While more internet and online-only companies are popping up than ever before, there are still millions of brick-and-mortar businesses across the country. These exist in many different industries and serve an important purpose in many communities where people prefer to shop in person. These can be clothing stores, hardware stores, grocery stores or any number of other establishments.
However, just because a company sells out of a physical location, it doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of technology that online-only companies do. There are several different ways that traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can successfully incorporate technology into their operations.
Read on to learn about a few of the best.
Apps and Other Online Tools for Increased Efficiency
Many brick-and-mortar companies aren’t as efficient as they could be. They might be using old or outdated equipment, or be stuck to processes that simply don’t cut it anymore. Instead of continuing these old ways, there are several apps available that can give businesses the boost they need to stay relevant. There are even apps and tools that can replace the outdated equipment a business may use.
A good example of this is eFax. This allows companies to quickly and easily send and receive faxes, right from their computer, tablet or mobile device. Best of all, you don’t need a clunky and expensive fax machine to do it.
There are several more examples just like this where apps and online technology can help to make physical businesses more efficient. Whether you want to cut costs, improve your accounting accuracy, or simply learn more about your customers, there are tools that can help, while still keeping efficiency in mind.
Enlist the Help of Beacons to Drive Sales
Another way technology can be incorporated into your business is through the use of beacons. Beacons are small IoT devices that are located throughout a store or business and will deliver relevant information to customers depending on where they are in the store. For example, they may identify discounts or promotions, or display other valuable information.
These internet-connected devices can track customers throughout the store in real-time and notify them of deals and sales in the area of the store they are currently in. This can help ensure customers don’t miss your best sales, and the ads and messaging can even be personalized.
In addition to offering a more personalized experience and increasing sales, beacons can also help you learn more about your customers. These beacons are very reliable and are quite easy to implement and deploy, too.
The Use of Tablets
Over the past few years, more and more businesses have begun using tablets in their stores. These tablets can wear many hats and can take on many responsibilities. Tablets can be used to give customers more information about a product, act as a product directory, a FAQ guide or even replace traditional checkouts. For example, many restaurants have switched to using tablets in order to place orders.
Digital signage is another common use of tablets or other screens in retail locations. They can advertise many different products at once, and are very eye-catching. These can be quickly and easily updated, as well.
All of these uses are aimed at helping improve the customer experience, as well as making your business more efficient to run. Many can also reduce the need for more staff members, ultimately saving your company money.
Consider Offering Digital Payments
When it comes to shopping in stores, no one likes waiting in lines. Many of us have waited hours and hours of our lives in long retail store lines. In fact, these long lines and wait times are one of the reasons online shopping is so popular. Eliminating the inconvenience of long lines should be a goal for every brick-and-mortar company.
One of the best ways to do this is to offer digital payment options. People want options, and many prefer to use digital payments as a way to speed up their in-person purchases. These allow them to pay with a tap of their phone, which is considerably quicker than traditional methods. Mobile payment options are becoming incredibly popular, as there are already hundreds of millions of people using Apple Pay, one of the biggest names in the space.
Automated checkouts are also a solution to long lines. These have been popping up at stores across the country, and allow people to handle their own checkout, without the need for a cashier. This also has benefits for companies, as they don’t need to have as many staff members working.
Taking Your Brick-and-Mortar to the Next Level
While e-commerce businesses are becoming more popular, brick-and-mortar companies are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they are increasingly embracing new technologies to take their operations to the next level. Using technology in any (or all) of the aforementioned ways can be a great way to give your business a boost.