By Julian Wallis, retail director, Rambus
As brick-and-mortar retailers look to enhance the in-store experience to compete with the e-commerce giants, they must contend with the unprecedented challenges posed by decreasing revenues and escalating costs.
But for those who invest smartly in the right digital initiatives, there are huge opportunities. For this reason, transformative technologies such as mobile scan-and-go solutions are gaining momentum across the world.
Indeed, merchants can use mobile scan-and-go to increase average revenue per user (ARPU), boost loyalty, deliver an enhanced customer experience, and create operational efficiencies.
Optimizing the use of available store space must be a key consideration. Mobile scan-and-go solutions reduce (even remove) the need for physical checkout lanes, as consumers can pay in-aisle via a mobile app. This frees up valuable real estate for more product lines, or for in-store experiences such as cookery classes or beauty treatments, to help drive in-store sales.
Scan-and-go technology can also contribute to increased average spend per visit. Because you can see a cumulative total as you shop, it is easier to keep track of your spending. If you are then under budget when checking out, this encourages impulse or top-up purchases.
With mobile, retailers can also push targeted offers and promotions directly to the consumer as they shop. For repeat customers, merchants can collate user behaviour and purchase patterns to promote recommended products and remind consumers to pick up their frequently bought items.
Increasing LTV through real-time redemption
It is far more efficient to retain existing customers than attract new ones. Loyalty and rewards programs are integral to increasing consumer lifetime value (LTV) by incentivizing this repeat custom.
Modern consumers, however, often lose interest if they have to wait too long to receive any meaningful benefits. In comparison, receiving rewards instantaneously, known as real-time redemption, leads to increased spend.
Mobile wallets with scan-and-go functionality simplify real-time redemption. In-aisle checkout makes it easy for consumers to earn points and coupons and use them for that purchase, rather than having to wait until the next visit. As an added bonus, solutions that provide a split payment function allow consumers to pay with a mix of credit, points and coupons in a single transaction.
Enhancing the customer experience
Experience is the key battleground for brick-and-mortar retailers. Mobile scan-and-go technology can redefine the in-store model for retailers by delivering the ‘just walk out’ experience popularized by Amazon Go (and increasingly demanded by consumers) in a way that is viable, scalable and profitable.
What’s more, mobile self-checkout enables associates to be redeployed throughout the store. If equipped with a staff portal, associates can monitor and assist consumers throughout their time in store. This human engagement fosters loyalty and drives increased spend.
Optimizing operational efficiencies
Revenue protection is key to any efficient operation, so loss prevention considerations can be seen as a barrier to adoption.
But mobile scan-and-go should be looked at differently to traditional self-checkout terminals. Where self-checkout can lead to frustration and consequently theft, retailers have reported that the mobile scan-and-go experience is so seamless, some consumers actually felt uneasy about simply walking out of the store. Let’s not forget too that retailers can put more robust measures in place to mitigate theft, such as a requirement to scan a digital receipt on exit.
In parallel, mobile scan-and-go solutions can help reduce the cost per transaction by potentially reducing overall cash usage and incentivizing the use of alternative payment methods such as store cards or account-based transactions. Merchants also from benefit from a reduced requirement to install and maintain expensive checkout terminals and hand scanners.
Efficiencies extend beyond checkouts too, by limiting the need to produce paper receipts, coupons and print advertising, as they can be pushed or provisioned directly to the smartphone.
In these transformative times, those who can adapt to emerging challenges stand to gain significant competitive advantages. Importantly, mobile scan-and-go solutions are immediately available to deliver these benefits to retailers at scale.