A common perception is that online giants are forcing many traditional brick and mortar retailers to close their doors. In reality, 92% of consumer dollars are still spent in-store vs. online. Retail leaders are less concerned about where consumers shop. How they shop is what really matters. For that kind of invaluable data, retailers rely heavily on front of store and back of store technology.
The Retail Device Landscape Looks Much Different
A traditional brick and mortar retail operation has a cash register, an intercom or radio communication system, and a stock room. While this model is still the norm, a thriving in-store technology ecosystem is a major differentiator for retailers focused on making the consumer experience more convenient. It's less about where the final transaction is made then the entire shopping experience as a whole. How do you make consumers loyal to your brand over a competitor? Start by paying more attention to the device landscape.
What does a mature retail device ecosystem look like at stores that are getting omnichannel retail right?
An unforgettable shopping experience is one that is convenient, pleasant, and free of barriers. Mobile retail devices help brands control consumer satisfaction down to every last touch point.
An associate with a tablet can remotely search the stock room for the exact size of jeans that isn't in the front of the store, without leaving the customer behind. The same associate can check the consumer out right there, without a long wait at the register. Easier inventory visibility is a win-win for everyone.
Another big plus? Inventory fulfillment in real time, without time consuming inventory counts. When an online order for in-store pickup arrives, an associate up front can begin packaging the items and use voice over communication to instruct a colleague in the stockroom to retrieve the last item from location x. Visibility into item quantities and accurate data means less wasted time for in-store employees.
We tend to be hyper-focused on the purchasing experience, but what about returns? Despite all the convenience of shopping online, when it comes to returns, things look different.
Online purchases are much more likely to result in an in-store return. AIDC technology helps make reverse logistics easier to manage. Scanning items in front should integrate seamlessly with the inventory system in your receiving department, so the entire team knows what is available. The convenience leads to a satisfied customer who may linger longer in the store or take a look at exchanging for a different item.
For a truly omnichannel shopping experience that delights customers and employees alike, AIDC technology has a big role to play. An omnichannel shopping experience is only as good as the technology supporting it. Have you considered what resources are in place for retail device repair?
Managing the Retail Device Repair Lifecycle
The latest mobility hardware for retailers has Android software and is fully integrated at every touch point.
In reality, most retailers are still relying on legacy hardware from the likes of Intermec or Motorola that has long been discontinued by the manufacturer. For support needs, the manufacturers will often shift the conversation to newer equipment.
Carlton understands that day-to-day needs come first. Carlton has worked on the very same equipment for decades and will help you get your current hardware back in top form. We have two common approaches to retail barcode scanners and mobility computer support, depending on what your organization prioritizes.
1.) Flexibility: Only pay for device repairs when they fail. No contract necessary.
For maximum flexibility, CarltonCare Flat Fee repairs are your best bet. CarltonCare Flat Fee is perfect for retail device repairs on a per-incident basis. There is no contract required.
Simply send in the devices that need repairing, specify your turn time requirements, and we will have your equipment back to you working like new. You pay one price per incident.
It's simple, and a great way to experience what it's like to work with a trusted device partner.
Real Life Use Case: National Convenience Store Chain
To illustrate the Flat Fee approach to service, look no further than the retail convenience chain with over 15,000 locations across the United States and Canada. Each store has one scanner per register to keep costs to a minimum. But what happens when these legacy devices fail and they can no longer ring up customers?
When this retailer fills out an RMA with Carlton before 4pm EST, Carlton will overnight a replacement device to the store so they have a scanner the next day while the other one is being repaired.
The store is charged for repairs only when there is an incident, with minimal disruption to their daily operations in the event of a device failure. While this store might be considering an upgrade to new scanners in a few years, they rely on CarltonCare Flat Fee for maximum flexibility when incidents occur.
2.) Maximum Coverage: One annual bill. Everything is covered, including accidental damage.
For retailers who prioritize peace of mind, a CarltonCare Premium service plan guarantees that every device is covered, even when there is accidental damage. With Premium, you have one annual repair bill and know what you are paying in advance.
Online RMA and Invoice Tracking? Check. Overnight advanced replacement and spare pool management? Check. One dedicated contact who knows you by name and can quickly answer your requests? Check.
Premium is the core of our business, and remains the most popular service plan for our biggest retail customers.
Real Life Use Case: Major Clothing Retailer
A major clothing retailer with ten regional distributional centers relies a great deal on healthy AIDC hardware. With hundreds of MC9090s, WT4190s, and RS409s deployed both in-store and in at the RDCs, they prefer sending malfunctioning and broken devices to one vendor without a second guess.
They trust CarltonCare for critical equipment repairs. There's one bill, and they know who to call in a tight spot. What keeps this retailer coming back to Carlton year after year? World-class service and the peace of mind of complete coverage.
Better Retail Device Repair Improves Retail Profitability
A strategic approach to AIDC device repair plays a major role in moving more products, improving the customer experience, and capturing critical data that helps make smarter decisions as demands continue to rapidly evolve. Working with a trusted partner like Carlton, whether on a per incident or contractual basis, just might be the "secret sauce" to taking your stores to the next level.
Your omnichannel retail experience is only as good as the barcode scanners, printers, mobile computers, and handheld equipment supporting it. Do you have the right resources in place? Let's talk.