Apr 11 | 3 min read

What “In-Store Omnichannel” Looks Like

55% of retailers say they are actively investing in omnichannel technologies, but many still struggle to define what “in-store omnichannel” should look like.

Aila Staff

According to a December 2017 study, 87% of retailers say in-store omnichannel is “critical to their business,” but only 8% say they’ve “mastered” it. This indicates a definitive demand for smarter in-store experiences that blend digital and physical channels. The two primary ways to achieve this are through apps or digital touchpoints

Apps offer huge upside to retailers, in that they present a branded interface that consumers can interact with inside and outside of stores. This can provide retailers with rich insights into customer behavior and interests, while delivering targeted, highly personalized offers to shoppers based on their preferences and shopping history. However, convincing shoppers to download and use brand- or retailer-specific apps can be a significant hurdle.

In-store touchpoints, such as customer-facing kiosks, are an easy way to bring the breadth of the online experience in-store, without forcing customers to reach into their pockets to use their own devices. A recent study found that 95% of consumers want to be left alone while shopping, and they’re increasingly turning to technology for answers: “85% of shoppers would rather use a price scanner than have to track down and ask a customer service associate.”

Intuitive software

The right in-store omnichannel hardware also needs to work in concert with exciting software. Experiences enabled by solutions like Blippar, an augmented-reality and visual discovery software, make shopping fun for customers by unlocking product information and deals throughout the store and in unexpected places. Good hardware effortlessly complements this innovative functionality.

Complete the omnichannel circle

With sleek hardware and exciting software, in-store omnichannel is a vital part the omnichannel experience. By providing rich digital content through engaging displays in the bricks-and-mortar store, stores are giving shoppers the chance to discover a deeper connection with their products and brand.

In a true omnichannel approach, each shopping avenue needs to be augmented. Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going away anytime soon, but they certainly are changing, and retailers are tasked with creating a physical shopping experience that connects to and complements online and mobile.

Attractive & easy to use

“Attractive and easy to use” may sound simple, but traditional retail tech manufacturers have been missing the mark for years. A new generation of retail handhelds and kiosks, like Aila’s Interactive Kiosk and Softscan, are instead harnessing the beautifully-designed Apple suite of devices to create functional and appealing in-store omnichannel experiences.

One of the many advantages of these next-gen retail devices is the use of the device camera as a scanner, so scanning is omnidirectional and barcode agnostic – they’ll scan anything from 1D/2D barcodes to the imperceptible Digimarc barcodes and will adapt to future technologies, too.

iPad-based kiosks are sleek, with designs that eliminate cumbersome and ugly cords for a simpler aesthetic. iPod-based mobile handhelds are feather-light and pocketable. In-store omnichannel should be a union of elegant form and powerful, dynamic function.

Learn more about how iOS provides an ideal technology platform for in-store omnichannel:

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