Shoppers today want personalised, frictionless experiences online and in-store, that is, a unified commerce approach. As a retailer, you need to deliver these experiences to keep shoppers coming back for more. But how can you facilitate this experience?
One strategy that businesses can employ is the concept of the endless aisle. Endless aisles are crucial to delivering a unified commerce experience, along with the following key benefits.
- Closing the sale before a customer leaves
Traditionally, if an item isn’t available in your store, but is available in a nearby branch, you may just redirect the customer to that store. But if there are no other stores nearby, you may lose out on a sale – so endless aisle is the perfect way to satisfy your consumers.
Endless aisles enable in-store sales even when the products are not in stock, through access to an online inventory (e.g. via iPad operated by store staff, which has a direct serial connection to a mobile POS terminal). This improves the customer experience, as the shopper has the option to buy the item they like even if it is not in stock, and also has a direct positive impact on your revenue.
- Helping deliver a consistent brand experience
No matter which channel they buy from, shoppers are seeking a cohesive brand experience. To the customer, brands are perceived as a unified front, even if this isn’t necessarily the case behind the scenes. One of the most visible examples is the ability to buy online and return unwanted purchases in-store. From a customer’s perspective, they’re buying from the same company, so there’s no reason that they shouldn’t be able to carry this out.
By combining your payment provider for both e-commerce and in-store, you can more easily turn disparate departments into a functional whole; a key transformation at the heart of Unified Commerce.
- Exceptional results for smaller and regional stores
Smaller and regional stores are some of the potentially big beneficiaries of endless aisles and the unified commerce experience. Ordinarily, the ability to present the entire product range assortment can present a challenge, either space-wise or logistically. In stores distant from one another, the results may in part be due to the fact it is not easy for shoppers to visit the next store in order to pick up what they want. Endless aisles provide an elegant solution to both these issues, improving the shopper experience and recovering potentially lost sales.
- Upselling and cross-selling opportunities for in-store staff
Endless aisles empower staff to impart more detailed product knowledge to shoppers. It is now possible to present shoppers with additional product information, which can help positively influence their purchase decision. Staff can then use this access to upsell and cross-sell other products – all of which are available within a few clicks. This unified commerce approach means that customers can easily access information about products they want, while discovering ones they didn’t even know they needed.
- Building customer databases
Endless aisles provide valuable data on buying preferences of in-store shoppers – items purchased, preferred styles, usual shopping times and average spend. Once you have built a substantial customer base, this data can be leveraged to optimize your purchasing and streamline your in-store product ranges – yet another application of the unified commerce approach that can aid in increasing your revenue.
On 3 August, Michel van Aalten, Country Manager for Australia & New Zealand at Adyen, will host a webinar showing how unified commerce is the future of retail, outlining the steps you can take to build the ultimate cross-channel experience for shoppers – including Endless Aisles. To register for Adyen’s webinar The Future of Retail: Get ready for ‘anytime, anywhere’ shoppers – click here.