Self-serve shopping experiences
Customers are demanding more control over their shopping journeys and brands that don’t enable self-serve journeys risk being ‘swiped left’ by Gen Z.
Having got used to ‘across-the-room’ interactions with Alexa for updates on everything from traffic to news, to playing their favorites on Spotify and Netflix, the modern shopper expects similar voice-enabled experiences while shopping. This, augmented with the desire to have more control over their shopping journeys, is spurring the trend of self-serve retailer apps.
Let’s explore how unified commerce is powering digital shopping experiences.
Apart from quick checkout, scan and go adds new levels of convenience to the digital shopping journey.
Packed with powerful features aligned with the expectations of the digital customer, it offers several advantages:
Scan-and-go offers customers superlative digital experiences while shopping in-store and businesses new insights into customer’s baskets and product affinity.
Here are a few considerations for retailers exploring Scan and Go as a lucrative option so that it is profitable for them and delightful for customers.
Handling theft and fraud: While scan-and-go offers greater autonomy to customers, it is also susceptible to misuse and may not be able to prevent thefts. One way to mitigate this looming threat is to install signages for scan-and go customers to display the QR code or digital receipt at the checkout counter before exiting the store.
Age verification for age-restricted items: With thousands of products being sold every day, managing underage sales is a huge compliance challenge that large departmental stores and retail chains face. By embedding an age-verification workflow—from marking all potentially age-restricted items in the master product database such as cigarettes, alcohol, and knives, to triggering an age-verification prompt before checkout, to a store associate completing the ID proof check and approving or rejecting the transaction, retailers can enable a quick, frictionless shopping experience.
Handling exceptions: There may be exceptional scenarios in the case of scan-and-go users, such as price discrepancies, items not getting scanned, or customers wanting to split their payments (for example, part card, part cash). Retailers must ensure support is at hand‒customers can reach out for assistance or continue checkout at the till. The cashier must be able to retrieve the customer’s order and continue with the checkout.
Deactivation of product tags: A common challenge for retailers is deactivating product tags for scan-and-go’ to avoid activation of security alarms at exit for valid customers. Bulk deactivation of tags of products upon payment completion is recommended to avoid walkaways with live tags.
Flexibility to continue checkout at till: Sometimes, customers may want to redeem their loyalty and reward programs or may not want to miss out on the common banter with the cashier at the till. In such cases, the customer must be given the flexibility to proceed to the checkout counter. A pay-at-the-till option with a code in the app can be provided that can be scanned by the staff at the POS for the checkout.
Speedy store assistance for scan-and-go customers: The pandemic accelerated digital adoption by senior citizens. Irrespective of age, first-time scan-and-go users may require assistance. A dashboard view of store activity showing how many customers are using the app at the store with a trigger for assistance based on dwell time in a particular aisle or repeated scanning will ensure smooth shopping for customers.
New era of contactless shopping
Customers’ demand for mobile-first solutions has ushered in a new era of contactless shopping.
With interesting features such as visual search, item lookup, and voice assistants, Scan and go apps are turning out to be a multipurpose solution for optimized shopping experiences. And this is just the beginning. As customers increasingly demand more control over their shopping journey, retailers have plenty of room for innovation to make the digital shopping journey engaging and convenient. In the next post, we will discuss how unified commerce is enabling seamless returns.