Why Outdoor Retail Must Embrace Technology
- November 15, 2016
- By Todd Whitesel
It's no secret that consumers rely on technology for product research, reviews and price comparisons before purchasing. But even with the rise of online shopping, there's still room for retail and the first-hand experiences that only a brick-and-mortar store can deliver.
That’s why savvy outdoor retailers are embracing technology - to create better overall customer experiences.
FishingTackleRetailer.com reported on a survey of 650 outdoor sporting goods retailers in the U.S. (2016 State of the Outdoor Industry Report by Big Rock Sports) which found that "... small business owners are investing heavily in retail technologies.”
And a recent study of 125 worldwide retailers, conducted by Retail Systems Research, revealed where they see the greatest opportunities for using in-store technologies.
58% of respondents noted that in-store technologies have the potential to help win new customers as well as retain current customers. And nearly half believe these technologies can maintain or improve customer experience.
Those same retailers were also asked about the top tactics to improve the in-store experience.
More than half (53%) indicated that educating and empowering their in-store employees using technology was the most effective tactic, while 51% responded that focusing on a more convenient customer experience was important. Better employee productivity, the ability to locate and sell merchandise from anywhere in the company and providing more personalized customer attention rounded out the top 5 tactics that retailers expect to gain from in-store tech.
Bringing these all together is the key to transforming the consumer’s in-store experience.
An article by CIO.com (How Technology is Transforming the Retail Sales Associates Role) showed how empowering employees with better in-store technology can be the keystone for happier and more engaged customers. In the piece, Jeff Seabloom, managing director at global advisory services and consulting firm Alsbridge, talked about how technology is being used at Cabela’s to personalize the shopping experience. “When a sales associate can do a size and color inventory check right with the customer, that’s pretty good interaction — it’s the foundational building of systems and technology.”