Shopping is set to change in the digital age, and it goes way beyond waiting 46 seconds for your EMV transaction to go through.
Amazon has new stores without checkout counters or lines. And Diebold Nixdorf has a whole set of new toys it will introduce at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show taking place next week in New York.
Diebold’s hardware feeds into the concept it calls “connected commerce” –essentially taking traditional commerce and linking it to the ever-expanding digital world. This term has been gaining momentum recently with the launch of the Amazon Go store, which uses a combination of technologies and the Amazon app to let shoppers walk out of the store without ever even seeing a payment terminal.
However, not everyone can move at the same breakneck pace as Amazon, so what can retailers do to begin their much-needed digital transformation? They could start with embracing technology themselves –Diebold’s solutions introduce mobile, tablet, and contactless payment opportunities into the retail store to create a more connected experience for the shopper.
Changing the in-store experience to a more digital one might be key to retaining customers in the future, especially as more and more consumers grow used to buying “digital experiences,” as Forrester’s Fiona Swerdlow, VP and research director serving e-business and channel strategy professionals, notes in her report, How to Transform Your Retail Store.
Gordon Klein, solution manager, Diebold Nixdorf described the company’s SmartPay solution, which supports payment through mobile, to Bank Innovation like so:
SmartPay is a small footprint self-checkout solution that only accepts mobile and card payments. Whether retailer has a grocery, DIY, pharmacy, convenience or electronics store, SmartPay is the ideal solution to breathe life into the checkout area. The key to success of the SmartPay solution is in usability: the user interface is intuitive and straightforward. The solution is ergonomic and provides video and sound to assist the consumer.
The use of mobile is a continued trend, of course–according to the Forrester report, a majority of U.S. consumers in 2016 (68%) reported accessing the internet through their smartphones while in a physical store–with 58% of those consumers having made an online purchase last year. Furthermore, according to Swerdlow, the speed, accessibility, and interoperability of digital technologies has had a profound shift on how retailers should conduct business–because those three factors are no longer traits consumers expect to see just on the internet.
From the report:
Higher consumer expectations are no longer limited to just the digital shopping experience. Consumers expect physical stores to deliver the same product assortment, rapid delivery, and product information that they get online…Consumers view their mobile devices as trusted advisers while shopping in-store. They expect to get the information or services they want in-aisle, especially via their mobile devices — whether validating the prices and information they ﬁnd in-store or buying from a competitor’s website.
The last thing one wants is shoppers looking up alternative prices in store, which is why working with mobile is always a better choice than working against; in the case of Amazon, the company chose to skip right along to making mobile really the main device used in shopping as opposed to upgrading an ATM or payment terminal to support mobile (though this approach might provide benefits to smaller retailers).
Shoppers at Amazon’s pilot store use their mobile app to enter, have the help of sensors and various other technologies while they shop, and receive a receipt in-app, an approach that doesn’t just give users the option of this digital experience but pretty firmly welds it to the shopping experience itself.
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