient as it could be to have Ali wheeling around the store taking note of stock issues and shelf conditions, remember that communication is key when it comes to product movement and placement.

Having trained in-store associates and brand agents means you have real-time (and real-human) eyes and ears across the store floor. Your team can act quickly to restock shelves and display; report on the effectiveness of display locations and presentation; ensure planogram alignment; manage back stock transfer; and more.

Layering in the Tech: You don’t need robots to tap into top technology. With an innovative mobile platform, your in-store associates or brand agents can give you in-the-minute updates about your store activities and appearance—allowing you in turn to monitor, analyze, and continuously optimize your operations.

Acting as Product Experts

Let’s say your consumers are primarily new parents. You’ve got a new infant seat in stores, and while you know the selling points inside and out, many new parents don’t—and with all of the products on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

While a robot like Ali could certainly point new parents in the right direction and provide them with a list of selling points, wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual human to discuss them with? Having highly trained and educated associates in stores gives peace of mind to shoppers with lots on their mind. When it comes to a purchase as important as gear for their newborns, these shoppers want real product insights from people that have been trained on them inside and out.

Layering in the Tech: A whopping 78% of consumes rank sales associate product knowledge as their top desire. Take this desire to the next level with integrated technology that hits the mark.

Educating your field force allows agents to build relationships with store staff and consumers, collect critical floor data, and report their findings in an app. This allows your brand to leverage that data to create actionable next steps—what concerns, comments, or questions need to be raised? What specifically are consumers asking for? What worked this time, and what didn’t? With these expert insights from the field, you can ensure ongoing optimization in stores and connection with your consumers. 

Interested in learning more about how ThirdChannel can help your brand? Request a free demo now!

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