For wireless retail customers, experience is everything. Whether they are activating a device, renewing their contract, or finding the accessory of their dreams, each shopping trip for wireless consumers was an extended one.
But now that time-in-store has been removed from the equation, how can wireless retail businesses create the experiences that put them a step above their competition? As society moves from face-to-face retailing to face-to-screen, business owners are tasked with responding to consumer needs while remodeling the traditional retail experience.
The world of contactless retail
In a socially distanced world, retailers must be cognizant of the hesitation even their most loyal customers will have to return to the physical store. Providing contactless methods of shopping opens the door to safer purchase practices and answers the call of the behavioral shifts happening today, tomorrow, and into the future. Purchase patterns are evolving faster and more drastically than they ever have before, and organizations that want to stay in the game should act accordingly.
Creating confident customers
There’s no beating around the bush — a pandemic is scary. While the world has started to come to terms with the “new normal,” there was a time that uncertainty felt overwhelming as everyone tried to learn the to-dos and to-don’ts for staying safe.
Even with safe and effective methods of going about their day, customers may still be feeling the pressures that come with COVID. This is an opportunity for your business to recognize these feelings and transition operations towards something that eases the stress and reintroduces your business as a part of their life.
Not sure where to start? That’s okay! First things first, keep “contactless” at the forefront of every idea; how can you get a product from your backroom to a consumer’s hands with as little physical touch as possible?
We know wireless is an in-person industry with activations, repairs, troubleshooting, and upgrades being just a few of the services needed by wireless customers. Curb-side pickup, drop ship fulfillment, and buy-online, pick-up in-store models are just a few processes that reduce the consumer’s need to spend a lot of time in your store, while still satisfying their wireless ask.
It’s not just about NFC (touchless) payments anymore. Instead, contactless retail refers to the entire retail process a customer goes through on their path to purchase.
In a recent study, Deloitte found that businesses that accelerate the development and implementation of their digital retail offerings are those who will be the least impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the study wasn’t just alluding to making sure you have an online store.
While omnichannel initiatives are optimal for effectively managing inventory to “establish a seamless connection capable of meeting customers’ stock demands in a more ideal manner,” the customer experience can also become a point of digital connection. This report states that engaging in social media helps to lock onto consumer demands at key moments.
Social media pages and chat functions can act as your online meeting place, where customers come to buy, browse, ask questions of your team — like they would in-store, only digitally. Facilitating this community helps to circumvent the worry that customers are shopping less or (worse) shopping elsewhere.
Online connections not only fill the space where physical retail once was, it also acts as a bridge to connect the interpersonal gap between businesses and their customers so that when in-store retail makes its triumphant return, shoppers know exactly where they’re stopping first.
Putting it all together
The rapid changes in retail overall have caused wireless retailers to already adapt their daily operations. But with today’s landscape showing little sign of returning to the normal we knew, investing in alternative retail tactics will prove successful in the long-term.
The successful execution of “contactless” retail is dependent on the foundation on which it will stand. Prioritizing e-commerce means there is a need for sophisticated order and inventory management and fulfillment systems to not oversell or overstock. Appointment scheduling would be a valuable tool for protecting the safety of everyone, should customers need to come into the store (think about the activation process). And we can’t forget about the acronyms: BOPIS, ROPIS, and ISPU all require changes to the buying process.
All of these demands require a robust and integration-ready retail management platform with a team of experts who can assist your associates and management employees with technological on-boarding. Your software should bear the brunt when it comes to rolling out these new processes so you can focus on safe and profitable wireless retail.
Want to learn more about the state of wireless retail and what your store can do to compete and win against COVID-19? Watch this expert-led webinar that dives into the complexities of 2020 and what it all means for telecom.