Using mobile devices to manage retail store traffic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, safety is important to customers. 59% of consumers say it's important for stores not to be too crowded.
As stores reopen, retailers have to manage physical store traffic without compromising customer experience.
This blog post looks at how retailers can leverage mobile devices to manage physical store traffic efficiently.
While various retail traffic counter technologies such as people counting sensors and handheld clicker counters are available to manage in-store traffic, these solutions aren't always feasible.
For instance, handheld clicker counters aren't ideal if you have more than one entrance or exit. Also, basic digital counters can be slow, inaccurate, and unreliable.
That's where people counter apps come in. People counter apps enable retailers to monitor traffic safely from a mobile device.
Managing traffic with a people counter app
Sync counting across entrances
Tracking people coming in and out of stores with multiple entrances and exit points can be complicated without a connected customer counting app.
A powerful digital people counter clicker like Count Me In automatically syncs across multiple entrances in real-time. This allows store employees to count people at multiple entrances easily and gives an accurate real-time count of how many people are in a store.
Leverage readily available devices
Unlike other retail traffic counter technologies, customer counting apps can be installed quickly and easily on employee's existing IOS or android devices by unique store ID.
This means stores can be set up in minutes and ensures store employees can get back to the business of serving customers as soon as possible.
Advanced people counter apps have management dashboards that give full visibility into a retailer’s overall traffic by store in real-time. For instance, a retailer can remotely view which stores are under, near, or over capacity with real-time accuracy with Count Me In.
These insights can help identify busy periods and understand the trends of customer traffic flow over time.
Advanced queue management system
People counter apps enable customers to a virtual queue by scanning a QR code, which assigns them to a group. When there is sufficient capacity, the next group of customers is notified that they may enter the store.
Advanced queue management systems ensure that customers stay safe, secure, and comfortable in their cars or outside while waiting for their turn to enter the store.
Quick Tip: Choose a people counter solution that is user-friendly, supports capacity snapshot, and reporting functioning.
Click and collect, also known as ‘buy online pick up in store’ (BOPIS), is increasingly becoming a lifeline for retailers and consumers. Often, it’s the only way for stores to stay open as customers are unwilling or unable to shop in-store.
With click and collect solutions, retailers can perfect their click and collect service and enhance their omnichannel experience using mobile devices.
Managing collections using mobile technology
Collection time windows
Order collection solutions allow customers to book collection times. Customers can confirm, reschedule, or cancel appointments seamlessly on their devices.
The availability of collection time windows gives customers control over the delivery process. For retailers, collection time windows help prevent overcrowding and manage traffic flow.
Order confirmation notification
With order collection solutions, retailers can notify customers when an order is ready for pick up via SMS or in-app messages. Customers can click a link in the notification when they're on their way to the store so store employees can get their orders ready.
This two-way communication process enables customers to avoid unnecessary store visits, and speeds up the handover process.
Separate order collection from PoS
Using a mobile device for order collection management, retailers can separate the handover process from a PoS system and fulfill collections from a convenient store area.
This eliminates unnecessarily pulling customers into checkout or service areas, gives store employees maximum flexibility in filling online orders, and speeds up the collection process.
Quick Tip: Choose an order collection solution that offers real-time tracking and easy check-in with location technology.
Curbside pickup is a great way to ensure social distancing by keeping customers in their vehicles during the pickup process. Consumer appetite for curbside pickup surged during the shutdowns, and it won't slow down soon. 80% expect to increase curbside pickup over the coming months.
Manage curbside pickup with mobile devices
Enhance curbside pickup operations with SMS
With a curbside collection app, retailers can automatically send notifications to customers via SMS when their order is ready for collection, with a link to check in when they arrive at the store.
Store staff can receive real-time alerts on their mobile devices when the customer arrives at the collection point, including information about where the customer is located.
In-app messages can make sure staff don’t forget any items in the order. This decreases queues and wait times for a safer, more enjoyable experience.
Advanced contactless collection
Some retailers have taken contactless collection a step further, using number plate technology. Australian retailer Dan Murphy’s lets customers enter their license plate number during checkout.
When they arrive at the drive-thru, cameras match the vehicle registration with the customer’s order, and staff get an alert on their mobile device.
The team member then checks ID through the car window, and brings the order straight to the customer's boot/trunk. This ensures a purely contactless collection and makes for a convenient customer experience.
Quick Tip: Choose a curbside pickup solution with real-time alerts and location features.
Make mobile technology your competitive advantage
In 2021, physical store experience will be crucial to gaining a competitive advantage and delivering a seamless, safe omnichannel experience. Now is the time for retailers to invest in mobile technology to strategically manage store traffic, enhance omnichannel communications, and build customer loyalty.