Tackling COVID rules – with the right tools
Shops can harness capacity monitoring systems to understand how staff and customers are using floor space. With this information, retailers can configure their store layout to maximise the number of people safely allowed in. Additionally, customer analytics can be employed to identify patterns of movement and hotspots. These insights can be used to better manage people flows in stores and queues outside stores – entrance management displays indicate the number of customers inside, and tell customers when they can enter. This is not only reassuring; it also allows staff to focus on other customer-service tasks.
Stock monitoring solutions help to avoid empty shelves – which can annoy and worry shoppers, and mean lost sales. Both they and electric shelf labels (ESLs) automate tasks and free up staff. ESLs also allow retailers to interact (digitally) with customers – via customisable and relevant messages, such as social distancing reminders.
So there are steps retailers can take. There are also things consumers can do: You cannot control everything (i.e. whether your alarmingly close fellow shopper is wearing their mask properly – or at all). But the vast majority of respondents are taking the initiative, donning face masks (74%) and ensuring a bottle of hand sanitiser is always handy (81%).
And there was a silver lining to it all. Despite their reservations and reluctance to visit certain shops, roughly 82% do believe things will eventually return to normal.
So, although we are still having to contend with uncertainty – there is optimism there as well.
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With ecommerce across Europe continuing to grow, bricks and mortar retailers are turning to technology to help them enhance the customer experience and tempt shoppers back to the store. Visitors can see many of these latest solutions at the Panasonic Connect Europe Customer Experience Centre in Munich.
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