When was the last time you were shopping for an item you just had to have, only to discover when you got to the store you couldn’t buy it in the color or size you wanted? If you are like most retail shoppers, you have experienced an out-of-stock situation recently.
This is one of the many business problems ecommerce platforms are solving when used “in store” by brick-and-mortar retailers. Progressive retailers are making their ecommerce platforms available inside the store via kiosks, with the primary usage conducted by salespeople or employees.
By having ecommerce-ordering capabilities within the physical store, employees are able to alleviate out-of-stock situations. In most instances, when the business would have missed the opportunity to get a sale due to missing inventory, a salesperson can walk the customer through an ecommerce transaction at a kiosk placed on the sales floor. The experience can be completed quickly, and best practices.
In-store ordering capabilities also work well when they are utilized to expand in-store assortments. Let us say you are an outdoor retailer wanting to sell kayaks and canoes to your customers. Unfortunately, having many styles of these products available in the store would take up too much valuable retail space.
An in-store ecommerce ordering systemis the solution. Educate your salespeople to frequently build awareness on how the catalog/kayak products are available for “customer delivery.” Let your employeesmake the sale with the kiosk and even use the kiosk’s up- and cross-sell functionality to sell related items and products. The goal is to get your employees excited about the multichannel business options. This happens when two key operational strategies are executed in tandem with the launch of such a kiosk.
Store managers must take the lead in understanding multi-channel solutions and lead efforts to make sure that customer-facing employees understand the purpose of the solution and how it works. Prior to implementing such a program, be sure to communicate the company’s and customer’s value among the manager base, create a solution handbook for employees’ questions and bring managers together for a workshop to become experts right before the solution goes live.
Employees must feel the ecommerce order still has some benefit to them financially. To drive accountability and solution usage, some type of commission structure must be implemented so employees have financial incentives to treat seriously the in-store ecommerce transaction. An in-store ordering system that is built on your existing ecommerce platform can be a great way to drive incremental sales.