For today’s consumers, technology and convenience are two key ingredients to create consistently positive experiences. Leading retail businesses have been able to integrate innovative technologies that not only make it easier for shoppers to get the services or products they need but for the business owners to deliver them as well.
When looking for a retail franchise to invest in, it’s important to consider the franchise’s ability to adapt to new tech trends and leverage technology to enhance the customer experience. Here are six ways technology is transforming retail businesses:
1. Personalized Shopping Experience
As customers shop online or via retail apps, many retailers utilize technology to make personalized product recommendations or basket additions based on their shopping behavior. This process provides a quicker way for customers to get additional products based on items they’ve previously purchased or are likely to buy. This personalized shopping experience improves the buyer journey and provides an easy way for businesses to collect feedback.
2. Expanded Ordering and Pick-up Options
In the COVID-era, the use of expanded ordering and pick-up options became the norm. Buy online, pickup in-store, drive-through pick-up and curbside pick-up are now many customers’ preferred shopping methods.
3. Technology-enhanced Store Tasks
The use of in-store technology will raise employee productivity for a variety of business models. For example, we applied telemedicine to retail eye care to improve operational efficiency. Retail stores have also been utilizing wearable tech that allows employees to receive messages and alerts for product updates, such as out-of-stock items.
4. New Labor Models
The use of technology is mutually beneficial for employees and consumers. With automated workforce planning, retailers can assess dynamic demand forecasts and inventory from their stores. New technology developments have also helped employees access their shifts and other documentation online via self-serve online platforms.
5. Centralized Order Fulfillment & Inventory Management
Last year, the shutdown and re-openings of stores exacerbated already faulty supply chain systems and processes for many retailers. With new technological developments, many retailers shifted to automated fulfillment centers and online picking. With these new developments, retail stores can now complete centralized order fulfillment in-house or by using a third-party contractor.
6. The Use of Data & Analytics Tools
The use of data and analytics has picked up not only in the supply chain and demand forecasting space, but it’s also been used to provide customer insights to predict buyer behavior. With analytics becoming part of the fabric of the retail organization, the ability to analyze data will soon be a required skillset within every retail team – not just segregated to IT teams. A centralized data analytics team could be useful in fueling business intelligence tools, traditional automation and advanced analytics within the business.
How Our Eye Care Franchise Utilizes Technology
My Eyelab leverages technology to deliver customers quick, affordable and convenient services and products. Thanks to our proprietary telehealth technology, our customers have access to a network of doctors certified in their state that work remotely to meet patient needs and are always available to see them. At the same time, our in-store eye exams also check a patient’s vision health, identifying early symptoms for several serious eye diseases. Our telemedicine model significantly improves doctors’ productivity and saves franchisees operating costs, allowing for an effective and affordable eye exam experience.
Our telehealth technology also allowed us to offer services to customers throughout the pandemic because our eye exams are done in-stores. There is zero doctor-patient contact to ensure the customer is comfortable. In-line with today’s retail trends, we also offer an omnichannel experience to our customers, allowing them to schedule appointments over the phone, online or even in-store. Our patients can track their orders, reschedule their appointment, access their prescriptions and manage their accounts online as well.
Additionally, the use of our back-of-house technology and business intelligence tools allows franchisees to see real-time results against company averages which will ultimately help them identify ways to increase revenue.
Thanks to our position as a technology-forward brand, our franchisees can focus their time on providing an inviting customer experience, and fulfilling customers’ needs instead of adding extra tasks to their to-do lists.