Flight Plan: 4 Steps to Pilot In-Store Technology

Nov 16, 2016 — Megan Howse
Pilot Blog Megan.jpg

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Never mind, it’s better. It’s an in-store technology pilot that can help you provide a unique brand experience for your customers.

Pilots are all about “fail fast, learn fast.” Use the process to capture data on things that are market and omnichannel driven, such as endless aisle technologies. The data then becomes the answer to whether you roll the technology out to more stores or move on to something new!

Your 4 Step Breakdown For Piloting In-Store Technology

1. The Model

  • What are your key performance indicators? Set clear goals on what you’re trying to achieve. Keep in mind you don’t want to create animosity between your e-commerce and sales teams. Reward both with overall goals towards the greater good.
  • What does the pilot look like? Literally. Decide your locations for the trial, what technologies you hope to involve, and how they can be merchandised within the designated spaces.

2.  The Supplies

  • Do you have product content? If so, where is it stored? Having strong assets can benefit you across the board in both online and in-store technologies. It’s important to think about how you can re-use assets.
  • What about pricing and product information? If we have an integration, all of this happens in real time. Based on what you are trying to achieve, you can work with your solution provider to share information and determine how pricing and inventory can show.

3. The Passengers

  • What is the customer experience? Analyze your target customers and customer experience journeys. This will help define your future brand experience.Try to avoid making assumptions based on your own personal preference.
  • What are the pain points? Start at the beginning of the path to purchase and map out each pain point along the way. Figure out where technology can alleviate those pain points.

4. Flight Review

  • What was your ROI? Understand the additional sales that may or may not have been created from the experience. This will involve taking another look at the customer journey and pain points in the path to purchase.
  • How did the pilot go? Look back at your original KPIs to determine if the pilot was a success. Discoveries from the data will help to determine what can be revised to try again or lead to the next steps of a larger rollout.

Just as marketing is too important to leave entirely to your marketing department, digital is too important to leave to your e-commerce department. Throughout the process be sure to form agile teams with stakeholders from different areas to achieve what you need.

An in-store pilot shouldn’t be about technology for the sake of technology. You can still surprise your customers while giving them what they expect! The future of in-store technology is now boarding.

Want more information on how to launch a successful pilot? 

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Topics: Retail Operations

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