Monday, April 11, 2011

Online Purchases With In - Store Shopping

 Interactive digital signage offers brick-and-mortar retailers the chance to rekindle their relationship with the growing number of online shoppers.

I must it. I am typical guy. I don't really like to go shopping, and i look for every chance i get to consolidate shopping expeditions and eliminate trips to the sore.

So a few years ago, when i really took the opportunity presented by and other sites to shop online - particularly at Christmas time - I was overcome with cheer, that is holiday cheer, because doing so let me minimize the drudgery of the season and focus more on faith, family and friends.

Still, even though the convenience and ease of online shopping has made my annual holiday shopping far less time-consuming an exhausting, I'm left with a nagging feeling that I am missing something - something important that I can only experience if  I actually make the time to shop at brick-and-mortar stores.

Upon reflection, that something is really four very important "somethings" that make us who we are as humans, namely the satisfaction of touching, tasting, hearing and smelling. Sure shopping online can deliver all sorts of image-from cheerful holiday online catalog type shots to a full, 3-D fly-around of merchandise I'm evaluating-to satisfy my visual sense, but what about the simple experience of holding an item in my hand and evaluating it in a quite personal way with  all the other senses an online image can't satisfy?

What if I could have the best of both words? What if  I could have the convenience an seas of locating merchandise online and also have the in-person shopping experience that lets me squeeze the produce, taste the cookie, smell the evergreen and listen to the din of shoppers hurry about on their own expeditions?

Apparently, I'm not the one asking those questions. A couple of new reports from Aberdeen Group, sponsored by Hp, suggest in-store technology, like digital signage, point-of-sale systems and kiosks, can bring the convenience of online shopping into the retail space, to complement the in-store shopping experience.

However, 76 percent of 100 senior retail executives from apparel, grocery and department stores surveyed by Aberdeen Group report not possessing  the the technology or business processes to make use of Web, catalog or special orders from their stores.

According to the report-"The Customer Connected Store: 2011 Operations Automation  Best Practices" and "Retail Network Optimization: A Strategic 21st Century Enabler"-fully  one-third  of the retailers surveyed said the are likely to invest in kiosks that help give shoppers the experience of online shopping and the ability to check inventory while in the store.

The reports also identify why retailers should be willing to recreate an element of the online shopping experience for customers. The researchers found that retailers who give customers the ability to do things like place Web or catalog orders in the store are "104 times more likely to see higher than 80 percent customer satisfaction in sores " than retailers that don't do so, a pres release announcing the surveys said.

The bottom line: interactive digital signage technology offers retailers a wide variety of advantages, not the least of which is touch-screen access to the Web to support things like in-depth product information, inventory checks and catalog purchases.

If retailers follow through and actually invest in interactive digital signage  and kioks, I know I'd likely to return to brick-and -mortar retailers for more of my every day and holiday shopping, and I bet millions of others like me would, too.

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