Many high street stores and supermarket chains are continually looking at new ways to improve their customer service. Adopting new technology and integrating it into the modern citizens daily lifestyle is forever a challenge as the way people communicate and shop is changing daily.
Many big stores such as Best Buy, Kohl, JCPenney and Walmart, are developing new technology driven marketing strategies to try and bring more customers through their doors. We take a look at the lengths companies like these will go to make a change in how they respond to their customer base.
Kohl – the mid price US department store – has announced they will roll out touch screen kiosks across 1,000 of its stores. The new systems will act as the connection between their actual stores and website.
“We think the kiosk implementation has an opportunity to lift our trend in e-commerce,” Kevin Mansell, chief exectutive, told investors this year.
The new kiosk systems will allows users to browse their ecommerce website as well as complete transactions if for example the products are not available in store.
JCPenney, a major rival of Kohl is also adoption kiosk systems which link to the website and expected to be rolled out across 150 of their stores this autumn. Rather than roll out a kiosk to all of their stores they are focusing it on smaller stores that do not stock their full collection. Tom Nealon, chief information officer, argues that customers equipped with Smartphones to place orders are less likely to need to use in-store kiosks.
“We are not looking to deploy a lot of hardware at great expense, when we have such conviction that the mobile devices our consumers are carrying become as much a part of shopping as swiping a credit card.
“As part of our customer experience strategy, we are constantly having to decide where we want to invest our money and resources,” said Mr Nealon. “Because you can’t go after everything at once.”
Many shoppers who have Smartphones are able to use tools from the online world in-store. Checking prices at rival stores and looking for independent product reviews is just a few ways in which customers interact when purchasing products and services. Many can use their phones to receive digital offers as well as look at access payment systems and complete transactions.
The integration of multifunctional channels gives consumers more choice in how they shop, however at the same time giving customers too much choice allows them to become confused about how to go about purchasing from your store. When it comes to kiosk systems they need to have a highly functional purpose that the customer is fully aware of. If you are using a kiosk to sell products that are not available in store, make this known using clear signage as well as encouraging your staff member’s to inform people of the services available. There is a lot involved when it comes to customer loyalty and looking after clients in the best way possible, however there is no real need in deploying a kiosk system if you don’t advertise to your customers to what it actually does.
If you are looking to deploy a kiosk system into your business then we recommend that you have a look at our critical guide which looks at the things businesses need to consider when deploying a public facing kiosk. You can access the Kiosk Guide here.