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Automation: The Key to an Enhanced Customer Experience

By May 19, 2023July 13th, 2023No Comments

Automation will reshape retail business models and the broader value chain, creating organizations with fewer layers and a better trained and trusted workforce empowered
by real-time data and analytics.
~ The McKinsey Global Institute

There is no question that automation enhances and refines the customer experience, but in many cases it is becoming the mode of choice for consumers; more often than not, retail customers are leaning toward automation as a preference. In fact, RetailDive research shows that 73% tend to prefer that local retailers use automation instead of staff in at least one area of the shopping experience. “Because automation decreases the amount of time your staff spends working on hands-on tasks, it creates room for your customers to experience things their way and at their own pace. Automating tasks such as inventory management, for instance, lets customers know what’s in stock without having to ask a member of your staff. This saves them the hassle of asking the question and it also saves your staff time from having to manually check,” explains RetailDive. “In fact, 44% of consumers want an automated tool to check product information or inventory.” 

To support this, retailers may consider investing in automated software or upgrading what they currently use to meet the changing needs of customers. Danavation® has developed solutions for retail company owners to transform their business. Automation using Digital Smart Labels to change pricing, updating product information and displaying inventory levels allows staff to focus on helping customers and staying out of their way versus doing these tasks manually and possibly causing errors; real-time inventory control is an additional benefit that is seamlessly implemented. By adopting this technology, retailers across all sectors are driving in-store efficiencies and leading from the front when it comes to digitally transforming their operations.

A survey of nearly 3,000 customers, conducted by TechInformed, noted the importance of an additional level of automation with 92% of shoppers suggesting they would message a chatbot to see if a product is in-stock before visiting the store.

But today’s tools aren’t meant to replace staff and human interactions. Instead, they’re meant to streamline time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to focus on what they do best: create brand experiences with a personal touch. The Globe & Mail Retail Trends Report states, “The staff experience is the customer experience. Automation is not meant to replace humans, in fact it frees up their time to focus on revenue-generating, consumer-facing roles.” Automation tools can be used in a variety of ways, including payroll and benefits, order tracking, inventory management, loyalty programs, check out, customer communications, and more.

The Globe & Mail report also states that, “It’s no surprise that Gen Z and millennials are particularly keen automation advocates, and would prefer to see more automation in their retail journey, and most consumers would reward a store by visiting more often or purchasing more if automation helped them in-store. In fact, 59% of consumers who have previously visited stores with automation would shift purchases to a store with automation technologies if they had a positive experience.” Majority of consumers believe that automation can improve their shopping experience such as lessening long lines for checkout and payment. The overall improved consumer experience will continue to gain momentum as retail operations leave to embrace this technology on all levels.