For SMEs to remain successful, they must adhere to current trends and demands. Trends give an idea of what customers demand, which can improve services and customer satisfaction. One way SMEs can do so is by digitally transforming their brick-and-mortar establishments. In the modern age, people use and rely on technology such as the internet and mobile phones. SMEs that take this into account and rightfully modernise their shops become future-proof. With only 36% of Welsh SMEs looking to grow in the next 6 months, something must be done to guard their success. With that said, here are a few digital transformation tips for them:
Streamline customer service
In stores, customer service is often done by answering customer questions, directing them to certain areas, and assisting them with products or services. Although employees can meet these demands, digital tools can make the process more efficient—especially when customers outnumber employees at given moments. Installing self-service kiosks can help. These kiosks are usually composed of a touch screen device that customers use to view store directories and see available products and services. Another digital tool is call buttons in booths, changing rooms, or tables. These allow customers to easily request assistance should a task need human intervention. Implementing such devices ensures that all customers are helped despite rush hours or employee shortages.
Update payment systems
To complete a purchase, customers need to obtain a product or service first before paying for it. An inconvenient payment system such as one that does not support a customer’s preferred method can drive them away. This is why keeping your payment systems up to date is crucial. One way to do so is by upgrading to card payment machines, which accept contactless payments like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. This will allow you to offer customers seamless, secure, and reliable transactions. Biometric authentication technology provides the same benefits, except it scans a customer’s fingerprint, face, or voice to complete payments. Having these technologies enables you to provide better payment services.
Digitise the customer experience
Driving customers to your store can be a challenge, especially with the prevalence of online stores today. Still, increasing foot traffic and engagement in physical stores is possible by digitising the customer experience. This means offering them unique shop encounters they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Using artificial or virtual reality to allow them to try on upcoming clothing collections is one, as it gets them keen for your soon-to-be products and convinces them to pre-order. Another is social media geofilters that can only be activated when they’re in a store location. Paired with a discount offer when they take a photo with the filter, this leads to a growth in engagement and foot traffic.
Improve in-store communication
There are instances when customers simply have questions or want updates regarding an order or service they’re waiting for in-store. Providing them with Wi-Fi through wireless routers gives them a way to contact you in stores, either through your social media or a messaging app like WhatsApp. For instance, a customer at a hair salon can ask how much longer their hair needs to absorb treatment, request for you to bring them refreshments, or inform you of any discomfort if you’re tending to other tasks. Both wireless routers and messaging apps improve in-store communications so you can immediately meet customer demands and needs.
A physical store’s digitalisation ensures its future. Make sure to update your payment systems, improve in-store communication, digitise experiences, and streamline service to achieve long-term success.