The retail landscape has been changing rapidly as brick and mortar entities battle to stay relevant in an ever expanding digital marketplace. Major retailers like Borders Books and Circuit City have gone by the wayside in the wake of Amazon’s (and other online retailers) continuing gains in market share. When you factor in the “showrooming” phenomenon that turns physical stores into showrooms for customers to demo products before purchasing them online, the challenges to retailers are staggering.
In the midst of all of the obstacles retailers now face, the biggest perceived threat is price. Most customers believe they can find lower prices online. And, in many cases they’re right. Why buy a TV at Best Buy when the same TV on Amazon is a few hundred dollars less? A March 2013 article on NRF Stores brings this into perspective claiming 30 percent of all customers “showroomed” during the 2012 holiday season, with a lower price cited by 80 percent of them as a reason to buy. The other 20 percent said not paying sales tax was the reason for their online purchase.
In an effort to battle online price cuts in the electronics industry, manufacturers (the 800 lb. gorilla in the retail picture) like Sony and Samsung have weighed in on the showrooming issue by reestablishing minimum pricing across online and brick and mortar channels. This is being done to stop deep discounting by online retailers that damage the brand (and affect the bottom line), and to help physical stores compete with online pricing. Several big retailers like Target and Best Buy now price match online prices to entice customers to buy in the stores.
Customer service has always been the key to retail success and many small, medium and big box retailers are turning to technology to level the playing field and improve the in-store customer experience. A 2012 story in Retail Touch Points outlines how tablets have made a seamless transition into the retail landscape offering customers access to product information and price comparisons from several online sources. Smartphones also provide access to information and pricing and are becoming a valuable piece of the retail toolbox. The Guardian is also on the Tablet in retail bandwagon, reporting in a September 2013 story the need for retailers to embrace technology to remain competitive by providing customers the most positive shopping experience possible.
The move to technology-based retail sales solutions is at hand, and Revel’s customer facing Kiosk POS system is the perfect turn-key solution for retailers of all sizes. By incorporating the iPad into the customer experience, your sales staff will have vast amounts of information at their fingertips. When it’s time to process the sale, Revel’s POS system provides customers options like accessories or warrantee options with high definition images. Customers can also pay for their purchases instantly with cash, credit cards, or gift cards. The Revel Kiosk POS increases productivity while reducing labor costs allowing retail businesses of all sizes to stay competitive in the digital age of customer service. Customers are more tech-savvy than ever before and have come to expect the higher levels of service available from companies utilizing technology to the fullest – don’t be left behind.