- Clarks, a footwear retailer with more than 500 stores in the U.K., has deployed 4,000 tablets to track store inventories. The tablets rely on mobile data technology from Scandit, which bolsters Clark's Stock Assist app and lets salespeople quickly confirm if a customer's product choices are in stock, according to a press release.
- Scandit's Barcode Scanner SDK powers the mobile data capture, allowing store staff to quickly scan barcodes on display products to obtain access to stock records, price, product details and photos. The scanning function is also useful for backroom staff who can scan a shoebox to retrieve product information for faster sales response, per the release.
- Rafal Hartzhorne, omnichannel transformation lead at Clarks, said the app helps to speed up sales tasks for more productive and responsive customer service. Clarks also uses the Scandit Barcode Scanner, which reads barcodes even if they have been torn, damaged, worn or are blurry.
Mobile technology is transforming the in-store experience, not only for consumers but also for salespeople who want to focus on providing better customer service to shoppers. Devices like tablets and other hardware can help to supplement the product information provided by salespeople, as evidenced by the partnership between Clarks and Scandit.
In addition to using mobile tech to monitor inventory, as Clarks is doing, retailers need to create personalized shopping experiences for customers that include keeping track of their preferences. A recent survey of retail industry executives by researcher PSFK found that 61% of respondents said shoppers value experiences over direct commerce, making that a key way for brick-and-mortar stores to compete against the pivot to online shopping. As a result, 68% of retailers will be investing in data tracking, collection and management and 55% for in-store experiences by 2020, according to PSFK.
An omnichannel approach is especially important as retailers face challenges from e-commerce companies like Amazon that have steadily eroded the customer base of department stores, shopping malls and big-box retailers. This data-driven approach means that retailers can adopt strategies that have been a core part of Amazon's methods of cross-selling, up-selling and offering special discounts to shoppers based on their personalized purchase history and product searches.
As PSFK's survey of retail executives found, 59% said consumers are willing to exchange their personal data for personalized services and product offerings.