Augmented Reality Transforms In-Store Navigation
Jan16 2020 Andrew Makarov Guest contributor Retailers have multiple platforms to make it easier to navigate in-store and in malls, and augmented reality (AR) is rapidly changing the game and delivering multiple benefits to shoppers and brands. Digital transformation is sweeping the retail industry and has changed the way consumers shop online and in local […]


Andrew Makarov
Guest contributor

Retailers have multiple platforms to make it easier to navigate in-store and in malls, and augmented reality (AR) is rapidly changing the game and delivering multiple benefits to shoppers and brands.

Digital transformation is sweeping the retail industry and has changed the way consumers shop online and in local stores. Competition among retail brands to capture each other's buyers in this environment will make or defend many businesses in the future.

Consumers familiar with the shopping experience expect a smooth process without hassle or frustration. With less free time to spend on shopping, consumers continue to report that they appreciate the time-saving potential of technology. This has been confirmed by the Consumer Retail Technology Survey 2019 showing that 61% of buyers are looking for ways to save time.

Adding in-store navigation to the customer experience allows customers to find what they're looking for without wasting time.

Retailers have multiple technology platforms at their disposal to implement in-store navigation for malls and physical outlets. The Mall of America, Harrod's and Target have employed beacon technology for inland navigation and proximity marketing.

According to Mike McNamara, Chief Information Officer of Target, a typical Target store contains about 1,000 tags. With an average price of $ 15 each, operational costs for installation and maintenance increase rapidly as more beacons are added to improve navigation accuracy.

Another solution is to use in-store Wi-Fi hotspots to triangulate a buyer's location. This method is convenient because stores usually have Wi-Fi networks installed for employee and shopper internet access.

Apple has developed a Wi-Fi system mapping program in 2014, which was marketed in shopping malls and shopping centers in many countries. With the location of offers and product displays uploaded to the servers, shoppers were able to find their own location and access desired products. The multi-story buildings made the process more complicated, but it was still functional. Google has rolled out its own service, mapping locations for IKEA, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and other major retailers.

One of the first popular apps of AR technology for retail brands were apps that allowed shoppers to try a product before they bought. But now, developers of navigation solutions have started to use AR technology to position the user's location with precision, often within inches, using a AR markers method.

Visual AR markers easily fit inside a store as wall posters or floor decals. Buyers can begin a browsing session in the AR app by scanning a poster at the entrance. The application then displays the path to the selected product or aisle. Customers have the flexibility to find exactly what they want, which mixes online and in-store experiences and encourage them to come back in the future.

In May 2019, there were more than a billion mobiles devices capable of delivering an AR experience. With the increased availability of AR applications, the use of AR navigation technology is a game-changer for retailers. By applying a data science approach, brands can better understand the behavior of in-store shoppers and their purchasing decisions. In-store product layout, sales models, and traffic studies all benefit from this combination. The synergy obtained brings a new era in the retail customer experience.

About the writer: Andrew Makarov is a Senior Architect of Augmented Reality Solutions at MobiDev (United States / Ukraine). He is experienced in the development of mobile applications with the integration of innovative technologies such as augmented reality, Internet of things and machine learning.

Join the #retail, #SmartStore and #ConnectedJourney conversations on Twitter @RetailNext, as well as www.facebook.com/retailnext.

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Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?

You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can garantit you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.

Check out the tips below, put them into marche, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :

The most important part of active listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really hard to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. to become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.

Practicing réactive listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.

Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with réactive listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing réactive listening.

However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a bermuda list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re sérieux with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.

If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell dysfonctionnement if you don’t pay attention.

Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this forme reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.

Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an extra sign. If your customer has taken this sort of forme in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of. )

Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the termes you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial termes. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an génial sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.

That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :

Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.

In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar forme, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make exact replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.

According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in esprit state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly styles relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.

Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.

When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the hard sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several variétés of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. tera help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common types of customers in retail. Check it out below :

More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.

What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a digital administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts business software buyers in touch with software vendors ! When she’s not hard at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.

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