It will not be a stretch to say that the race for sustainable retail growth is cutthroat – and it is the CX (Customer Experience) that has a massive impact on the bottom line.
Retailers across the globe are bidding on solutions and technologies that promise to channel their customers through the most profitable routes and give them a more streamlined purchase experience.
An ‘Omnichannel’ personalized experience is what every major retail enterprise aims to master – but what about providing a truly synchronized in-store and online purchase experience for the customers?
A Pressing Need for Connected Purchase Experiences
An exhaustive study by Google revealed that there is a strong connection between digital shoppers and local stores. It became known that 71% of the shoppers use smartphones for online research, comparison, placing orders, and purchase decision-making.
Moreover, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value compared to only single-channel shoppers. A streamlined in-store retail experience is the need of the hour for retailers of every size. As many as 70% of the European retailers opine that omnichannel strategy alone does not suffice for growth, but a frictionless combo of online and offline retail channels does.
Retailers can optimize their digital channels to drive more customers to the brick-and-mortar stores. But what about optimizing the in-store experience itself?
In a world where digital channels also drive the in-store sales, bridging the experience gap for customers makes sense.
If one would care to ask – what is the next big thing for in-store retail for enhanced CX vis-à-vis tech, highly effective IoT solutions comes to mind
Click-to-Collect Lockers: The Next Big Thing for In-Store Retail
Smart package locker systems are already serving many applications – from last-mile logistics to IT asset management. Though, this simple yet powerful solution has opened new avenues of growth for retailers.
An average customer typically faces the following hurdles in any brick-and-mortar setup;
Finding the right product: It often happens that the shoppers research their products of interest online and prefer to buy them from a local store. Though, what may be available online may not be available offline. Finding the right product in-store after online research can be a tedious task – especially if the space is large and stacked with thousands of products.
Long billing queues: Once the customer picks what they want, in-store process makes them go through long billing queues. During peak seasons, these billing queues can take a toll on the retailer’s customer retention bottom line.
Limited store opening time: Defined store timings can also limit the in-store footfall of retail customers. Not all convenience stores and supermarkets provide a 24×7 hotspot for shopping – but your customers do wish they could!
Tedious returns/exchange: A large fraction of retail customer churn can be attributed to poor after sales support. When it comes to exchanges or returns for the bought products, customers expect a superfast process with minimal effort – though it is a rarity for in-store retail setups.
There are numerous other gaps and inefficiencies between the digital and in-store experience, but most of them can be automatically fixed if with fix the Big 4 listed above.
How Smart Package Lockers Address the In-store Retail Experience Gap?
Smart package lockers are a great step forward for ‘technical optimization’ of brick-and-mortar retail spaces, and they are already making their space in smart city planning.
Smart automated package lockers enable many solutions and solve inefficiencies associated with offline retail purchases. Here is what lies behind the smart locker technology in a nutshell;
Locker compartments are placed outdoors or indoors and can be operated via a touchscreen terminal. Delivery carriers can simply go to the terminal, enter information of the recipient, scan the package, and place it in the locker. The recipient then receives an OTP (One Time Password) and can access the package 24×7 per their convenience
Here is how smart package lockers close the in-store and online purchase loop with a wonderful CX
- Enable BOPIS: Smart lockers equip retailers to provide the trending ‘Buy Online and Pickup in Store’ service for its customers. Customers can research and checkout all the products over your, say, e-store. Once they make an online purchase, the local corresponding store can stock the item and place it in the smart locker, notifying the customer. The customer can then pick up their pre-paid order from the lockers with a 24×7 service.
- No Billing Queues: Smart package lockers fulfilling the click-and-collect orders minimize billing counter queues and save precious time – both for the staff and the customers.
- Contactless Transactions: Since the global pandemic scare, shoppers prefer to avoid any physical contact. Click and collect lockers provide them with a personalized experience, without exposing them to any physical human contact.
- 24×7 Package Access: Just like an online e-commerce store is available online, smart package lockers make order pickups and returns available 24×7 via a secure offline channel. From a shopper’s standpoint, the BOPIS service leaves almost no gap between the online-to-offline purchase transition.
- Seamless Returns & Exchanges: Retail customers always value the ease of returning and exchanging the products. Customers value brands that value their time, money, and efforts. With a live click-to-collect service, reverse logistics (returns and exchanges) become seamless. Shoppers can simply drop their package in the smart locker system and the entire process can be expedited.
- Create a Connected Last-Mile Experience: Smart package lockers provide another excellent opportunity for growing retailers. Besides providing a 24×7 BOPIL (Buy Online Pickup in Locker/Store) service, retailers can also set up their own last-mile package distribution network and save hefty costs for even the long-distance packages.
Smart package lockers are truly an asset for any offline retail store.
While positively impacting the CX, they save critical resources like time and money for the businesses. For example, it takes less than 15 seconds to drop or pick up a package when delivered with SMARTBOX, as opposed to 5-6 minutes per package via the traditional method.
How Smartbox Package Lockers Help Retailers Sell More?
Smartbox, our own line of custom smart locker solutions, comes with all the desirable properties of a robust and scalable system, and additional features that make users fall in love with it.
The entire process of interacting with Smartbox parcel lockers and dropping/returning a package is slick and pleasant – a subtle but strong process-design example between Human-Machine Interface and their real-world applications.
Carrier agents simply arrive at Smartbox to deliver any number of packages within a given building/campus/premises. They scan each package, and the apt locker compartment opens. The agent simply places all the packages within the Smartbox compartments – notifying the rightful recipient for each package via SMS.
The recipients can easily collect their delivered package at any time with a secure OTP. Super convenient!
Launch Your Own Branded 24×7 Self-Service Lockers
Being the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of SMARTBOX package locker systems, we can help you deploy your own branded, custom smart locker system.
Our highly experienced professionals will survey your requirements, get the custom lockers designed per your requirement, and install them – ready to be used by your customers.
Take charge of your retail CX, in-store and online, with Smartbox click-and-collect lockers for retail.
You can see Smartbox live in action – book a demo now!