Using Retail Sales Software To Personalize The Customer Experience
At this point, many mid-market companies use one or more retail sales software platforms for online selling — e-commerce, mobile apps, loyalty programs — and use separate point of sale software for their brick-and-mortar stores. But your customers expect the same tailored interaction to carry over from online shopping to your storefronts. We’ve all been trained to expect personalization.
Divided retail sales software creates a problem when you want to use the data you’re collecting to personalize your customer’s experience across all of these environments. You might introduce personalization for the e-commerce experience that doesn’t transfer over to the mobile platform or to sales associates in the brick-and-mortar stores. The risk here is that, without transparency across the different platforms, some of your marketing efforts are likely to seem irrelevant or redundant, alienating customers.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as connecting all of your existing retail software. When you’re piecing different parts of your system together, you may be able to meet objectives for the mobile aspect and for the storefront point of sale, for example, but end up missing the overall integration. And integrating several disparate systems is often costly and time-consuming.
One solution is to use a common application stack (software applications that were designed to work together), accessed by all of your retail sales software. With this setup, your point of sale software and e-commerce solution both use the same information, including inventory and customer profiles. This allows you to personalize the customer experience across all of your retail channels.
Giving your customers a way to personalize their own interactions with you is also going to be important going forward. We’d all be pretty leery of joining a mobile loyalty program if we thought it would result in thousands of emails that don’t pertain to us. As a result, your mobile loyalty app should allow customers to select their interests, so that they only receive notices related to them.
Ideally, if you’re having a golf promotion, for example, you’re able to draw on that central database and only send the promotion to customers interested in golf. The customer sees a mobile notification or email based on their preference, and then has the option to go to any of your retail channels and take advantage of the offer, or could share the information through a personal referral or social media.
If you’re going to do all the work to get customers to opt into your loyalty program, you need to make sure it’s worth their time, and personalization is valuable to both the customer and to you.
At this point, your customers have been trained to expect the same tailored interaction to carry over from online shopping to your storefronts, and that expectation is likely to become more prevalent, not less.
While larger retailers are using integrated retail sales software, this technology is new for many mid-market retailers, so it’s a great time to start preparing for the next stage. And the first step is getting your house in order with a central stack system that helps with implementing all of your other personalization and technology projects as you start rolling them out.
Are you ready to learn more about how integrating e-commerce and point of sale retail software could benefit your retail business? Contact ArcherPoint today!
Author: Wm. Matthew Street, Solutions Consultant/Retail Product Lead at ArcherPoint