In retail, this means letting customers select and pay for goods themselves, without requiring the assistance of a live staff member. Vending machines, kiosks, as well as self-serve checkout lanes in grocery stores all fall under this category.
Retailers around the world are looking for more ways to give customers a pleasant shopping experience that will drive the customers back for more. Self-service is a new tactic adopted by smart retailers to increase customer engagement and consequently lead to a higher profit margin.
Self-service allows customers to select a product and pay for it themselves, without the help of a sales employee or assistant. An excellent example of self-service currently in action is the vending machine, where you can go and buy an item without any human attendant present. This has led some to say that self-service might just be the future of retailing. It is therefore essential that you aren’t left behind.
Research has shown that most customers prefer self-service to speak to a representative from a company. However, when customers are unable to resolve their issue, and they have to get help from a representative, they get frustrated. Therefore, it is just not enough that you offer self-service you have to ensure that it is user-friendly. Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers just recently opened a brick-and-mortar store. They are using the checkout-less shopping system where customers can browse and shop in the store. This shows that further supports the claim that self-service is the future of retail.
You have to be careful when incorporating self-service into your business so that it won’t breed frustration among your customers. You can adopt a customized shopping list that groups items together, making the shopping process even more comfortable. This reduces the need for customers to walk around the store looking for closely related products. There are mobile apps available that have inbuilt systems that can predict when a customer will run out of a particular product and it then sends a message inviting them to shop. Pretty cool right?
Another problem that shoppers often complain about in stores is the difficulty of navigating the store to get to an elusive product. This is especially common in large retail stores with complicated paths to different parts of the store. It is vital that you provide a navigation system that will help shoppers find their way around the store. Another way to attract shoppers to your store with self-service is to give the option for your customers to shop from the comfort of their homes with the possibility of coming around to pick up the item at their convenience. Mobile POS and self-checkout will also help in increasing the ease of making purchases in your store.
Self-service is both beneficial to the retailer as well as the customers. It makes shopping a breeze for shoppers, thereby attracting more shoppers to the store. This, in turn, leads to more customers and more profit for the retailer. The continuous emergence of new technology has added new dimensions to self-service. As a retailer, it is essential that you join the bandwagon and introduce self-service into your business because the trend will continue to grow and potentially dominate the retail industry.