According to the PwC Global Consumer Insights Survey, 44% of Canadian consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores daily or weekly (for items other than groceries). The survey also indicates that e-commerce is heavily supplementing the shopping experience ($57 Billion in sales) with in-store digital shopping guides, augmented reality (AR) applications, social media marketplaces, and online storefronts. In addition to multi-channel options for shopping, Canadians consumers are looking for a high level of customer service support before, during, and after making a purchase, no matter what shopping method they choose.
The Canadian retailers meeting the needs of today’s consumers are using omnichannel solutions. This approach to selling provides customers with a seamless shopping experience and support whether they’re shopping online or in-store. These retailers empower Canadian consumers to make purchases wherever they are while communicating in a way that is in tune with why they use a given channel and showing awareness of their individual stage in the customer lifecycle.
As Canadian retailers continue to deliver consumers with fully-integrated omnichannel shopping experiences, they are adopting interoperable technologies that connect every level of customer service and order fulfillment online and in-store.
These are the top 3 types of technologies that Canadian retail stores are using for profitable omnichannel operations:
Handheld and tablet mobile computers offer a variety of voice and data capabilities to instantly connect staff to the right information and people. These wearable and handheld portable computers feature wireless communications between a range of devices with integrated Bluetooth, wi-fi, cellular, and push-to-talk. Mobile touch computers can also capture data automatically from any kind of barcode, photograph, video footage, signatures, GPS location, and RFID tags.
For customers, in-store tablet kiosks allow them to look up product information, check prices, make purchases, or receive personalized coupons. For staff, hands-free RFID scanning and Android OS applications make it easy to locate click-and-collect orders, automatically update and share inventory details in real-time, pull up customer accounts and take payments from anywhere.
Handheld RFID Imagers and Scanners
With imaging scanner technology, retailers are reducing human error throughout inventory and point-of-sale operations by 39%. Customers have uploaded their wallets to their phones, while mobile apps can track purchases and reward customers for their loyalty with personalized coupons and gift cards. Using handheld and pocket-sized imagers staff can read mobile payments on the screen of a mobile device from anywhere on the retail floor and out on delivery.
Beyond capturing 1D, 2D, and multiple UPC barcodes at once, retailers can record images, signatures and OCR fonts on supplier invoices that automatically decode the information and send it to an inventory application. The ability to scan barcodes on the back of drivers’ licenses has improved accuracy when processing customer information for returns and loyalty programs by auto-populating the information.
Data Capture and Sensors
Canadian retailers are using a combination of smart sensors and data analytics software to connect their entire network of devices, people, and machines for a true omnichannel operation. Sensors automatically record the location and movement of merchandise, associates, shoppers, and assets in real time. Data analytics processes raw RFID, micro-locationing, and video data from the sensors into meaningful events that deliver real-time actionable insights for better-informed decisions and efficient customer service. This interoperable network has helped retailers eliminate out-of-stocks and overstocks, prevent lost sales, quickly fulfill online orders and in-store pickups, spot and stop potential theft before items leave the store, and much more.
Nova Communications, a division of Rock Networks, has leveraged Zebra Technologies’ portfolio of enterprise asset intelligence hardware and software to deliver omnichannel solutions to retailers. As one of Canada’s premier wireless voice and data solutions company, our team can help you find the right omnichannel technologies to fit your operation and budget.